"There are 3 key ingredients to effecting enthusiasm in our students: Interest, Knowledge, and Belief. Our ...more
Robert F. Newkirk Jr.

Meet The Team

Meet The Team
Robert F. Newkirk<br> Program Executive Officer Robert F. Newkirk
Program Executive Officer

Robert Franklin Newkirk Jr. started his destined journey attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering with a minor in Literature in 1989.  He was a member of Air Force ROTC while in school and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant at graduation.  His career started in the MIT Engineering Internship Program working with General Electric Aircraft Engines.  Once called to active duty, he headed to Los Angeles, CA to work at the Space and Missiles Center located at Los Angeles AFB.  He worked in the field of test and evaluation for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, the Titan Launch Systems Program, and Special Projects for the Air Force.  He was also selected for a highly competitive engineering with industry internship program with Aerospace Corporation working in the Fluid Mechanics Department.  He also furthered his education pursuing a Masters Degree at the University of Southern California in Systems Management.  He then moved to Washington D.C. to work on various special projects for the government. After serving for 10 years in the Air Force, he worked for Northrop Grumman Information Technology, then moved on to work for the Aerospace Corporation as a senior flight test engineer.  In 2006, Mr. Newkirk founded Jwahir Enterprises Inc. which has currently taken on the task of administering an Aerospace Flight Academy for high school students in the Washington D.C. area. 
Despite all of the mentioned accomplishments, Mr. Newkirk discovered the need to “de-educate” and “re-educate” himself to live life and pursue his dreams as opposed to just working for a living.  Having the passion for flying and communicating ideas to other people, he is also an accomplished commercial pilot.  He has also written a motivational and inspirational book entitled THEE Diamond of Life: Redefining and Releasing Your Inner Gift of Power that should be released early 2009.  He has served as a guest motivational speaker with People Helping People United Inc. as narrator to the Youth Stop the Violence Campaign in Washington D.C. He has also officiated as moderator and guest speaker for several Black History and Martin Luther King programs to include the Air Force, CIA, and the Naval Research Laboratory. He has also lectured at many school functions ranging from basketball camps to science and aviation programs at various high schools in the Los Angeles and Washington D.C. area. His extracurricular hobbies include chess, racquetball, swimming, and weightlifting.  He is the founder of the Osaru Investment Club, a member of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. 

Tondalaya Carroll
Program Operations Officer

Ms. Carroll is a well accomplished entrepreneur and consultant surrounding human resource development and business administration in the metropolitan Washington DC area. She is the President and CEO of Carroll Consulting Services, Inc. response for establishing training programs for adults and students that are seeking further education for employment purposes. Her areas of expertise are 1) Forming strategic partnerships at the local, state, and national level in support of disadvantaged youth and adult workforce development programs. 2) Establishing industry training & curriculum development 3) Marketing and public relations 4) Creating alliances for funding opportunities, supportive services, and new program development through proposal development. She has developed several national workforce development initiatives and has been an integral part in the success of the aerospace flight academy.

Denise Mason <br>Academy Administrator Denise Mason
Academy Administrator

Ms. Mason brings more than fifteen years of supervisory administrative work experience in a variety of business situations. After fifteen years of travel through the military she completed her degree in economics at the University of Mary Washington while successfully managing a job and family. In the finance arena she has eight years of banking experience in consumer loans, managing tellers and customer service representatives. She has managed and oversaw the ongoing operations of a church office and its staff for more than six years. She has been teaching, training and working with youth and adults for more than ten years through experience with summer hire college students, as a boy scout leader(ages 11-18) and a girl scout leader(ages 10-18). Her employment experience includes coordinating over a thousand volunteers spanning all age groups for the Marine Corps Marathon. She currently is a property manager and entrepreneur whose consummate professionalism fulfills all of the requirements needed to make the Aerospace Flight Academy a success.

Clyde Henderson <br> Director of Student Operations Clyde Henderson
Director of Student Operations

"Colonel" Henderson is a "big picture thinker" whose strongest ability is the synthesis of broad overviews of situations, historical backgrounds, present capabilities and shortfalls into coherent plans for improvement and expansion. This makes him a critical talent to the success of the aerospace flight academy. He has over ten years of building training programs and evaluation instruments for high school students as the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor. He has a wide range of experiences in the Aerospace Science career fields, including being a fully qualified Air Line Transport Pilot. He has excellent writing and communicating skills with over ten years of progressive experience in the areas of C3 network communications, information retrieval and display for decision makers, and liaison for strategic planning with national C3I agencies and users. He is the Senior Professor of Aerospace Studies for the Washington Mathmatics, Science, and Technology Public Charter High School in Northeast Washington DC. He has also served as a transport pilot for United Express Airlines after a full stellar career in the United States Air Force. He has motivated several hundred inner city students to the possibilities of success through "Reach For Tomorrow", a 3 year, ongoing mentorship program that provides 5 day of hands on exposure to cadets and courses at the Air Force, Army (West Point), and Navy (Annapolis, MD) Service Academies and selected colleges throughout the nation.

Jeanette J. Epps <br> Director of Education & Curriculum Jeanette J. Epps
Director of Education & Curriculum

Dr. Epps is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York. Dr. Epps’ graduate work involved investigating shape memory alloys for the development of smart materials and actuators as applied to rotorcraft technology to reduce vibrations in the main rotor of helicopters and to track helicopter rotor blades more efficiently. While in graduate school, she was the author of several journal articles and conference publications. After completing graduate school, Dr. Epps joined the Scientific Research Laboratory, at the Ford Motor Company. At Ford Motor Company, Dr. Epps worked on the application of smart materials and actuators to automobiles for the reduction of vibrations in vehicles and pedestrian safety. After leaving Ford Motor Company, Dr. Epps spent several years conducting technical analysis and projects for several think tanks in Washington DC working as a technical consultant on proliferation issues. Finally, in 2009, Dr. Epps was selected to the NASA Astronaut Corps! Unfortunately for us, she has now moved to Houston, but we are so proud of her accomplishment as she is now training for her first flight scheduled in 2013.

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