4 women honored as ‘STEMVPs’ at Huntsville firm’s brunch event

Dr. Kimberly Robinson, Dr. Kuan Collins, Major Suzanne Crespo Valentin and Dr. Erica Hopkins were named STEMVPs at a recent brunch hosted by LaunchTech. (AVO Communications/LaunchTech)

Huntsville’s LaunchTech hosted a brunch this month honoring women in science, technology, engineering and math — as four women were named “STEMVPs” — at the tech firm’s first annual STEMVP Brunch.

The event was created to “celebrate, empower and uplift some of the most valuable women in STEM fields. Meet the honorees:

Dr. Kimberly Robinson

LaunchTech’s Venus Quates (left) honored Dr. Kimberly Robinson at the STEMVP Brunch. (AVO Communications/LaunchTech)

Dr. Kimberly Robinson is executive director and CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Robinson earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from UAH in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering and is a 31-year veteran of NASA.

She is also the recipient of numerous NASA performance awards, including an Exceptional Achievement Medal and the Silver Snoopy. She began her career at Marshall Space Flight Center in 1989 as a Project Engineer in the Propulsion Laboratory, became an astronaut trainer, served as an Executive Intern to the Center Director, was the Project Integration Manager for the Ares 1-X test flight, served as the Payload Mission Manager for Artemis 1 (the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft) and most recently led Utilization for all Artemis missions for NASA HQs/Advanced Exploration Systems.

Dr. Erica Hopkins

Dr. Erica Hopkins is the STEM and Workforce Development Lead at Northrop Grumman. (AVO Communications/LaunchTech)

Another honoree at the STEMVP Brunch was Dr. Erica Hopkins, who heads up the K-12 STEM and Workforce Development program at Northrop Grumman.

Dr. Kuan Collins

Dr. Collins is a master solutions architect with SAIC. (ACO Communications/LaunchTech)

LaunchTech also awarded Dr. Kuan Collins with a STEMVP award. Collins is a master solutions architect within SAIC’s national security and space sector.

Collins is recognized as the technical expert and resource in specialized engineering, intelligent software and analytics areas. She has led senior solutions architects’ team and develops intelligent software solutions for insights and action plans from disparate data sources through data-driven and artificial intelligence methods for all customer groups and for strategic bids. 

Maj. Suzanne Crespo Valentin

U.S. Air Force pilot Maj. Suzanne Crespo Valentin is another one of LaunchTech’s STEMVPs. (AVO Communications/LaunchTech)

The fourth STEMVP honoree was U.S. Air Force pilot Maj. Suzanne Crespo Valentin. She was promoted to Major in 2016 and in 2019 flew a KC-135 Stratotanker during an “unmanned” flight, when she was part of a five-person, all-female aircrew.

Celebrating women in STEM

During the STEMVP Brunch, LaunchTech also celebrated the 12 girls the company sent to Spadce Camp. (AVO Communications/ LaunchTech)

As we previously reported, LaunchTech recently provided scholarships for 12 girls to attend Space Camp. The STEMVP Brunch also recognized those young STEM stars, following what LaunchTech’s mission has been since it started: diversifying the STEM field.

LaunchTech provides mission-critical technology solutions and operations support for enterprise organizations in the public and private sectors. Founded by Quates in 2016, the business has been recognized as part of Inc. 5000 – Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the country’s fastest-growing companies.

Now headquartered in Huntsville, the company also has operations in Buffalo and Alexandria, Va.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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