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Zed Factor Fellowship for Underrepresented Aerospace Professionals Launches

By | November 24, 2020
Communication network around Earth. Photo: NASA, Via Satellite

Communication network around Earth. Photo: NASA, Via Satellite

The Zed Factor Fellowship is a new fellowship for aerospace professionals from underrepresented groups. The fellowship, announced Tuesday, is described as a program to engage and empower aspiring aerospace professionals from underrepresented backgrounds, and give opportunities for practical experience at aerospace companies.

The Zed Factor Fellowship was founded by DreamUp CEO Carie Lemack, Planet Labs Director of Science Strategy Dr. Tanya Harrison, Satellite Industry Association (SIA) Senior Director of Policy Therese Jones, and Aerospace Industries Association Unmanned and Emerging Aviation Technologies Manager Karina Perez. Additionally, the fellowship’s founding partners include Kojo Sarkodie, Raytheon Missiles & Defense engineer; Obi Anyadiegwu, Lockheed Martin engineer; and Ryan Udell, Boeing intern and SEDS Rice president.

The fellowship is geared toward students who meet the following criteria: from an underrepresented community or background; has a passion for aerospace; shows leadership potential; demonstrates technical or non-technical skills; and is a full-time undergraduate student who has completed 30 plus college credit hours.

Zed host companies include Aerospace Industries Association, Planet, and Kayhan Space, with more coming soon. Applications are currently open for summer 2021, and all students enrolled in higher education (including community colleges and universities) are eligible. An emphasis will be made on encouraging applicants from Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“[The] Zed Fellowship is something that I’ve wanted to start for years now but had no idea how, so I’m so glad to have found an amazing team that all made it a reality,” tweeted Harrison. “Zed’ is meant to symbolize the vertical axis on a 3D graph, launching students upward in their career trajectory.”