Press Release

Women in Aerospace Announces 2005 Award Recipients – Leading Executives, Educators and Entrepreneurs Recognized

By SpaceRef Editor
August 22, 2005
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Women in Aerospace (WIA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in aerospace and related careers, and to recognizing the achievements of outstanding women in aerospace, today announces the recipients of its annual award competition. The awards will be officially presented by high-ranking members of the Administration and Members of Congress during a reception on Tuesday, September 27, 2005, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington Cemetery.

“A core element of WIA’s mission is to recognize and support women who are making significant contributions to our field,” said Erin Neal, president of WIA. “The annual awards allow us the opportunity to express our gratitude to these outstanding individuals and remind us all of the increasingly significant role women play in the aerospace community.”

Chosen by a review committee from an open solicitation, this year’s winners will receive awards in six different categories. This year’s winners are:

Louise L. Francesconi, vice president, Raytheon Company and president, Missile Systems Business, Raytheon in Tucson, Arizona, wins the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 30 years of outstanding service, her leadership and vision, and for her passionate support of other women and minorities in the field.

Deborah Ann Gardecki Kropp, president and CEO of MRI Technologies in Houston Texas is recognized with the Outstanding Leadership Award for overcoming stereotypes and creating a successful business that provides opportunities to women and encourages risk-taking and personal growth.

Mary P. Reagor, technical fellow for mathematical algorithms at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas, receives the Outstanding Achievement Award for her pioneering work in the development of fuzzy logic applications resulting in extremely versatile, widely-applicable data-mining and modeling tools for complex multivariate systems.

Susmita Mohanty, founder and managing director of Moonfront, LLC in San Francisco, California, is recognized with the International Achievement Award for her commitment to global cooperation in space and her entrepreneurial approach to making it happen.

Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles, a lecturer at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, receives the Aerospace Educator Award for inspiring the next generation through her teachings, lectures and writings and for creatively introducing space to those in other disciplines including history, art and public relations.

Edna DeVore, director of education and public outreach and deputy CEO at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, receives the Aerospace Awareness Award for her work on bringing teachers together and astronomers together to create classroom lessons based on real science and for sharing the excitement and challenges of airborne astronomy and space science with thousands of students.

Women in Aerospace is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding women’s opportunities for leadership and increased visibility within the aerospace community. Any person who supports WIA’s mission and goals is eligible for membership.

Press Contact: Suzy Sterner (703) 965-5473 or

SpaceRef staff editor.