Vaishali Shah, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a prestigious Brooke Owens Fellowship.
The Brooke Owens Fellowship was created for those who identify as a woman or another type of gender-minority; who are pursuing a bachelors or associates degree as of October 2021; and are interested in a career in any facet of the aerospace community. Fellows are selected for their talent, their experience to date, their commitment to service, and their creativity. Shah is one of 51 fellows chosen for the 2022 class. She and another recipient from Saint Louis University are the first-ever fellows from universities in Missouri.
Shah, who also is pursuing minors in computer science and human-computer interaction, will work at Rocket Lab in Long Beach, California, for 12 weeks this summer as an intern. As part of the fellowship, she will be matched with two senior- or executive-level mentors – one at Rocket Lab and one elsewhere in the aerospace industry.
“I feel so honored to be in the Fellowship, and am excited to get to know the other Fellows at the July summit,” Shah said. “I am also so happy to be working at Rocket Lab, and can’t wait to experience life in California!”
In addition to completing a project and learning valuable skills, Fellows will come together for a summit for networking, team projects, one-on-one mentoring session and private Q&A sessions with Congresswomen, astronauts, CEOS, and company founders.
Shah is a studio member and mentor for Design for America, a student run design group that focuses on using human-centered design and the design process to partner with different community partners. She is also a leader in the Wilderness Project and has completed several summer internships.