Women In Defense Space Coast Awards $15K in STEM Scholarships and Recognizes STEM Education Mentor and Business of the Year

With contribution by Emria “Vailit” Casey

At the awards reception held at Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach on June 21st, Women In Defense Space Coast (WIDSC) gave out $15,000 to women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Twelve aspiring college students received anywhere between $500-$1,500 to go towards their education.

WIDSC has awarded over $60,000 since 2013 and gave out the highest amount of scholarship money in 2022 to these high achievers thanks to the generosity of over forty sponsors and donors. The 2022 scholarship recipients are Phoenix Boggs, Mckenna Caban, Eilish Fuller, Haley Gemmell, Nuha Haque, Alexis Linder, Taylor Redina, Brenna Row, Alexandra Rowe, Sydney Sharp, Kiera Sullivan, and Katherine Wade.

WIDSC STEM Scholarship recipients with WIDSC Chapter President Inga Young (far right)

WIDSC also presented the STEM Education Innovators Awards to include Janielle Ziegler who was awarded “STEM Mentor of the Year” for her volunteer work as a mentor with the Melbourne High School Robotics team. Janielle is at the school nearly seven days a week mentoring the students and has dedicated a lot of time to helping young teens and adults looking to build a career in STEM.

Janielle Ziegler receiving her WIDSC STEM Mentor of the Year award alongside her guests and WIDSC Board Member Susie Glasgow (far right)

Not present at the event was the WIDSC “Business Innovator of the Year” Awardee Michelle Peters of Zero-G.

The guest speaker for the event was Carol Taeker-Sluzky. Carol is the director of STARBASE Academy at Patrick Space Force Base. She shared her background and her own journey of her career in STEM career to include her work helping others grow into their own.

Alexandra Rowe, a scholarship recipient studying Aviation Human Factors at Florida Tech says, “I’m so excited, and so grateful!” Alex is the youngest student and only female in her aviation group.

STEM Scholarship Recipient Alexandra Rowe, holding up her $1,500 check from WIDSC

See more about the scholarships at https://widsc.org/scholarships/. If you would like more information about WIDSC programs and fundraising for STEM scholarships, please contact Susan Glasgow at 321-614-5930 or sponsorships@scwid.org.

Women In Defense Space Coast 5th Annual Sandbagger Invitational Golf Tournament a Great Success Raising $12K for STEM Scholarships

One hundred golfers hit the greens at Baytree National Golf Links on Friday, May 20th for the sold-out 5th Annual Sandbagger Invitational Golf Tournament to raise funds for STEM scholarships. Space Coast Intelligent Solutions (SCIS) was the Title Sponsor.

The Women in Defense Space Coast Chapter (WIDSC) organized the event with seventeen volunteers working throughout the day to keep the golfers happy and the action moving smoothly. Over $12,000 was raised in sponsorships, entry fees, mulligan packages, and raffles.

Golfers line up for a chance to win at Baytree National Golf Links

“We are very pleased with the turnout and level of support the community showed to our golf tournament this year,” stated WIDSC Chapter President Inga Young of 8-koi. “Our volunteer board works hard all year long to develop and deliver value-added programming to our membership. Raising money to award STEM scholarships is very meaningful and just one way our organization can contribute to creating a more diverse and stable workforce on the Space Coast.”

The tournament’s first place team was Cody Haner, Jacob Vetter, Robbie Blubaugh, and Reid Hart. The second-place team was Donna Corum, Janet Peternel, Thomas Peternel and Jeff Toth. The third-place team was Bryan Calenda, Mike Calenda, Tony Calenda, and Ed Lindsay. The winners of the Longest Drive contest were Lisa Shoemaker and Roger Hornsby, and Janet Peternel and Fran Kester were the winners of the Closest to the Pin contest.

New for this year was a Helicopter Golf Ball Drop sponsored by Wings of Grace Ministries LLC, which brought in a total of $3,582 in sales with a $1,194 cash prize going to the lucky winner who had their ball come closest to the target hole.

Thank you to Wings of Grace for donating the flight for our Ball Drop

Gold Sponsors were 8-koi, Jacobs Engineering’s jCARES, Kegman, and Siemens. Merrill Lynch Rockledge was Silver Sponsor and Gillespie Services was Lunch Sponsor. Tee Box Sponsors were Alluvionic, Bill & Sheila Gaylor Insurance, CitruSolution Brevard, Cloud 9 Real Estate Group, Coldwell Banker Paradise, Frazier Engineering, HR Alignment Group, Lexus of Melbourne, Miller Electric Company, and Professional Specialty Insurance LLC. Proforma Arrow Solutions was Longest Drive Sponsor and Carr, Riggs & Ingram was Closest to the Pin Sponsor. Other event support was provided by AVET Veteran Appeals, Charlie & Jake’s BBQ, Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach, and Dixon Golf.

Thank you to our Sponsors from Kegman

A total of $15,000 in STEM scholarships will be awarded to Brevard County students on June 21st at the Courtyard Cocoa Beach. The evening event will also recognize winners of WIDSC’s STEM Education Innovator Awards for individuals and organizations who go above-and-beyond in supporting science, technology, engineering, and math education on the Space Coast. See more details and register online at https://widsc.org/.

If you would like more information about WIDSC programs and fundraising for STEM scholarships, please contact Susan Glasgow at 321-614-5930 or sponsorships@scwid.org.

NEW Golf Ball Drop – Support STEM and WIN!

Up to 1,000 golf balls will be dropped at the 5th Annual Sandbagger Invitational Golf Tournament on May 20, 2022. The numbered ball found closest to the center, or at the bottom of a hole-in-one, will win 1/3 of the pot! All remaining proceeds (less nominal expenses) from the event will support STEM Scholarships. The Helicopter Ball Drop and Winning Ride for second place are donated by Wings of Grace Ministries, Inc. View rules.