Thirty-one undergraduate students from 22 colleges and universities across the country were selected as the latest winners. Patti Grace Smith Fellowshipis an award-winning program that connects talented black students with the country’s leading aerospace companies.
As part of the most competitive application process to date, each member of the program’s class of 2023 will receive thousands of dollars worth of scholarships, a pair of personalized mentors, and more in the aerospace field. has won a challenging summer internship.
To be selected as a Patti Grace Smith Fellow, applicants must be black students currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree program seeking first-time work experience in the aerospace industry. During a four-round selection process, each candidate was vetted by a group of aerospace industry professionals, up-and-coming early-career employees, and corporate employers. Selected candidates demonstrated exceptional aptitude for their chosen field in addition to scoring high on creativity, ingenuity, and commitment to service to others. This program will help students seeking a variety of career paths in the aerospace field, including engineering, science, and policy.
Fellowship co-founder Tiffany Russell Lockett said: “Our goal is always to showcase the best students for host companies to consider and this is our most competitive class to date. I look forward to going and how we continue to make an impact in the future.”
The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship began making progress in its quest for programs to combat the longstanding and well-quantified underrepresentation of Black and African American employees in the U.S. aerospace workforce. The aerospace industry has come a long way since the days when African Americans were legally barred from attending many colleges and holding many positions in the aerospace industry, but there are still many We need progress. Although African Americans make up 14.1% of the U.S. population and about 15% of U.S. undergraduate and graduate students, a recent study conducted by the AIA and AIAA found that the U.S. aerospace and defense industry Only 10.03% of workers and only 5.69% of aerospace executives are black.
The program is closely based on the award-winning Brooke Owens Fellowship, which includes two-time Space Shuttle Astronaut, Fellowship, Undergraduate, and Brooke Owens Fellowship alum Christian Jones, aerospace engineer Tiffany Russell Rocket, Aerospace Executive Will Pomerantz. The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship will begin its first full-time operation in July 2023, adding Ginny Randall, his director, to the team.
The program’s name was chosen to honor a beloved aerospace industry leader who overcame legalized segregation. Patti Grace Smith (then Patricia Jones) was one of a dozen black students who enrolled at Tuskegee High School at a young age. She was the plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit that consolidated public schools in Alabama, as upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Her illustrious career was marked by her role leading the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation in the early days of the US Space Renaissance. In 2021, Smith was named a recipient of the prestigious General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, one of her highest honors for an aerospace professional.
The 2023 Patti Grace Smith Fellows are:
Amadou Wade is a freshman in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland. Wade will be interning at Zipline this summer.
Andrew Pierre-Antoine, a first-year aerospace engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Pierre-Antoine will be an intern at Airbus this summer.
Anisa Hill is a fifth-year mechanical engineering student at George Mason University. Hill will be interning at Relativity Space this summer.
Ayomikun Gbadamosi is a senior mechanical and aerospace engineering student at Princeton University. Gbadamosi will be interning at ABL Space Systems this summer.
Christal Biney, a first-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Houston. Biney will be interning at BryceTech this summer.
Denzel Ekes, a third-year mechanical engineering student at Harvard University. Ekes will be interning at Hermeus this summer.
Edward Siaw is a sophomore in electrical and computer engineering at Princeton University. Siaw will be interning at Northrop Grumman this summer.
Emily Burrus, a fourth-year aerospace engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Burrus will be interning at Blue Origin this summer.
Gbemitireoluwa (Tirey) Daramola is a sophomore in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland. Daramola will be an intern at Ursa Major this summer.
George Cicero is a sophomore in electrical engineering at Boston University. Cicero will be an intern at ispace-USA this summer.
Irwin J. Alcantara, a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. Alcantara will be interning at Gravitics this summer.
Janae Jordan, a first-year aerospace engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Jordan will be interning at BryceTech this summer.
Jayden Christmas is a first year mechanical engineering student at North Carolina Agricultural Technology State University. Christmas will be interning at Redwire Space this summer.
Jesus “JJ” Wilkins, a sophomore in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Wilkins will be interning at Outpost Space this summer.
Lordina O. Mensah is a first year mechanical engineering and information and communications technology student at the University of Kentucky. Mensah will be interning at Venturi Astrolab this summer.
Mariyah Ndiaye is a sophomore in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Ndiaye will be interning at Redwire Space this summer.
Marvelous Achugbu, a fourth-year aerospace engineering student at the University of Maryland. Achugbu will be interning at SpaceX this summer.
Maya Kinyatta Tyson, a fifth-year mathematics and aerospace engineering student at Spelman College/Georgia Tech. Tyson will be interning at Joby Aviation this summer.
McKenna McMurray is a first year engineering and computer science student at Harvey Mudd College. McMurray will be interning at Lockheed Martin this summer.
Meredith Clark is a freshman in mechanical engineering at Purdue University. Clark will be interning at Astroscale US this summer.
Mezie Nwizugbo is a sophomore in aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California. Nwizugbo will be an intern at SpaceX this summer.
N’kira Brooks is a senior mechanical engineering student at New York University. Brooks will be interning at Astroscale US this summer.
Nathan Evans is a sophomore in mechanical engineering at Harvard University. Evans will be interning at Ball Aerospace this summer.
Nicholas Olibrice is a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of New Hampshire. Olibris will be interning at Barrios his technology this summer.
Paris Garrett is a senior computer science student at Texas Southern University. Garrett will be interning at Axiom Space this summer.
Raven Warner is a fifth-year computer science student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Warner will be interning at the United Launch Alliance (ULA) this summer.
Sana’i Parker, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at Drexel University. Parker will be interning at SpaceX this summer.
Stanley Tucker is a fourth year student studying Unmanned Aircraft Systems Engineering and Homeland Security and Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Tucker will be an intern at HawkEye 360 this summer.
Taj Lee, a sophomore in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Lee will be interning at Virgin Orbit this summer.
Xavier Goewey, a first-year aerospace engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Goewey will be interning at Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) this summer.
Zach Conti is a sophomore in aerospace engineering at St. Louis University. Conti will be an intern at Ursa Major this summer.
For more information about fellows, their employers, or the program itself, please visit www.pgsfellowship.org..