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Women In Aerospace

515 2nd Street NE

Washington, DC 20002

P: 202-547-0229

Annette Summers

Executive Director



August 30, 2022




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 seven 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 2022 Women in Aerospace Award recipients are:


OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Dr. Xinfeng Gao, Fort Collins, CO, is recognized for her success in transforming CFD with data assimilation to advance aerospace propulsion research while mentoring female students in aerospace. Dr. Gao currently serves as an Associate Professor at Colorado State University.


AEROSPACE AWARENESS AWARD: Denise Henry, Boulder, CO, is recognized for her far-reaching impact on thousands of students, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, through innovative aerospace/STEM outreach programs. Ms. Henry currently serves as the Manager of Educational Outreach Programs for Ball Aerospace. 


INITIATIVE, INSPIRATION, IMPACT AWARD: Kate Kelly, Lynchburg, VA, is recognized for her outstanding leadership and innovative contributions to the space nuclear industry, as well as for her advocacy to promote women in aerospace. Ms. Kelly currently serves as the Director of Space and Emerging Programs for BWX Technologies. 


LEADERSHIP AWARD: Janet Grondin, Washington, DC, is recognized for her exemplary leadership in advancing opportunities for women to attain successful careers in aerospace. Ms. Grondin currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Stellar Solutions, Inc. 


ALLYSHIP AWARD: Melody Wheelwright, Salt Lake City, UT, is recognized for her demonstrated leadership and passion in mentoring and inspiring women to seek, reach for and achieve in their careers in aerospace. Ms. Wheelwright currently serves as the Director of Engineering Development Support for L3Harris Technologies. 


AEROSPACE EDUCATOR AWARD: Dr. Martiqua Post, USAF Academy, CO, is recognized for her sustained dedication and excellence in aerospace education and inspiring contributions in scholarship and service to the community. Dr. Post currently serves as the Director of Civilian Faculty Programs, in addition to her long-time Professor role, at the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy.


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: The Honorable Heather Wilson, 24th Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, El Paso, TX, is recognized for her dedication to the advancement of the aerospace industry, and her championship for future generations through education. Dr. Wilson currently serves as the President of the University of Texas at El Paso.


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 six awards. Both committees, comprised of volunteers from the industry, government and nonprofit/academia, reviewed a total of over 85 women nominated across seven award categories. Each of those nominated women serves 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: 


Jordyn Amoy, California Polytechnic State University 

Lauren Bansberg, University of Central Florida 

Simran Dhoju, University of Alabama 

Omokhuwele Umoru, Texas Southern University 




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 13, 2022, at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington VA, registration and sponsorship opportunities are currently available through our website.


For more information, visit the WIA website at

or call our Headquarters at (202) 547-0229.