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Annette Summers
Executive Director
August 25, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Women in Aerospace (WIA), a leading professional organization dedicated to expanding women's opportunities for leadership, education and visibility in the aerospace community, is proud to honor six remarkable women for their contributions to the aerospace industry and to the advancement of women in the field.
The WIA Awards celebrate women's professional excellence in aerospace, annually recognizing female leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the aerospace community.
The 2021 Women in Aerospace Award recipients are:
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Amy McAdamGreenbelt, MD, is recognized for exceptional contributions to the Mars Science Laboratory mission and her continuing advocacy for young women in aerospace. Dr. McAdams currently serves as a Research Space Scientist for NASA GSFC.
AEROSPACE AWARENESS AWARD: Veronica McGregorPasadena, CA, is recognized for pioneering work and innovation in social & digital media, revolutionizing NASA communications and inspiring the world with the wonders of space. Ms. McGregor currently serves as the News and Social Media Manager for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
INITIATIVE, INSPIRATION, IMPACT AWARD: Karina PerezArlington, VA, is recognized for her bold advocacy for women and underrepresented communities in the aerospace industry while building consensus among policymakers and industry to enable the next generation of flight. Ms. Perez currently serves as the Director of Unmanned and Emerging Aviation Technologies for Aerospace Industries Association.
LEADERSHIP AWARD: Dorothy RascoBoulder, CO, is recognized for her leadership and dedication to the mission and people of NASA and Ball Aerospace, and her commitment to the advancement of women in aerospace. Ms. Rasco currently serves as the Director of Engineering Operations for Ball Aerospace. 
AEROSPACE EDUCATOR AWARD: Dr. Karen MaraisWest Lafayette, IN, is recognized for her excellent leadership and sustained dedication to aerospace education and for her tenacious advocacy for girls and young women in aerospace. Dr. Marais currently serves as the Professor Associate Head for the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Janet Kavandi, Louisville, CO, is recognized for her lasting contributions to aerospace, advancements to space exploration and her steadfast dedication to the advancement of women in the field. Dr. Kavandi currently serves as the Executive Vice President at Sierra Space.
This year, there were two separate Award Selection Committees; one specifically dedicated to the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the second focused on WIA’s additional five awards. Both committees, comprised of volunteers from the industry, government and nonprofit/academia, reviewed a total of over 50 women nominated across six award categories. Each of those nominated women serve as an inspiration to our community.
As part of the Awards Ceremony, the Women in Aerospace Foundation will also present four merit-based scholarships to promising young women who will serve as the next generation of female leaders in the aerospace industry.
This year’s scholarships go to: 
Alexis Burris, University of Maryland – College Park
Leah Davis, Texas A&M University
Isabella Gayoso, Pennsylvania State University
Shreyasvi Gowda, Cornell University
In addition to recognizing this year’s Awardees and Scholarship Recipients during this fall’s Dinner, WIA will also recognize our 2020 Awardees and Scholarship Recipients, in lieu of the cancellation of last year’s 35th Annual WIA Awards Dinner.
Women in Aerospace (WIA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding women's opportunities for leadership and to increasing their visibility within the aerospace community.
To learn more about WIA, visit: 
For individuals and organizations interested in participating in the Awards Dinner on October 14, 2021, at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington VA, registration and sponsorship opportunities will become available in 2021.
For more information, visit the WIA website at
or call our Headquarters at (202) 547-0229.