Delaney Novak has been awarded the 2022 Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship and SWE Board of Trustees Judith Resnik Achievement Scholarship for the 2022-23 Academic Year, valued at a combined $5,000. The junior aerospace engineering major beat out more than 1,100 applicants for the national honor.
“You have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement as well as strong engineering potential,” Rachel Morford, president of the Society of Women Engineers, which oversees the scholarships, said in a letter to Novak.
The prestigious scholarships are named after Resnik, the brilliant engineer, NASA astronaut and Society of Women Engineers member, who perished in the Challenger shuttle disaster in 1986. She was the second American woman, and the first Jewish woman of any nationality, to fly in space. Over her multiple shuttle missions, she logged 145 hours in orbit.
“It is a huge honor for me to win a scholarship dedicated to such an amazing engineer, astronaut and woman,” Novak said. “She is such an inspiration to me, and it was great for me to hear that we had a similar college experience with us both being musicians and in Tau Beta Pi. I hope that I can fulfill her legacy one day.”
Novak is the daughter of Derek and Laura Novak. Derek Novak ’94 earned a bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering at Florida Tech and now serves as vice president and chief engineer at American Bureau of Shipping.
Since she was little, Delaney Novak has enjoyed math and science courses and learning about how things work. She was later inspired by Katherine Johnson, the groundbreaking African-American mathematician at NASA who was portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures. As a high school student in Kingwood, Texas, Novak took aerospace classes, including learning how to design, build and launch rockets.
“Through these projects, I discovered my passion for aerospace engineering,” Novak said.
That passion will carry her into an impactful future.
“Ultimately, I would like to be a part of the team that helps get astronauts to Mars,” she said. “I particularly enjoy the structural aspect of engineering; however, I would also enjoy having a seat at mission control!”