The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) announced Dec. 5 that Tammy Knowles has joined the Foundation as Executive Director. Ms. Knowles will oversee day-to-day activities and continue building a strong philanthropic base for the non-profit organization.
"We are thrilled to have Tammy on our team," says ASF Chairman and space shuttle astronaut Dan Brandenstein. "Her wide range of experience will insure the continued success of the scholarship foundation in promoting science and technology education and supporting America's brightest scholars. She has demonstrated great skill during her career in strengthening the non-profit organizations she has worked with and increasing their ability to carry out their missions."
Ms. Knowles brings to the ASF 18 years of community service experience; including leading organizational growth for non-profit start-ups, developing major gift campaigns, and cultivating successful community outreach strategies. She previously served as executive director of the Camaraderie Foundation, vice president of Philanthropy of the Coalition for the Homeless, and Corporate Assistance Director of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
The ASF was established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America's original Mercury program, as well as Betty Grissom, widow of the seventh, along with, Dr. William Douglass, the Project Mercury flight surgeon; and Henri Landwirth, an Orlando businessman and friend of the astronauts. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing purely merit based scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in these fields. It also promotes public awareness of the importance of education in those fields and the vital role science and technology play in the continued health of the country's economy and quality of life.
ASF has awarded more than $3.7 million to college students nationwide. Today, more than 100 astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and Space Station programs have joined in this educational endeavor.
Last year, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awarded twenty eight $10,000 scholarships to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and also provides public awareness of the importance of education in those fields.