NSS Scholarship to the International Space University
The National Space Society is pleased to announce that two exceptional candidates have been chosen as winners of the Society's 2007 scholarship to the International Space University. ISU is the international, interdisciplinary institution founded to develop young space leaders. Based in Strasbourg, France, ISU holds its annual summer program in a different location each year. This year the summer session will be held in Beijing, and both of our winners will attend.
NSS had 32 applicants for the $10,000 scholarship fund — our largest field ever. Roughly half the applicants were from the United States, and half were international. The Society extends its strong congratulations to the two winners, recognizes all applicants for their commitment to space, and thanks all NSS members for their support of worthy educational programs such as this.
Karina Drees is an outstanding young leader who is training for a career in the new space industry. Drees' interest in entrepreneurship led her to pursue an M.B.A. at MIT's Sloan School of Management, where she was the cofounder of the MIT Astropreneurs Club. At MIT, she met Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, the founder of the Ansari X Prize and a longtime member of NSS. Dr. Diamandis became a personal role model for Drees. Having tracked the X Prize progress, she became inspired by Diamandis' belief that following one's passion is essential in building a fulfilling career. With a goal of becoming an expert in space management, Drees has dedicated her career to helping the industry flourish.
Drees writes, "ISU's renowned summer session program will be instrumental to my career in space management. The educational curriculum and project focus will provide me with the tools necessary to understand the needs of the space industry and further enhance my ability to support space entrepreneurs and eventually become one."
Earlier this year, Drees worked with Stuart Witt, the Mojave Air and Space Port's general manager, to develop an "access to space" action plan for the next generation of space transportation vehicles. Thus far, this project is proving to be essential to future space businesses, as many regulations and procedures in this area currently do not exist.
Amanda Stiles is a powerhouse who is committed to space exploration. Already she has been a leader in the Houston space community, leading a Space Day education event and running the local Yuri's Night space celebration. During her college years she started the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) chapter at the University of Washington, and developed technical concepts for a lunar sample return from the South Pole-Aitken Basin.
Stiles writes, "My passion for space and public outreach first began to emerge during my studies at the University of Washington, particularly through my involvement with SEDS. After earning my degree in aerospace engineering from UW, I began work as a shuttle spaceflight trainer at the NASA Johnson Space Center, in Houston, where I have continued to work for the last two years. During my time in Houston, I have been involved in several space organizations dedicated to teaching the public about space, including the National Space Society and Yuri's Night."
"I look forward to attending ISU to further my education and to begin creating a global network of people with whom I can work to develop new ideas for public outreach and advancements in space exploration," Stiles continues. "I am very grateful to the National Space Society for their continuous support of young people in space, and for providing an opportunity for me to attend ISU and reach my goals."