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Sept. 19, 2012-Washington, D.C.-Women in Aerospace is proud to recognize nine outstanding women for their contributions to the aerospace industry and to the advancement of women in the field. These women will be honored at the 27th annual Women in Aerospace Awards with a reception and dinner to be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Va.

The Women in Aerospace awards celebrate women's professional excellence in aerospace, annually recognizing female leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the aerospace community. The 2012 recipients are:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Gwynne Shotwell, president, SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif., in recognition of her extraordinary technical and business sense with a charisma and passion for space, education and advancement of sciences as well as her participation in science, technology, engineering and math  education and scholarship.

AEROSPACE AWARENESS AWARD: Susan Anderson, public affairs specialist, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, in recognition of her promotion of public awareness for  space exploration and her dedication to inspiring the next generation of space explorers and pioneers.

AEROSPACE EDUCATOR AWARD: Shella Condino, advanced placement Physics and Chemistry teacher, Presidio High School, Presidio, Texas,  in recognition of her  motivating force using rocketry to give her students an aerospace education and a pathway to be first generation college graduates.

LEADERSHIP AWARD: Simonetta Di Pippo,  ASI European Space Policy Observatory, Brussels, in recognition of her role as a strong advocate of space exploration, highly skilled manager of complex space projects, mentor and as a leader for young women in the aerospace sector.

Also winning the LEADERSHIP AWARD:  Kay Bailey Hutchison, U.S. Senator, Texas, is recognized for her strong and effective leadership in space and aeronautics throughout her service in the United States Senate and her sustained dedication to ensuring opportunities for women to seek and attain the highest achievements in the aeronautic and aerospace professions.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. and Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, is recognized for how she has inspired future leaders and for her lifelong dedication, selflessness, and commitment to furthering the advancement of women’s opportunities in aerospace.

OUTSTANDING MEMBER AWARD: Debra Facktor Lepore, industry professor, Stevens Institute of Technology and president, DFL Space LLC, Hoboken, N.J., is recognized for her enduring, tireless efforts on behalf of Women in Aerospace, Women in Aerospace Foundation and the aerospace industry.

WIA FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP: Kirstyn Marie Johnson, a junior in aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) will receive a $1,000 scholarship to be applied to the 2012-2013 academic year.

Women in Aerospace also will pay special tribute to Sally Ride as we honor her legacy at this premier event. As a woman who embodied the mission of WIA, and the excellence for which we strive, Sally Ride served as an inspiration to women and men both within the aerospace industry and in the global community. To show our sincere gratitude for all of her work and ongoing legacy, Women in Aerospace  will provide a $1,000 donation to Sally Ride Science, a company founded to educate, engage, and inspire students.

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 Nov. 1, 2012, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Arlington, Va., should register online at or by calling 202-547-0229 for more information.



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