The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) announced the election of space shuttle astronaut Dan Brandenstein as chairman of its board of directors and Orlando business owner Lisa Schott as vice chairman, a development that marks two firsts for the nonprofit: Brandenstein as the first shuttle-era astronaut to become chair, and Schott as the first non-astronaut to assume a leadership role on the board.
Newly elected members of ASF’s board of directors include space shuttle astronaut Richard Covey and Joseph Han, a principal scientist working at an energy storage start-up in San Jose.
Both Schott and Han are Astronaut Scholars. Schott was among the earliest recipients of the Astronaut Scholarship, earning awards from 1987-1990, while Han earned his in 1999. Both have been active supporters of ASF throughout their careers.
Returning members of ASF’s board of directors include Orlando attorney Michael Neukamm, who continues his role as secretary and treasurer, as well as two of ASF’s founders, Mercury astronauts Scott Carpenter and John Glenn.
Other astronauts on the board include John Blaha, Vance Brand, Richard Covey, Robert Crippen, Walt Cunningham, Owen Garriott, Richard Gordon, Fred Gregory, Rick Hauck, Jeff Hoffman, Edgar Mitchell, William Pogue, Brewster Shaw, and Charles Duke, who preceded Brandenstein as chairman, serving from 2011-2013. ASF’s board of trustees welcomed space shuttle astronaut Robert Gibson.
Board changes were voted upon during ASF’s annual meeting on April 19, 2013, hours before the foundation’s signature fundraising event of the year, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Gala. The event celebrated the Class of 2013 inductees, space shuttle astronauts Curt Brown, Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar, who would be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame during a public ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex the following day.
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the science or engineering field of their major. ASF funds twenty-eight $10,000 scholarships—the highest monetary award given to undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics students based solely on merit in America—and has awarded over $3.7 million to deserving students nationwide. In addition, ASF promotes the importance of science and technology, particularly space exploration, to the general public through special events and programs.