For Saturday, April 13, over 50 outstanding women students and faculty were recognized at the Annual Women of Excellence Banquet.


Astronaut and alumna Nicole Stott spoke to 125 attendees about her experiences flying on the Space Shuttle and spending three months aboard the International Space Station. She detailed her training and how her lifelong love of flight placed her on a trajectory which culminated in a career with NASA. She described life aboard the International Space Station, and included amazing photographs from her experiences. An Aeronautical Engineer, Stott proudly represented Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in space.


Women students earning a 3.5 or above GPA were recognized for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Nearly a third of women students at Embry-Riddle carry at least a B+ average, and 36 were present to receive a certificate from Nicole Stott and have an individual photo taken with her:

Ashley Allman

Kaylyn Beseler

Amanda Burroughs

Joskua Carrillo

Morgan Cherry

Melissa Collins

Teri Conser

Whitney Desmarais

Luciana Castagna Ferreira

Casey Finchum

Tessa Frederick

Caroline Gleb

Lauren Hall

Christine Hopkins

Jenna Humble

Alison Irish

Sidney Jones

Chelsea Katan

Shelby King

Emily Lawrence

Juan Ma

Veronica McGowan

Jessica McKenna

Karen Murphy

Natsuki Okazaki

Lisbeth Paz

Gianna Punzalan

Macy Rasley

Adrienne Rector

Cassandra Reed

Hannah Rooney

Seerat Sangha

Ciara Thompson

Alex (Cheng-Yu) Tien

Kellyn Wagner

Victoria Walker

Christina Walser

Dr. Richard Bloom awarded the top women scholars for each college: Caroline Gleb for Aviation, Lisbeth Paz for Arts and Sciences, and Ciara Thompson from Engineering.


Additional recognition was awarded to members of the Women’s Ambassador Program, with Katelynn McClure, Allison Cisneros, Shelby King, and Alison Irish in attendance. The Embry-Riddle Athletic program boasts five women Academic All-Americans, with Whitney Desmarais on hand to receive her certificate. Horizons Editor-in-Chief Julia Howlind was recognized for her outstanding leadership of the award-winning student newspaper.


Women faculty scooped up two-thirds of the recent Faculty Awards, and five of that group joined the evening’s festivities: Dr. Cindy Greenman, Teacher of the Year, Arts and Sciences; Professor Erica Diels, Teacher of the Year, Aviation; Dr. Brenda Haven, Faculty Service Award, College of Engineering; Dr. Jackie Luedtke, Faculty Service Award, College of Aviation; and Dr. Elizabeth Long, Faculty Research Competition Grant Recipient.


The evening culminated with scholarship awards. Students who attended were eligible for three scholarships, and the awards went to Christina Walser (Embry-Riddle Parents Associate Scholarship), Tessa Frederick (Prescott Women’s and Diversity Support Fund) and Hannah Rooney (Women’s and Diversity Center “Area 51” Scholarship). Lastly, Teri Conser won a giant stuffed eagle!


The evening was made special as nearly a dozen incoming students and their families attended the banquet after spending Preview Day on campus. These incoming students were able to see the best of Embry-Riddle, meet an astronaut as well as current students, staff, and faculty and see themselves as the next generation of Embry-Riddle women.


The Women of Excellence Banquet is sponsored by the Diversity Advisory Board (Tom Gally, Chair) and the Women’s and Diversity Center, Area 51, with special thanks to student employees Allison Cisneros, Lilith Matthews, Tyler Huether, and Jessalyn Hernandez.


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