2022 Scholarship Winner
VABA Board Members Rich Anderson and Ron Gatewood meeting with our 2022 scholarship winner at the Manassas Airport in July.
Lucy was presented with a certificate, a check and was surprised by a free flight lesson from Aviation Adventures where she is currently enrolled. Thank you to Bob Hepp!
Scholarship Committee Members:
Rich Anderson and Ron Gatewood for the presentation to Lucy.
Congratulations to our 2022 Charles J. Colgan scholarship recipient Lucy Waite
Lucy was selected from a pool of very talented student applicants. She is currently a student at Virginia Tech and a graduate of Herndon High School in Fairfax County.
The best way to get to know Lucy is to hear directly from her. Here is an excerpt from her essay.
With a love of science and a knack for math stemming both from supportive, NASA-loving parents and from amazing teachers, I saw engineering to be a natural fit for my academic talents. At 17, I pursued and attended a summer mentorship at NASA Langley. There, I learned about the Moon-to-Mars Missions and the growing efforts for carbon-neutral flight among many other intriguing projects, finding myself eager to learn more and one day contribute to incredibly important projects like these. This desire caused something to click in my head; I had finally found a field with the right blend of my passions and talents: Aerospace Engineering.
As a current Virginia Tech Aerospace Engineering student, I have answered the questions my young mind frequently pondered on, and more. I have taken it upon myself to dive deep into the field, finding myself most interested in structural mechanics and the material makeup of air and spacecrafts. Additionally, with the help of the Virginia Tech ground school class, I am currently pursuing my private pilot's license to both better understand the structural mechanics of aircrafts from a first-hand perspective and to satisfy my passion for flight that has burned within me from a young age.
With the growing commercial space flight and buzzing aviation industry, there is a corresponding need for new technologies, lightweight, composite plane structures, and more efficient structural shapes for air and spacecrafts alike. Like the missions I saw at NASA, modern projects will need structural innovations and technological development as their sturdy foundation upon which they can flourish. Using my passion for flight, talent in STEM, and university experiences, I want to be part of the next generation of aerospace engineers to further flight capabilities beyond what is currently imaginable. With my passions and curiosities lying strongest in this field of study, I am confident I can make a difference in the field and one day fulfill my flight-filled dreams by watching my creations fly from the ground below.
Lucy completed a summer internship after her freshman year at Virginia Tech with the Federal Aviation Administration. Her supervisor commented, “Lucy jumped right into complex airport related initiatives and even led data analysis projects that have contributed to increased safety within the National Airspace System (NAS)”.
One of her professors at Va Tech had this to say about Lucy:
"One of the benefits of being 72 is that I have had the opportunity to meet a number of the luminaries who set the cornerstone of American aerospace research and development. Among those leaders were Chuck Yeager and Jacqueline Cochran. Like Jacqueline, Lucy is a highly capable engineer with a personal passion for flight who is not afraid to employ an elbow when required to ensure that her ideas are carefully weighed by her mostly male fellow students. Moreover, it is a joy to watch the look on her face during an aerodynamics or performance lecture when a theoretical concept that supports her dreams became clear. Like Jacqueline, Lucy is unique and one of a kind!"
The Virginia Aviation Business Association is proud to present Lucy with this scholarship award and we cannot wait to hear about all her future successes.