Trailblazer in ATC, BJ Smith, HONORED

[not the WIA award, but a beautiful, historic, inspirational figure]
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SAIC’s Barbara Smith,

 an FAA ‘Trailblazer,’

Recognized with

Women in Aerospace Leadership Award

Talented African American worked her way up the ATC ranks

At SAIC she led the effort to train new ATCers

Women in Aerospace[1] Is an organization dedicated to increasing the leadership capabilities and visibility of women in the aerospace community. The group acknowledges and promotes innovative individuals who strive to advance the aerospace industry as a whole. WIA’s membership, comprised of both women and men, share a passion for a broad spectrum of aerospace issues. These include human space flight, aviation, remote sensing, satellite communications, robotic space exploration, and the policy issues surrounding these fields, among others.

In furtherance of those goals, WIA honors periodically remarkable women for their contributions to the aerospace industry and to the advancement of women in the field. The WIA Awards celebrate women’s professional excellence in aerospace, annually recognizing female leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the aerospace community.

One of this year’s honorees has contributed superbly to the training of controllers:

SAIC senior program manager Barbara “BJ” Smith, who’s recognized as a trailblazer in the air traffic control field, has been awarded the Leadership Award by the Women in Aerospace Foundation.

Smith spearheads SAIC’s air traffic controller contract, leading a staff of more than 500, helping oversee training operations for about 1,600 aspiring air traffic controllers each year.

“BJ is a trailblazer in the ATC profession, not only as a woman, but also as an African-American,” said Colleen Oresky, senior vice president and head of business development at SAIC. “She began her career in aerospace as an air traffic controller in a time when few women were considered and even fewer secured these positions. She was always aware of that and has taken every opportunity to help other women in the field meet and exceed the standards set for them.”

Overall, Smith has more than 42 years of aviation-related experience and spent a total of 33 years with the Federal Aviation Administration, including as air traffic controller, supervisor and manager.

 “I am incredibly honored to be the recipient of the WIA Leadership Award,” Smith said. “I set my mind to accomplishing greater things than anyone else said I could and learning from every experience. I am excited to continue to make a difference in the aerospace community and hope to help other women to push through a glass ceiling for women in the ATC field.”

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Honorable Deborah Lee James (2018)
Dr. Peggy Whitson (2017)
Dr. Molly K. Macauley (2016)
Sandra C. Coleman (2015)
The Honorable Carolyn Huntoon (2014)
Jean Chamberlin (2013)
Lt Gen Ellen Pawlikowski (2012)
Julie A. Sattler (2011)
Nancy Grace Roman (2010)
Linda Billings, PhD (2009)
Cheryl O’Leary (2008)
Marlene D. Nelson (2007)
Carol A. Staubach (2006)
Louise L. Francesconi (2005)
Estelle Condon (2004)
Marcia S. Smith (2003)
Charla Wise (2002)
Carolyn Griner (2001)
Dr. Joan Vernikos (2000)
Katharine Stinson (1999)
Marjorie Sparks (1998)
Mary Ann Elliott (1997)
Fay Gillis Wells (1996)
Gloria Heath (1995)
Dr. Christine M. Darden (1994)
Lana M. Couch (1993)
Jeanne Lee Crews (1992)
Dr. Jaylee Montague Mead (1992)
Dolores B. O’Hara, R.N. (1991)
Dr. Harriett G. Jenkins (1990)
Eilene Galloway (1987)

Outstanding Achievement Award
Dr. Jessica Koehne (2018)
Joan Robinson-Berry (2017)
Celia Blum (2016)
Elizabeth Lund (2015)
Allison Barto (2014)
Molly Brown (2013)
Gwynne Shotwell (2012)
Captain Amanda Zuber (2011)
Dr. Diane E. Pugel (2011)
Jull Lynette Hanna Prince (2010)
Rebecca Emerle (2009)
Kristin Olson Swift (2008)
Elizabeth T. Thorn (2007)
Amy Walsh (2006)
Mary P. Reagor (2005)
Rebecca A. MacKay (2004)
Melanie Bean (2003)
Andrea Donnellan (2003)
Susan Helms (2002)
Pen-Shu Yeh (2001)
Sydell Gold (2000)
Eileen Collins (1999)
Irene D. Long (1998)
Ellen Ochoa (1997)
Donna Shirley (1997)
Kathie Thomas-Keprta (1997)
Wanda Austin (1996)
Gail Talbott (1995)
Claire Leon (1994)
Karen Gundy-Burlet (1993)
Linda Billings (1992)
JoAnn Clayton (1991)
Kathryn Schmoll (1991)
Carol J. Crannell (1990)
Sylvia D. Fries (1990)

Aerospace Awareness Award
Dr. Sandra H. Magnus (2018)
Robyn N. Gordon (2017)
Dr. Holly Gilbert (2016)
Cynthia Hugh Sam (2015)
Dr. Lynn Cominsky (2014)
Michelle Thaller (2013)
Susan Anderson (2012)
Cheryl Moore McNair (2011)
Elizabeth Beck (2010)
Eleanor Aldrich (2009)
Lesley Garner (2008)
Renee Martin-Nagle (2007)
Gail Breslauer (2006)
Edna DeVore (2005)
Sharon A. Eggleston (2004)
Marla Perez-Davis (2003)
Teresa L. Huckleberry (2001)
Susan Reynolds (1998)
Celia Vanderpool (1997)
Cynthia Collier (1996)
Betty Fowler (1994)
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1993)

WIA Member Emeritus
Pamela Mountjoy, (2002)
Shana Dale (2000)
Donna Roper (1999)
Mitzi Peterson (1995)
Roselee Roberts (1993)
Marcia Smith (1990)
Kate Kronmiller (1990)
Eilene Galloway (1986)

Leadership Award
Barbara J. Smith (2018)
Dr. Dava Newman (2017)
Dr. Colleen Hartman (2016)
Dr. Lisa Hardaway (2015)
Leanne Caret (2014)
Catherine Steele (2013)
Simonetta DiPippo (2012)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (2012)
Colonel Laura J. Richardson (2011)
Lesa B. Roe (2010)
Mina Samii (2010)
Beverly Seay (2009)
Marion Blakely (2008)
Shana Dale (2008)
Linda A. Brisnehan, (2007)
Patricia Stratton, (2006)
Deborah Ann Gardecki Kropp, (2005)
Celeste V. Ford, (2004)
Blair C. Marks, (2003)
General Susan Thomas, (2002)
Carolyn Corvi, (2001)
Suzanne Darcy (2000)
Suzanne Vautrinot (2000)
Joanne Maguire (1999)
Joanne Isham (1998)
Charla Wise (1997)
Valentina Tereshkova (1996)
Shelia Widnall (1996)
The Honorable Constance Morella, (1995)
The Honorable Barbara Mikulski, (1994)

Aerospace Educator Award
Barbara Gordon (2017)
Dr. Mary Bowden (2016)
Dr. Penina Axelrad (2015)
Alexandra Kindrat (2014)
Julie Burr (2013)
Shella Condino (2012)
Rene M. Kimura (2011)
Alison Flatau (2010)
Valerie Neal, PhD (2009)
Ronda Cole (2008)
Freda Deskin (2007)
Joan Johnson-Freese (2006)
Bettyann Holtzmann Kevles (2005)
Patricia J. Arnold (2004)
Barbara Morgan (2003)
Patricia Palazzolo (2002)
Dava J. Newman (2001)
Arlene Levine (2000)
Patricia Reiff (1999)
Marta Bohn-Meyer (1998)
Mary Wheeler (1997)
Linda Hayes (1996)
Peggy Baty (1995)
Nadia Roberts (1994)
Marchele D. Canright (1993)
Nancy C. McIntyre (1993)
Stephanie Wright (1992)
Barbara Morgan (1991)
Barbara E. Walters (1990)

Initiative, Inspiration, Impact Award
Dr. Natalya Bailey (2018)
Emily Stump (2017)
Lt. Amanda Lippert (2016)
Margaret Viola (2015)
Samantha Pappas (2014)
Kristin Rozier (2013)

WIA 30th Anniversary Commemorative Award
Kathleen Fredette (2015)
Carla Thomas (2015)

Outstanding Member Award
Sandy Coleman (2013)
Debra Facktor Lepore (2012)
Angela Phillips Diaz (2011)
Lori Garver (2010)
Lynn Cline (2009)
Kate Kronmiller (2008)
Erin Neal (2007)
Mary Kelly (2006)
Elvia Thompson (2006)
Roselee Roberts (2000)
JoAnn Clayton-Townsend (1997)
Linda Shahan (1996)

International Achievement Award
Dr. Diane E. Pugel (2011)
Donna Collins (2010)
Melinda Ann Burkhart Tate (2009)
Yolanda Jones King (2008)
Debra Facktor Lepore (2007)
Susmita Mohanty (2005)
Anne Thompson (2004)
Supriya Banerjee (2002)
Joanne I. Gabrynowicz (2001)
Kathryn Clark (2000)
Virginia Barnes (1999)
Julia Wilson (1998)
Judy Schlosser (1997)

Inspiration For Women To Become Aviators As Professionals


BJ Smith




[1] It appears that sometime recently WIAerospace has merged with WIAviation to be called Women in Aerospace and Aviation

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