Kathy Beauford has been teaching aerospace education for 27 years as Louisiana's Director of External Aerospace Education for the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol. She has received 40 awards for aerospace education and 6 for general education. She has won the prestigious Holm Aerospace Educator of the Year Award, naming her as the # 1 aerospace educator in the nation. Her favorite award is from the scientists of SIGMA XI, the scientific research society, "for the teaching of science." She was thrilled to be recognized by scientists.
In the last 3 years, her extensive exhibits and presentations have reached over 8,000 attendees and her 184 articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and on the Internet. She is author of A Teacher's Companion to the Space Station: A Multi-disciplinary Resource which she wrote for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. The Companion was distributed internationally and is in its third printing. She has recently presented at the Civil Air Patrol Spaceflight Course at Kennedy Space Center.
Colonel Beauford uses the SARSAT satellite system as a Navigator for Air and Ground Search & Rescue with the US Air Force Auxiliary. She applied for Teacher in Space. Her saying is "America needs SPACE to GROW!"
I was born in Central Illinois, the strip through the middle with neither the cosmopolitan airs of Chicago, nor the hills and despair of Little Egypt. Despite the prevalence of smokestack factories, my child-of-immigrants family suffered from dirt-road hunger.
Fortunately, I was given the opportunity for an education. For two years in high school, I was taught how to be a machinist along with my college-prep courses. At this time, the state of Illinois paid the tuition and fees for high-school graduates of poor families with sufficiently promising ACT scores.
I studied engineering at the University of Illinois and, in 1973, went to work at a factory in Champaign as a quality-control inspector. The factory closed in ‘82, but I managed, because of my experience, to land a job building muon detectors for the Collider Detector at Fermilab. Our team continued to work through the first two upgrades to improve resolution and accuracy before finally finishing in 1992. The finished detector was the first to see the Top Quark, but that accelerator run lacked sufficient numbers of the particle to claim discovery (which D-zero, further down the ring did.)
Since then, I’ve taught Chemistry at Illinois and, after retirement, wrote a regular column for the Urbanagora online magazine. A collection of the best of those columns, along with some additional short-stories, was released in 2008 as Riding the Hell-Bound Train.
After retirement, I spent several years appearing at sf and fantasy cons in the US and Europe. I became acquainted with Team Contraflow at the 2008 World SF convention in Denver (where Raymond Boudreau termed me, “The World’s Most Interesting Fan.”) Although my health has been poor for much of the last two years, those difficulties have been resolved and I am back on the road, excited about my first convention in a year.
Greetings to all and sundry — I am back.