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Anne Connor
Vice President for Communications
Women in Aerospace                                                                                                                         

Release: WIA09-04                                              



August 26, 2009 – Washington, D.C. – Women in Aerospace (WIA) is proud to announce the winners of its 24th Annual Women in Aerospace Awards. WIA will honor seven outstanding women for their contributions to the advancement of women in the aerospace industry at a reception and dinner to be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The 2009 winners are:

Aerospace Awareness Award: Eleanor Aldrich, Consultant, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, Virginia, for promoting and enhancing public awareness of aerospace during a distinguished career as an advocate for enhancing public awareness of space opportunities, the challenges of developing and operating space systems, and the resulting benefits to humanity.

Achievement Award: Rebecca Emerle, Senior Electrical Engineer, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado, for outstanding contributions to the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and Advanced Camera for Surveys repair programs that directly resulted in new technology and capabilities for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Aerospace Educator Award:  Dr. Valerie Neal, Curator, National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C., for 30 years of ardent dedication to aerospace education as a passionate lecturer, author of books and publications, and curator of major human spaceflight exhibits, that encouraged young people, especially girls, to explore math, science, and aerospace by showcasing achievements in space exploration. 
International Achievement Award:  Melinda Ann Burkhart Tate, Chief, Strategic Technologies Branch, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Arlington, Virginia, for fostering U.S. Air Force partnerships internationally and specifically with Indian Air Force (IAF), and for serving as a role model and mentor to women in aerospace.
Leadership Award:  Beverly Seay, Senior Vice President/Business Unit General Manager, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Orlando, Florida, for her leadership as an innovator in modeling and simulation and breakthrough technologies for our nation’s defense in aerospace and for serving as an ideal role model for young women to emulate.

Lifetime Achievement Award:  Dr. Linda Billings, Research Professor and Principal Investigator, The George Washington University and NASA’s Astrobiology Program, Arlington, Virginia, for more than 25 years of excellence in communicating with the public about the nation’s space program—conveying its significance, its relevance to the public good, and its boundless possibilities, particularly in the search for life elsewhere in the universe.

Outstanding Member Award:  Lynn Cline, Deputy Associate Administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C., for her service as a founding member of WIA, her tireless years of support and dedication to the organization, and for serving as a role model for young women pursuing both technical and non-technical careers.
Individuals and organizations interested in participating in the awards dinner on October 27, 2009 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., should register as soon as possible at or by calling 202.547.0229.
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.
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PDF Press Release: WIA Announces 2009 Award Recipient (40 K)