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Parks College Student Receives Prestigious Brooke Owens Fellowship for Space, Aviation

by Maggie Rotermund on 01/28/2022
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01/28/2022

ST. LOUIS – Tinevimbo Ndlovu, a senior studying aerospace engineering at Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, has received a Brooke Owens Fellowship to work with Loft Orbital in San Francisco, California this summer.

The Brooke Owens Fellowship is a nationally-acclaimed nonprofit program recognizing exceptional undergraduate women and other gender minorities with space and aviation internships, senior mentorship, and a lifelong professional network.

Tinevimbo Ndlovu

Tinevimbo Ndlovu is a senior studying aerospace engineering at Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. Photo by Maggie Rotermund. 

Ndlovu and fellow honoree Vaishali Shah, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, are the first Missouri recipients of the award.

Ndlovu, who grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe, came to SLU after searching out aerospace engineering programs and finding SLU among the short list of options. 

“The U.S. Embassy had a program – EducationUSA – that helped students by providing access to study materials for the SAT and ACT,” she said. 

Saint Louis University provided the best opportunity, she said, and receiving a Martin Luther King, Jr. scholarship made the decision easy. 

“I’ve had a phenomenal experience at SLU,” she said.

Michael Swartwout, Ph.D., associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, said Ndlovu has been a strong contributor in his classes.

“She always came prepared and wasn’t afraid to ask questions. It was clear to me that she worked to understand the material, rather than just memorizing equations and guessing which one to use,” he said. “I’m not surprised that she’s receiving this award – it is well-earned.”

Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D., professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, echoed Swartwout’s sentiments.

“Tine is smart and meticulous in her work,” Condoor said. “She is a great team player and puts in the effort to involve everyone.”

Ndlovu said her ultimate career goal is to work in satellite monitoring for African nations.

“Where I am from, we have droughts and floods,” she said. “I want to use satellite technology to measure soil moisture and other factors to help mitigate the damage from extreme weather.”

The Class of 2022 marks the sixth class of “Brookie” fellows and were selected from the Fellowship’s most competitive application year. More than 1,000 promising and talented students applied worldwide, coming from Ivy League universities, major research universities, historically black colleges and universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and major international universities.

Fifty-one fellows were selected through a competitive application process involving written and creative submissions, interviews with the Fellowship’s leadership team and its close network, and interviews with 36 leading aerospace employers from across multiple sectors in the US aerospace industry. The fellows were selected based on their commitment to their communities, stand-out creative abilities, record of leadership, incredible talent, and their desire to pursue a career in aerospace. 

Each fellow is matched to an executive-level mentor in the aerospace industry who will support and work with the fellow to help launch their career.

About the Brooke Owens Fellowship 

The Brooke Owens Fellowship was founded in 2016 to honor the memory of industry pioneer and pilot D. Brooke Owens, who passed away in June 2016 at the age of 35, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. The program was co-founded by Lori Garver, the former Deputy Administrator of NASA and now CEO of Earthrise Alliance; Cassie Lee, Advanced Programs Lead for Weather and Remote Sensing at Lockheed Martin Space; and William Pomerantz, the Vice President for Special Projects at Virgin Orbit.

The Brooke Owens Fellowship celebrates its ongoing mission and legacy of disrupting the historical gender imbalance in the aerospace industry by continuing its mission to provide opportunities and access to talented young professionals from historically-underrepresented genders. 

About Parks College

Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology offers aviation degrees and engineering degree programs that enable students to study these technical disciplines in a traditional university setting. As the first federally-recognized flight school, Parks College has a rich history of creating well-rounded leaders in aviation and engineering fields such as civil, electrical, computer, mechanical, biomedical and aerospace.


Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.