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SSPI Northeast - Satellite Professions International

SSPI Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter (US)

Serves: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia

The SSPI Mid-Atlantic Chapter boasts an energetic and active chapter, with educational and networking events throughout the year. These events support our scholarship activities, allowing the Chapter to award more than $173,000 to space and satellite related educational programs and area university students over the past 14 years. 

Chapter Financial Overview - Average Income & Expenses


Using average income and expenses from the 2015-16 program year through the most recent, 2020-2021, the charts below show the general proportions of where our Chapter money is spent and how we get it.

On the spending side, 78% of our funding is used to provide scholarships and prize money to area university students. "Catering" is the cost of our Member Appreciation Happy Hour events. The remaining 7% of our expenses are for credit card processing, name tags and other event supplies, as well as occasional meals for Board meetings. 

Our largest source of income has traditionally been our Winter Fundraiser, which is a chance for members to network and win prizes in our raffle and silent auction. One of the highlights of our program year, we hope to be able to bring it back in early 2022, pandemic permitting. The annual Golf Tournament celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. While it has a higher cost element, our members enjoy the chance to take a day off work for networking and fun while raising money for scholarships. Corporate donations / directed scholarship donations have also helped us fund about $18,000 / year in student programs. Finally, our monthly programs, sometimes with sponsorships for food & beverage, as well as our membership reimbursement from SSPI make up the remaining share of our typical income.

Scholarship Programs

The SSPI Mid-Atlantic Chapter's scholarship program provides grants each year to three Mid-Atlantic area universities to support students pursuing studies space- and satellite-related studies. 

In addition, each spring, the Chapter hosts a student prize competition, modeled after the Pelton Prize and developed in consultation with Dr. Joseph N. Pelton, former Dean of the International Space University and Vice Chairman and Founder of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, among many other positions and honors. During the competition, graduate and undergraduate engineering students present their projects to a panel of judges, made up of industry experts, who evaluate the students' projects via Q&A, scoring them on technical, presentation and other criteria to determine the winners in three different categories.

Since 2006, the SSPI Mid-Atlantic Chapter has awarded

  • More than $23,000 to 30 individuals through our annual student prize competition
  • $27,000 to 9 individual scholarship recipients
  • $44,000 through 11 donations to George Mason University
  • $39,000 through 10 donations to George Washington University
  • $34,000 through 9 donations to the University of Maryland
  • $6,000 in special grants to fund school projects related to NASA and experiments on the ISS


2021-2022 Board

President (2021-2022): Eileen McGowan, Intelsat
Vice President (2021-2022): Marie-Pierre Pluvinage, Airbus
Secretary (2021-2023): Pat Rayerman, Linquest
Treasurer (2021-2023): Brian Hult, Omnispace
Immediate Past President (2021-2022): Fabien Armogathe, OneWeb

Executive Committees:
Scholarship Co-Chairs (2021-2023): Mark Lekowski, JSAT International & Keir Daniels, GWU
Membership Chair (2020-2022): Jing Li, SES
Mentorship Chair (2021-2023): Alena Koci, Inmarsat Government
Programs Chair (2020-2022): Arnie Christianson, Inmarsat Government
Programs Co-Chair (2021-2023): Valvanera Moreno, SES
Publicity Chair (2020-2022): Iban Ibanez DomenechNASA

(2020-2022) Ashley Bander, AIA Aerospace
(2020-2022) Stephanie Bednarek, SpaceX
(2021-2023) Vincenzo Cordaro, SES Government
(2020-2022) Carolyn Cuppernull, SES Government
(2021-2023) Jodi Goldberg, Wiley Rein, LLP
(2020-2022) Amit Katti, SES Government Solutions
(2021-2023) David Kaufman, Amazon
(2020-2022) George KnizewskiCEO Knight Sky LLC
(2020-2022) Britt Lewis, Inmarsat Government
(2020-2022) Justin Park, Intergalacticeducation
(2021-2023) Blake Wiles, LMI Advisors
Counsel to SSPI: Dara Panahy, Milbank


Student Board Observers:
(2021-2022) Jay Deorukhkar, GMU

What's coming.....

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Online Space Industry Resources

Check our these research resources for Students and Young Professionals in the Space and Satellite Industry. Compiled by our friends at the Satellite Industry Assocation