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Rosanne Altstatt, Ph.D.

Rosanne Altstatt, Ph.D.

Director of Leading Women Toward Space Careers

Rosanne Altstatt our program director and also serves as the Associate Dean for Community Engagement in the John Martinson Honors College. She was brought to the Honors College from Purdue’s School of Visual and Performing Arts where she was a Visiting Scholar. Rosanne has worked internationally as a curator, writer and the director of several art institutions that specialize in media art. She researched the media art institution in our information-filled atmosphere for her Ph.D. in Art and Media Studies from Carl-von-Ossietzky University, wrote about early video art for her M.A. in Art History from University of Cologne, and received a B.A. in Art History and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

L. Allison Roberts, Ph.D.

L. Allison Roberts, Ph.D.

Program Manager

L. Allison Roberts is the program manager for the new JMHC program, Leading Women Toward Space Careers. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom, an M.A. in Political Science (Purdue University) and B.A. in History and Political Science (Purdue University). Her qualitative Ph.D. research, Life after traumatic injury: narratives of embodiment and identity of United Kingdom ex-service personnel, explored the life stories of ex-service personnel who experienced a traumatic injury (such as limb loss, hearing loss, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or blindness) and were subsequently medically discharged. 

She has worked for the university for over a decade. Dr. Roberts' previous experiences include an internship for the Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., and being a Visiting Scholar in the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. 

Additionally, Roberts co-taught the Honors College course, Security, Technology, and Society, with Dr. Dwaine Jengelley, in Spring 2021 and 2022. This course engaged students in collaborative, team-based research on topical security issues to create White Papers and Policy Briefs. In the Fall of 2020, Dr. Roberts piloted the Honors College course entitled Centuries of War: Knowing War through Shared Experiences. The course included sources—specifically memoirs, poems, letters, and (auto)biographies—from the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Alexandra (Alex) Kemp, Ph.D. Candidate

Alexandra (Alex) Kemp, Ph.D. Candidate

Program Liaison

Kemp is pursuing a Ph.D. in Technology, Aviation Human Factors in the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology/Polytechnic Institute, with a focus on Space Human Factors.  She is studying human factors within the aviation field. Kemp's dissertation research is on energy management within general aviation airplanes. Her internships include 1 with Lockheed Martin, 3 with Honeywell Aerospace, and 3 with NASA.

Kemp wanted to join the Leading Women Toward Space Careers program because she feels that oftentimes working in space careers can feel limited, intimidating, not enough information/lack of information available about the field (such as working in engineering and not knowing much about the medical side of space), and ever evolving. Looking back on he rundergraduate years, she reflect that she did not have a mentor or anyone cheering her on. Kemp faced several obstacles that a mentor could have recognized or even provided guidedance for. She wants to help mitigate these issues for women so that their process working in the space industry is welcoming and encouraging.

After her Ph.D. Kemp wants to work in industry or government. She would love to do post-doctoral research in space human factors and work for NASA. Kemp is interested in working with the next Moon and Mars crews to get them to the surface of each and back safely.


Sheridan Moore, Ph.D.

Michelle Thompson, Ph.D.

Esri, Senior Technicaal Consultant 

Sheridan Moore is a Remote Sensing Scientist focused on hyper- and multispectral visible and near-infrared imagery with over 10 years of experience. She started her career working at NASA GSFC and has built up an expertise in the space-science realm.

Sheridan is currently a Senior Technical Consultant at Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping. Her day-to-day consists of providing technical solutions (through ArcGIS software and a python Application Programming Interface), writing proposals, and working with customers to provide the best user-experience.

Dr. Zahra Tehrani

Valerie Wiesner, Ph.D.

NASA Langley Research Center

Dr. Valerie Wiesner is a Senior Research Materials Engineer in the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, Virginia. She recently served as Acting Assistant Branch Head for the Crew Systems and Aviation Operations Branch at LaRC in 2022. Her research focuses on developing and understanding degradation of ceramic coatings and composites for extreme environment applications ranging from reusable hypersonic vehicles to lunar and planetary exploration and surface operations, as well as on ceramic processing and additive manufacturing.

Prior to joining LaRC in 2019, she began her NASA career as a Research Materials Engineer in the Ceramic and Polymer Composites Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014 after completing a Pathways Internship as a Ph.D. student. She served as lead investigator for evaluating damage of environmental barrier coatings designed to protect ceramic matrix composite components caused by particulates, such as sand and volcanic ash, when ingested by aircraft engines.