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News > Women’s History Month honors more women of the week
Women’s History Month honors more women of the week

Posted 3/14/2013   Updated 3/14/2013 Email story   Print story


by Lt. Danielle Mrla and Lt. Daniel Langston
Women's History Month committee

3/14/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Women's History Month committee is recognizing outstanding women around the base during March. This week's local nominee is Staff Sgt. Bethany Guidry.

In addition to being a wife and mother of one, Guidry serves as an enlisted accessions recruiter in the 319th Recruiting Squadron at Hanscom. She works in the Leominster recruiting office and acts as an ambassador for the Air Force in Leominster and the surrounding communities. She inspires, motivates, recruits and prepares young men and women to join the Air Force and to pursue careers in various specialties vital to Air Force requirements. Her recruitment efforts ensure the Air Force finds future leaders with the best aptitude from the broadest landscape.

In addition to finding people who fit the needs of the Air Force, Guidry assists the community by volunteering her time and inspiring her team of delayed entry program members to do the same. They recently helped to renovate the Leominster emergency management facility. Her team's improvements to the facility resulted in an immediate increase of room temperatures. They also delivered 35 buckets of sand and salt to elderly residents in the area.

In addition to volunteering in local communities, Guidry also serves the Hanscom community. She performed the POW ceremony at the recent E-9 induction dinner and led a book fair at the Child Development Center, saving 25 percent of the budgeted cost for the event.

Nominated by the 319 RCS "B" Flight Chief Tech. Sgt. Christopher Lanning, he says Guidry is a positive member of the "B" flight recruiting team and a great example to the community of what the Air Force represents.

This week's Women's History Month woman of the week is someone who is credited with being the first Hispanic female astronaut: Dr. Ellen Ochoa.

According to NASA sources, Ochoa was born 1958 in Los Angles, Calif., and received her master's and doctorate degrees from Stanford University. As a doctoral student at Stanford, and later as a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and NASA Ames Research Center, Ochoa investigated optical systems for performing information processing.

She is a co-inventor on three patents for an optical inspection system, an optical object recognition method and a method for noise removal in images. As chief of the Intelligent Systems Technology Branch at Ames, she supervised 35 engineers and scientists in the research and development of computational systems for aerospace missions.

Ochoa was selected by NASA in January 1990 and became an astronaut in July 1991. Her technical assignments in the astronaut office include serving as the crew representative for flight software, computer hardware and robotics, assistant for space station to the chief of the astronaut office, lead spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in mission control, acting deputy chief of the astronaut office, deputy director of flight crew operations and director of flight crew operations, where she managed and directed the astronaut office and aircraft operations.

A veteran of four space flights, Ochoa logged more than 978 hours in space. She was a mission specialist on STS-56 (1993), was the payload commander on STS-66 (1994) and was a mission specialist and flight engineer on STS-96 (1999) and STS-110 (2002).

Ochoa currently serves as director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

In addition, Ochoa has garnered a myriad of awards and decorations. NASA awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal and four Space Flight Medals. She is the recipient of the Harvard Foundation Science Award, Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, the Hispanic Engineer Albert Baez Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to Humanity, the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and San Diego State University Alumna of the Year.

Finally, she has two schools named after her: Ellen Ochoa Middle School in Pasco, Wash., and the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center in Cudahy, Calif.

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