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Meet your 2020 Space Camp Alumni Association Board

There is lots of celebrating ahead! In 2020, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is celebrating its 50th birthday, it is the 30th anniversary of Aviation Challenge, and the Space Camp Alumni Association is kicking off Space Camp Alumni Chapters in regions across the United States!

This year, we also welcome board member Christopher Key as the new Space Camp Alumni Association Board Chair, Dr. Gretchen Green as Co-Chair, and Dr. Andrea Hanson as Chair Emeritus. They will serve in those positions for two years after having previously been regular board members. We thank Ben Chandler, previous Chair Emeritus, Chair, and board member for his many years of service as a part of the Space Camp Alumni Association.

Below is our full Space Camp Alumni Association Board roster for 2020:

Chris Key is a 2-time Space Camp program alum and former Aviation Challenge crew trainer. Chris is a Cybersecurity professional and Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers leading a global transformation of their security services.  Chris is a private-pilot and avid space enthusiast.  He applied those passions towards volunteer projects restoring and preserving USSRC’s various aircraft artifacts at Aviation Challenge.  Chris lives in Huntsville, AL with his wife, Ruth Marie Oliver, another Space Camp alum and former Aviation Challenge / Space Camp operations manager.

Dr. Gretchen Green is 4-time Space Camp program alumna, former crew trainer, and recipient of the Outstanding Camper and Right Stuff awards. Dr. Green is a Harvard, Yale, and Brown educated radiologist practicing in North Carolina.

Dr. Andrea Hanson, is a former Crew Trainer for the Advanced Academy Programs in Huntsville, AL (2000 & 2002), and today servers as the Chair of the Space Camp Alumni Association Board. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of North Dakota, and Masters and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado. She was a National Space and Biomedical Research Institute Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Washington, and a 2010 Inductee to the Space Camp Hall of Fame. Dr. Hanson is a NASA Scientist and Engineer, and serves as the International Space Station Exercise Countermeasures Operations Lead and supports the Human Research Program’s Exploration Medical Capability System Engineering team, designing crew health and performance systems for our next generation space programs!

Michele O’Shaughnessy is a two-time Space Camp program alum and has gone through the Adult Space Academy and Advanced Adult Space Academy programs.  Ms. O’Shaughnessy has over twenty-four years of federal government experience, working for two Departments/Agencies and at multiple United States Department of Energy (DOE) field locations.  Professionally, Michele is an engineer/project manager for the DOE at the Savannah River Site.  She supports multi-appropriation programs, projects, and activities, as well as, the effective integration of site planning.  Ms. O’Shaughnessy has held a wide range of positions in areas such as Program/Project Management, Emergency Management/Preparedness/Response, and Waste Management.  She earned her BS in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Focus from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a MS in Environmental Systems Engineering with a Nuclear Focus from Clemson University. Michele was selected and participated in the NASA Social for the Parker Solar Probe Mission.  Ms. O’Shaughnessy is a senior life member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and held key leadership roles at the collegiate and professional sections, Region and Society levels including a SWE Board of Director.  Michele lives in Aiken, SC.  She is an active member of the Aiken community and is a Board of Director, officer, and member for several non-profit and professional/technical organizations.  

Sean Squire is an Operations Research Analyst on the staff of Commander, United States Pacific Fleet. Prior to joining the Pacific Fleet staff, he served as a Systems Engineer, Technical Program Manager, and Mission Engineer at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, as a Technical Advisor to Commander, Submarine Forces US Pacific Fleet and as a Systems Engineer for Raytheon Naval and Maritime Systems in Portsmouth, RI. Mr. Squire received his Bachelor’s degree with double majors in Electrical & Computer Engineering and in Humanities from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, MA in 1996.  He received a certificate in Program Management in 2009 and a Masters degree in Engineering Acoustics in 2014 both from the Naval Postgraduate School. In addition, Mr. Squire is also a Private Pilot, PADI Divemaster, and served as an EMT and Firefighter for 25 years, most recently in Bristol, RI, where he was a Captain and member of the Board of Fire Engineers. Sean lives in Honolulu, HI with his wife Donajene. Sean is a three times alum, and has gone through the Space Academy Level I, Adult Space Academy, and Adult Advanced Space Academy programs.

Suzanne Saltz is a director and first assistant director for television. Prior to making her directorial debut on NCIS: Los Angeles, Suzanne worked her way up on a variety of television shows, including Beverly Hills 90210, JAG, NCIS, Six Feet Under, Bones, Pushing Daisies, and NCIS: Los Angeles. Suzanne received her bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. After graduation, she was accepted to the Director’s Guild of America Producer Training Plan. Attending Space Camp in August of 1985 was pivotal because Space Camp the movie was being filmed during her time at the Space and Rocket Center. Suzanne is an active member of the Director’s Guild of America, Alliance of Women Directors and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Suzanne has two adult children and resides in Bakersfield, California with her husband and two dogs; they spend their holidays in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

Colonel David W. Cole is a native of White Hall, Arkansas and a graduate of Space Camp, COL Cole earned his Medical Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas, School of Medicine and completed his residency in Aerospace Medicine from the Navy Bureau of Medicine at Pensacola, Florida. COL Cole’s has been active in the Aerospace Community with training in the Aviation Safety Officer Course, Space Operations Medical Course, Advanced Clinical Concepts for Aeromedical Evacuation, Space Fundamentals Course (Resident). He has supported Space Shuttle Landings, and various space operations through his career. COL Cole has fond memories of operating the robotic arm while at Space Camp and being inspired during the shuttle era.

Rebecca Torzone resides in Crofton, MD with her family of 4 children. Her passion for the U.S. Space program dates back to 1984 when she was eight years old and in the second grade. “My parents made a deal with me that if I saved enough money to attend Space Camp that they would pay for the airfare. I babysat, shoveled snow, and did whatever work I could find to earn the money”.  She earned enough to attend Space Academy I, Space Academy II, and Aviation Challenge. She received the “Right Stuff” award while attending Space Academy II.  Her career in STEM has been inspired by this passion and she largely attributes it to being a Space Camp participant.

Rebecca has been with Northrop Grumman since 2000, and has worked a broad set of programs across multiple locations, including Colorado Springs, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Baltimore. Her roles encompassed Systems Engineering, Strategy, Logistics, Engineering functional leadership, and a series of increasingly responsible program management positions in superconducting electronics and airborne and ground radar businesses. In her current roleas Vice President Strategy and Performance for Engineering and Sciences, she is chartered with developing strategies and implementing initiatives to ensure Northrop Grumman meets the growing demand to hire cleared and well qualified engineers and scientists. This organization will also ensure newly hired employees are effectively on-boarded, trained and equipped to deliver exceptional program performance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a master’s degree in Computer Science from Colorado Technical University, and a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Rebecca has also completed the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive Strategy program.

Joyce Hirai, is an alumna of the Advanced Space Academy program (1999 & 2000) and former Aviation Challenge Crew Trainer (2007 & 2008). Joyce served on Active Duty Air Force for 11 years as a Meteorologist and lived all over the world in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. She is now an Air Force Reservist as a Flight Meteorologist for the Hurricane Hunters. Joyce earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Meteorology from Embry-Riddler Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona and a Masters of Science degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. She now resides in Houston, Texas with her husband, Patrick, 3 dogs (Atlas, Marshall and Astra) and cat (Schrodinger).

Lieutenant Colonel Hecker, is a native of New Orleans, La., and graduated from Randolph High School in Huntsville, Ala.. He attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications in 1997. He worked in the television industry for five years and joined the Marine Corps shortly after September 11, 2001. John’s military career includes 16 years of active duty service and 3 years as a reservist with stints in Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, Okinawa, and New York, flying the T-34, T-44, C-130 E, KC-130 F, R, T, and J model aircraft. One of the many highlights of John’s career included being selected to the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron (NFDS), U.S. Navy “Blue Angels,” to pilot “Fat Albert” and showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Hecker was inducted into the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2017 and currently serves as the Hall of Fame Executive Director. 

Samantha Johnson, is a public library director in the Chicago suburbs with over fifteen years of experience in libraries who completed her Master’s of Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013. She attended Space Camp in August of 2000 and has not stopped bragging since. In addition to her work, she is an active member of the Illinois Library Association and a proud Rotarian who believes wholeheartedly in its motto, Service Above Self. 

Vinay Gidwaney, is a serial entrepreneur who has started two successful technology companies in the IT management and insuretech industries. Previously, he was a neuroscience researcher at the MIT Media Lab. Vinay also sits on the board of the education non-profit, Design for Change USA. Vinay lives in Boston, with his wife, Sanjli and his three children. 

David Hernly, is the CEO of Mythric Studios. He first became interested in simulations during his time at Space Camp. He lives in Newport News, Virginia with his family.

Josh Warren, is a Managing Director at BlackRock. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and NYU Law School and attended Space Camp in 1991. He lives with his family in New York.

Chad Driver attended Space Academy while in High School, worked at the Space and Rocket Center for the summer while in college and has attended Family Space Camp three times with each of his daughters. He received a BS in Political Science and a BA in Spanish from Vanderbilt University. After 16 years in marketing and product management, Chad started Driver Productions in 2010, creating video and shooting still photography for a variety of clients: The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Dockers, Johnston & Murphy, Mars, Motorola, Nashville Ballet, and Vanderbilt University. He grew up in Huntsville, AL and now lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters.

Brooks Martin grew up in Nashville, TN, a short drive from Space Camp. Brooks attended Kenyon College and California Institute for the Arts, and has since worked in the film industry and interactive and digital media spaces.  Brooks started on TV shows like The Real World and Road Rules and Threat Matrix and Alias. He then moved to digital sites, apps, and games, working with notable clients such as The Country Music Hall of Fame, Sony, Microsoft, Comcast, Disney, CNN, Target, EA Sports and Halo.  Currently Brooks a Global Digital Emerging Products Lead at Marriott International, where he leads digital product development, UX, design, marketing, innovation with Marriott’s 30 brands.   He spent 15 years in Los Angeles, but now resides in Maryland near DC, with his wife and three young boys.  Brooks attended Space Camp in ’91 and was a member of the Venus team.

Diana Hughes is the Alumni Engagement Specialist from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation and has many fond memories of her time at Space Camp. She grew up in Illinois and currently lives in the Huntsville, Alabama area. She attended Space Camp programs three times in her youth, an Astrotrek group experience, Space Academy in 1997, and Advanced Space Academy in 1998. The camps increased her love of science and helped to advance her leadership skills. Over the years, Diana has worked as a dance studio owner, social media manager, and has honed her focus on digital marketing by developing a travel centric YouTube channel. She considers her current role to be like CAPCOM for Space Camp Alumni! 

Find out more about the Space Camp Alumni Association on the ‘About Us’ page:

Space Camp Alumni Chapters will serve as a connection point for alumni in their local regions and be an exciting new additional to the association. Individuals that are interested in starting an Alumni Chapter in a region that does not currently have a chapter may contact the Alumni Representative ([email protected]) for more information.


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