Aerospace engineering student earns Brooke Owens Fellowship


By Gabrielle Stewart

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mya Guillaume, a third-year aerospace engineering student at Penn State, received a 2022 Brooke Owens Fellowship. She was one of 51 honorees selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants.  

The Brooke Owens Fellowship was founded in 2016 to honor the memory of beloved industry pioneer and accomplished pilot D. Brooke Owens, who died of cancer in June 2016 at the age of 35, according to the announcement press release. The fellowship has a mission to provide opportunities and access to talented young professionals from historically underrepresented genders. Fellows are recognized based on their commitment to their communities, creativity, record of leadership, talent and their desire to pursue a career in aerospace.  

“I am really honored to be selected as a Brooke Owens fellow,” Guillaume said. “It is very special to be one of the 51 women able to represent Brooke, as she was fearless not only in the industry but also while she continuously pursued her passion for making the world a better place. I can relate to the personality of Brooke because she was known to be an adventurous spirit, and I find myself the happiest when traveling, adventuring and trying new things. I am excited for what is to come in the future of the aerospace industry and am so glad I am helping to change the face of the future.” 

As a fellow, Guillaume will be matched with two senior- or executive-level mentors in the aerospace industry and gain access to the network of Brooke Owens fellowship alumnae, comprising nearly 200 students and professionals in aviation and aerospace-related fields. She will also start an internship this summer with Maxar, a space technology company. 

Guillaume is an inaugural recipient of the Patti Grace Smith fellowship, through which she completed a paid internship with Maxar in summer 2021 and received mentorship from aerospace industry professionals. She is also active in the Multicultural Engineering Program, joining as a first-year student and currently serving as a student leader. 

“Mya is someone who thrives in the midst of a challenge,” said Lauren Griggs, MEP director and a mentor of Guillaume’s. “She brings an unparalleled level of confidence, enthusiasm and passion to each and every one of her commitments. She has a fire and determination that I know will fuel her success in the aerospace engineering field.” 

Guillaume will participate in the annual Brooke Owens Summit in Washington, D.C., in July with the other members of her class, which includes many students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.   

“We are thrilled to have our most diverse class yet, continuing our push to bring incredible new talent into the aerospace industry,” said Emily Calandrelli, a science communicator, host of Netflix’s Emily’s Wonder Lab series and a member of the fellowship executive team. “Aerospace is a challenging field with a global impact and an insatiable demand for talent, and these fifty-one students represent a vital influx of skill, creativity, passion and purpose. As a group, this year’s fellows represent more countries, races and ethnicities and gender minorities than any previous class. We’re looking forward to watching them make their mark on the aerospace industry.” 

Editor's note: The original version of this press release appeared on the Brooke Owens Fellowship Brooke Owens Fellowship website.  


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