Zonta has a dedicated history of supporting women in education. Scholarships are awarded locally, regionally and via Zonta International.
- The Amelia Earhart Fellowship – expands opportunities for women pursuing advanced studies in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace engineering and space sciences. 30 – $10,000 fellowships are awarded each year.
- The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship supports women pursuing undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management
- The Women in Technology Scholarship encourages women to pursue education, career opportunities and leadership roles in technology and related fields.
- The Young Women in Public Affairs Award recognizes young women, ages 16-19, who demonstrate superior leadership skills and a commitment to public service and civic causes and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.
In addition to the above scholarships the Zonta Club of Melbourne also supports the following scholarships:
- Zonta/Meehan Scholarship encourage women entrepreneurs to improve their business through weVENTURE’s programs and services distributed by Florida Tech Women’s Business Center.
- Zonta/EDC Manufacturing Certification is for women to become proficient in foundational skills for the manufacturing industry administered through Eastern Florida State College.
- Zonta/Yellow Dog Café Culinary Scholarship encourages women to pursue a career in culinary administered through Eastern Florida State College.
Young Women in Public Affairs Award – 2023 Winner – Emma L. Aiken attended Heritage High School. Emma was President of the National Honor Society and Senior Class Vice President for Student Government. She has been a volunteer for the CH Lives Matter Animal Rescue which is an organization that specializes in rescuing animals with cerebellar hypoplasia. Emma plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science at the University of Florida (UCF) with an emphasis in chemistry with hopes of continuing in government activities on campus.
She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering and works part-time as a Systems Engineer Intern at Collins Aerospace on the Iridium NXT program. As part of her research, she is developing generalized edge algorithms to detect components of non-cooperative spacecraft. These detections are then fed into an artificial potential field guidance algorithm to enable fully autonomous close-proximity operations with a distributed swarm system to detumble and de-orbit the non-cooperative spacecraft. This type of technology plays a significant role in performing on-orbit servicing and debris removal. Her research also involves hardware-in-the-loop testing to demonstrate and prove the concept of her algorithms.
Ms. Mahendrakar is a core member of Technetium Engineering, LLC, a researcher at the Autonomy lab and the NeTS lab, and she was also the student lab director of the ORION research lab at the Florida Institute of Technology. After completing her Ph.D., she plans to continue working on engineering solutions for on-orbit servicing, debris removal, and Space Domain Awareness.
In addition to her research, Ms. Mahendrakar enjoys mentoring middle school and high school students who are interested in the STEM field. She volunteers at schools as a science fair judge. She regularly enjoys running, exploring, and biking on Florida trails.