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Annette Summers
Executive Director
Release: WIA15-03
September 3, 2015     

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 recognize eight distinguished women for their contributions to the aerospace industry and to the advancement of women in the field. These women will be honored at the 30th Annual WIA Awards Dinner and Ceremony with a reception and dinner to be held on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, VA.
The WIA Awards celebrate women's professional excellence in aerospace, annually recognizing female leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the aerospace community. As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we will honor our past presidents and chairs during the ceremony, recognizing their commitment over the years - a commitment that has led to the development of the outstanding organization we are today. As WIA commemorates its 30th year, we will honor two special awardees, in recognition of WIA's past and looking ahead to WIA's future, and highlight two talented and professionally driven individuals, who reflect WIA's history and its future.
The 2015 recipients are:
AEROSPACE AWARENESS AWARD: Cynthia Hugh Sam, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Fort Worth, TX, for the development of the National Code Quest Competition. She volunteers her time and expertise to showcase exemplary initiatives designed to make learning engaging for students.   
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Elizabeth Lund, The Boeing Company, Everett, WA, for her contributions to the Boeing 777 Program that advanced manufacturing processes, improved build time, and enhanced first-time quality. 
AEROSPACE EDUCATOR AWARD: Dr. Penina Axelrad, The University of Colorado Boulder for her work as an instrumental leader in the development of hands-on curricula in the aerospace engineering program at the University of Colorado, as well as her devotion to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, particularly women and underrepresented groups.  
INITIATIVE, INSPIRATION, IMPACT AWARD: Margaret Viola, The Spaceship Company, LLC, Mojave, CA, for her initiative to create a development opportunity for aspiring pilots as well as taking the lead as program manager for the TSC simulators to ensure full mission-ready simulation training.  
LEADERSHIP AWARD: Dr. Lisa Hardaway, Ball Aerospace, Boulder, CO, for her outstanding leadership and dedication to space exploration and for guiding, supporting, and mentoring female engineers throughout her career.     
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Sandra Coleman, Orbital ATK, Arlington, VA, for sustained, superior leadership and mentorship on U.S. human spaceflight systems from Apollo to Space Shuttle to Space Launch System in both government and industry.

WIA 30th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE AWARD: Carla Thomas, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Arcata Associates, Edwards, CA, for her outstanding photographic skills and for acting as a role model for girls and young women in aerospace.

WIA 30th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE AWARD: Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD Schools, Palmdale, CA, for her exceptional ability to impact girls and young women's lives as they catch a spark, ignite their learning, and decide to stay in school.           
In addition, the WIA Foundation will award scholarships to Amanda Martin, a junior studying professional aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Maggie Thompson, a junior studying astrophysics at Princeton University; and Rose Weinstein, a junior studying aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland-College Park. Scholarships will be applied to the 2015-2016 academic year.
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: 
Individuals and organizations interested in participating in the awards dinner on October 22, 2015, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington VA, should register online at or by calling 202-547-0229 for more information.
WIA anticipates selling out tables for this event and encourages interested parties to purchase tables early to be sure space is available. Sponsorship opportunities also available. Register Here.  
For more information, visit the WIA website at 
or call our Headquarters at (202) 547-0229.