Amelia Earhart Fellowship


Ann DietrichAnn Dietrich, Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Colorado Boulder is one of 35 women from around the world awarded the 2016-17 Amelia Earhart Fellowship. Ms. Dietrich is working on research to improve the autonomous navigation and control of spacecraft on missions to small bodies such as asteroids. Asteroids and comets are small bodies of irregular shape that cause the spacecraft to execute complicated accelerations. These asteroids and comets are great distances from earth, rendering earth-based navigation difficult. Her research is investigating the use of flash LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for on board navigation and developing observation planning algorithms to deal with uncertainty. Ms. Dietrich hopes to return to academia as a professor. She works on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach in local elementary and middle school.


ae luncheon3

Ann Dietrich (right) is honored at our annual Amelia Earhart luncheon by Penina Axelrad. (left) Professor ad Department Chair. CU Aerospace Engineering Sciences and Ann Hodgson (center)

What is the Amelia Earhart Fellowship?

Established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship is awarded annually to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering. The Fellowship of US$10,000, awarded to 35 Fellows around the globe each year, may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields.program helps talented women, pursuing advanced studies in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace-related sciences and engineering, achieve their educational goals.


Amelia Earhart Zonta Member

large_21316In 1928,  Amelia Earhart, world-famed aviator and the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger was inducted into Zonta International and served as an active member of both the Boston and  the New York clubs until her tragic and untimely disappearance in 1937.An outstanding woman with a charismatic personality, Earhart was universally admired around the world for her “wildly daring” but “never reckless” courage.

Over the years 1928 to 1937, she organized the Ninety-Nines, an organization for women pilots, and became the first woman to:

  • Fly the Atlantic alone.
  • Fly an autogiro.
  • Receive the United States Distinguished Flying Cross.
  • Fly from Hawaii to the mainland.

Epitomizing the ideals of Zonta International by actively promoting women to take on non-traditional fields, she wrote articles about aviation for Cosmopolitan magazine as an associate editor, served as a career counselor to women university students, and lectured at Zonta club meetings, urging members to interest themselves in aviation. In these years, Zonta was the only non-aviation organization to which Earhart belonged, although she was besieged to join and to sponsor numerous organizations at the time.

To Amelia Earhart

Earthbound, we watched, enthralled,
As unafraid you climbed the cloud-strewn sky;
Your flight a symbol of that great heart
That dared apathy and prejudice defy.
“Own your soul!” your voice rings clear.
So gaily began your last long flight.
Circling the globe, Electra’s gallant crew
Through wind and fog, missed finding Howland light.
For us, AE you’ll never die.
The world, fleetingly, became less sad and drear
For the courage and concern we saw
In your brief, joyous sojourn here.

By Muriel Morrissey, sister of Amelia Earhart and charter member of the Zonta Club of Medford, Massachusetts


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