Dr. Powtawche Valerino is a Black and Native-American guidance engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, specifically their Space Launch System program under the Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation contract. She attended Stanford University for her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and Rice University for her master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering with a specialty in aero-astronautics.
Her passions for nature and STEM began during her years on the Choctaw Indian reservation. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to work at four of the 10 different centers at NASA. Her hope is that young Native Americans seek support from larger communities. Dr. Valerino says, “Reach out to teachers and school counselors who can connect you to science and engineering camps.”