Skip to main content
Alumni News

Two Scholars Named 2024 Patty Grace Smith Fellows

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship recently announced the selection of 29 students to participate in its award-winning program that connects the United States’ leading aerospace companies with talented Black students.

The Class of 2024 Fellows hail from 17 colleges and universities spread across 13 states and Puerto Rico. Each Fellow has earned a challenging summer aerospace internship, as well as a scholarship worth thousands of dollars, a pair of personalized mentors, and more.

Two College Park Scholars were named recipients of the 2024 Fellowship:

  • Anthony "Steven" Johnson, a second-year student studying Mechanical Engineering at University of Maryland, College Park. Johnson will intern at Muon Space. He is a member of the Science and Global Change (SGC) program.
  • Osbourne Lawrence, a third-year student studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Lawrence will intern at United Launch Alliance. He is an alum of the Science, Technology & Society (STS) program.

Established in 2020, the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship endeavors to help resolve the under-representation of Black and African-American employees in the U.S. aerospace workforce – a longstanding byproduct of Jim Crow.

The program’s name was chosen to honor a beloved aerospace industry leader who overcame a system of legalized racial segregation: as a young girl, Patti Grace Smith (then Patricia Jones) was one of a dozen Black students to integrate Tuskegee High School, and was a plaintiff in a landmark case that integrated the public schools in Alabama, as upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. Her illustrious career was highlighted by her role leading the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation in the early days of the nation’s commercial space renaissance. In 2021, Smith was selected posthumously as the recipient of the prestigious General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, one of the highest honors available to aerospace professionals.

For more information about the Fellows, their employers, or the program itself, please visit

Back to Top