CSF Partners with Patti Grace Smith Fellowship for Annual Patti Grace Smith Memorial Fund Scholarship Program

Washington, D.C. —  The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and Patti Grace Smith Fellowship (PGSF) program announced an expanded partnership to bring three students to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 24th Commercial Space Transportation Conference (CST).

Patti Grace Smith was a trailblazer in the aerospace industry and passed away unexpectedly on June 5, 2016, following a life-long commitment to racial equality and a stellar career. The PGSF program was established in honor of Smith’s legacy and provides extraordinary Black students with their first work experience in the aerospace industry.

In memory of Smith’s commitment to encouraging young women of color to pursue aerospace and STEM careers, applicants for the CSF/CST scholarship were limited to PGSF fellows and applicants. Three outstanding women were chosen:

  • Niya Hope-Glenn is a Chemical Engineering sophomore at Howard University from upstate New York. She currently interns at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and has obtained numerous awards as an undergraduate. Niya strives to dismantle disproportionate complexes in STEM fields in hopes that other students of color follow a similar career path in research and development.
  • Anaelle Roc is an alumna of the inaugural class of Patti Grace Smith Fellows from Long Island, New York. She is a sophomore at Pomona College where she is studying Astrophysics and Asian Studies. Her greatest passion is social justice, and she aspires to help create a more equitable future for people like her in the space industry and for humans in space.
  • Shalayah-Naomi Webb is an aerospace engineering major currently attending San Diego City College with plans to transfer to a 4-year university. Webb is a member of the inaugural class of the Patti Grace Smith Fellows program where she served in her first engineering internship at Draper Laboratory. She is passionate about all things space and the future of human spaceflight.

“The partnership that the PGSF has with CSF is extremely important since Patti was pivotal in transforming the dream of commercial space and bringing that to reality,” said Khristian Jones, Co-Founder, PGS Fellowship. “There is no better way to honor Patti than to assist in transferring the dreams that young space enthusiasts have into reality by providing the tools to make it come true.”

“This is a great opportunity for Niya, Anaelle, and Shalayah-Naomi to hear what’s in store for the commercial space sector and about the growing opportunities in the industry,” said Karina Drees, CSF President. “We are honored to expand our partnership with PGSF and sponsor these bright young women at CST.”

The recipients will be recognized at the 24th FAA/CSF Commercial Space Transportation Conference, February 16 – 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Click here for the latest agenda and registration information.

CST2022 will strictly adhere to CDC and District of Columbia COVID regulations including requiring valid photo ID, proof of at least 2 vaccinations, and compliance with mask mandates. Onsite check-in required prior to CST2022 registration.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 90 members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians, and businesses. CSF members are responsible for the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs driven by billions of dollars in investment. Through the promotion of technology innovation, CSF is guiding the expansion of Earth’s economic sphere, bolstering U.S. leadership in aerospace, and inspiring America’s next generation of engineers and explorers.

About Patti Grace Smith Fellowship

The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship is on a mission to provide a meaningful, effective pathway into successful aerospace careers and future aerospace industry leadership to people whose race and ethnicity has made them the subject of systemic bias.

As they succeed in that goal, they have ventured to drive meaningful change in the aerospace industry itself in terms of how it acknowledges and addresses matters of racial and ethnic equity and inclusion.

An official spin-off of the award-winning Brooke Owens Fellowship, and based closely on that successful model, their program provides extraordinary Black students with their first work experience in the aerospace industry, personalized mentorship, and a cohort of similarly driven and talented young Black people pursuing aerospace careers.

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