Hakeem Oluseyi

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi was previously part of the faculty at the Florida Institute of Technology, and from 2016 to 2019 was the space science education lead in NASA’s Space Mission Directorate, where he provided strategic leadership and management for the directorate’s investments in science education and communications. His expertise has been featured in media outlets such as National Public Radio, CNN, ABC, NBC, and National Geographic. He was even interviewed by world-famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on his “Star Talk” podcast. Oluseyi also appears as a host and scientific authority on Science Channel television shows, “How the Universe Works,” “Spaces Deepest Secrets,” and “Strip the Cosmos.”

Rachel Osten

Dr. Rachel Osten is the head of the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Instruments Division. She leads this 160+ person team to achieve the best possible science the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. She is a full astronomer with tenure at the Institute; her research goal is to learn more about dynamic processes occurring on nearby stars, how they connect to similar events seen on the Sun, and the implications for the impact on planets. She served as the executive officer of the Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 (Astro2020) and as a member of the 20-person Astro2020 steering committee, developing a comprehensive research strategy for the next decade of transformative science in space and on the ground.

Scott Pace

Dr. Scott Pace is the Director of the Space Policy Institute and a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  He is also a member of the faculty of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.  His research interests include civil, commercial, and national security space policy, and the management of technical innovation.  Dr. Pace rejoined the faculty of the Elliott School in January 2021 after serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the National Space Council from 2017-2020. 

Erin G. Salinas

Lt. Col. Erin G. Salinas is a Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Space Force. The Space Force organizes, trains and equips personnel in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint forces. To that end, the Space Force manages space launch operations at the East and West Cost Space Launch Deltas.  These bases provide services, facilities and range safety control to conduct DOD, NASA and commercial space launches.

Paul Derby

Paul Derby has been an active Northern Virginia Astronomy Club member since 2005 serving on the board for 10 years, 2 as President and 5 as Treasurer. He currently coordinates the NOVAC Sky Meadows State Park volunteer outreach program where over 100 NOVAC member's share their expertise and equipment at the park's monthly Astronomy for Everyone events. Paul worked his way though college as a photojournalist and continued photography as a hobby after transitioning to a career in Information Technology. His first telescope was a Questar that he used as a telephoto lens and eventually pointed it at the sky to expand his photography interests.

Tad Komacek

Dr. Tad Komacek is an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research is focused on theoretical and numerical studies of the atmospheric dynamics and climate of exoplanets. This work covers a broad range of planetary climates, including the extreme atmospheres of close-in extrasolar gas giant (or "hot Jupiter") planets, atmospheres of temperate Earth-sized rocky planets, and everything in between.

Student Speakers/Organizations

Ronit Kapur

Project: "Gravity-Darkened Atmospheric Dynamics of Exoplanets: Insights from KELT-9b."

Akesh Mallia

Project: "SPEIDSat: Applying CubeSats to Larger NASA Missions."

Caelus Rocketry

Project: "Designing, building, testing, and launching the first high schooler-built bipropellant liquid-fueled rocket to the Kármán Line."

Keira Overmann & Isaiah Green

Project: "The Innovation and Animation of Orbital Debris Clearing Technology"