Judges and reviewers

Judges

The judging panel for finalist selection includes experts in fields such as aerospace, technology, maker-centered learning, and CTE. Judges will score mission proposals according to the official selection criteria.

Monica Jan

Monica Jan

Senior Director of Strategy and Customer Experience
Virgin Orbit

Monica Jan’s career spans research and development, investment, and business strategy in the technology and aerospace sectors. She has been involved in research and development in semiconductors, artificial intelligence, networking architectures and hardware, telematics systems, and space systems. She has worked with both entrepreneurs and corporations across the many stages of aerospace development — from operations and cross-functional process improvement to advising on venture strategy. Prior to joining Virgin Orbit, Monica co-founded LightSpeed Innovations, an aerospace accelerator, working with new space entrepreneurs on launching their ventures. During her tenure at Northrop Grumman and TRW, she managed various satellite and spacecraft test environment developments and led enterprise resource planning initiatives. Monica holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, a Systems Engineering certificate from the California Institute of Technology, and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She held a faculty position at The Wharton School’s Global Consulting Practicum Program and is the vice chair of the Wharton Angel Network, as well as a Wharton Aerospace Ventures steering committee member.

Rojan Javaheri

Rojan Javaheri

Student
University of Southern California

Rojan Javaheri is an advocate for the creation of sustainable opportunities in STEM, especially for girls and students in underrepresented communities. She served as a team captain for the Irvine Cubesat STEM Program from 2015-2019, managing the launch of two nanosatellites into space in collaboration with SpaceX, NASA ElaNa, Rocket Lab, and Google. Since 2019, she has managed and designed programs at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s K-12 STEM Center, helping students advance skills ranging from CubeSat-building to leadership and communication. Rojan is currently a student at the University of Southern California, where she is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in piano. She works at a research lab, working to advance findings in Alzheimer’s Disease, and also provides resources for patients and caregivers as an educator for the Alzheimer’s Association. Rojan believes that there should be equity in educational opportunities and encourages students to apply the broad range of skills gained from building Cubesats toward their own passion.

Dorothy Jones-Davis, Ph.D.

Dorothy Jones-Davis, Ph.D.

Executive Director
Nation of Makers

Dorothy Jones-Davis is the Executive Director of Nation of Makers, a nonprofit that supports America’s maker organizations through advocacy, resource sharing, and the building of community. In this role, she is deeply interested in creating connections between a diversity of makers, harnessing their collective skills to solve the world’s challenges — grand and small. With a Ph.D. in neuroscience, Dorothy has previously held roles at the National Science Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, San Francisco. Dorothy’s interest and passion for making began when she was a child, tinkering with broken electronics with her dad. In her spare time, she now enjoys carrying on the tradition of building and making with her 11-year-old daughter.

Timothy W. Lawrence

Timothy W. Lawrence

Executive Director Emeritus
SkillsUSA

Timothy W. Lawrence not only believes in career and technical education, he is a product of the CTE system. As a high school welding student, he joined SkillsUSA and set his course for a successful future. He worked in various positions in the manufacturing industry for nine years while continuing his education. After earning a degree in administration and training from James Madison University, Tim became a teacher in Virginia in 1978 and the Executive Director of SkillsUSA in 2001. He retired as Executive Director Emeritus in February 2020. Considered a leader in CTE, Tim serves on several national boards and committees. At the federal level, he has represented the U.S. Department of State as an international workforce expert, served as the official U.S. Delegate for the WorldSkills organization for twelve years, and served as a member of the independent panel on the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education and the Job Corps National Advisory Committee. Across these roles, he has worked deliberately and passionately for the students and teachers of America’s career and technical education system.

Carlos Niederstrasser

Carlos Niederstrasser

Systems Architect
Northrop Grumman Space Systems

Carlos Niederstrasser is a Systems Architect with Northrop Grumman Space Systems, working on strategic activities, new business pursuits, and special initiatives. Some of the programs Carlos has supported at NGIS include the Mission Extension Pods, the Antares Accident Investigation Board, and the Dawn interplanetary spacecraft. Carlos is a member of the steering committee for the Khalifa University Space Systems and Technology Program in the UAE. His annual “Small Launch Vehicle Survey” has become the definitive compendium of world-wide small launcher development efforts. Carlos holds degrees from Princeton University and Stanford University.

Review panel

The review panel for finalist selection includes experts in fields such as CubeSats, space science, workforce development, STEM, and CTE.

  • Aaron Aboaf – Space Dynamics Laboratory
  • Greg Allan – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Robert Atkins – Moog Inc. 
  • Patrick Biver – Moog Inc. 
  • Ahmad Byagowi – Facebook Infrastructure
  • Jack Cackler – Apple
  • Brittany Cannady – Advance CTE
  • Supriya Chakrabarti – Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology
  • Kevin Dietsche – University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Adam Gardell – Blue Canyon Technologies
  • Amani Garvin – Ball Aerospace
  • Jared Giles – Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation 
  • Kimberly Green – Advance CTE
  • Elliott Harrod – University of Colorado 
  • Sarah Heath – Colorado State Director Career and Technical Education
  • Jerome Hittle – University of Colorado University Nanosite Program 
  • Justin Hyatt – The University of Arizona
  • Bhavi Jagatia – Georgia Tech
  • Candice Kaplan – University of Michigan
  • Glen Kissel – University of Southern Indiana 
  • Dawn Lindsley – University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Christopher Loghry – Moog Inc
  • Chloe Long – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Kathleen Magrane – Innovation Learning Center
  • Joseph Maly – Moog Inc. 
  • Riley Reid – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Bailey Roker – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Christine Anne Royce –  Shippensburg University 
  • Gagandeep Thapar – California Polytechnic State University
  • Joshua Umansky-Castro – Cornell University
  • Brodie Wallace – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Matt Walsh – Cornell University
  • Matthew Zola – University of Colorado
  • Aaron Zucherman – Cornell University