March 2009 Edition

ISU*USA Alumni Association      March 2009 Newsletter

In This Issue

Recent Events

ISU in the News

Alumni Spotlight


Welcome to the latest edition of the ISU*USA Newsletter!

If you haven't already, join ISU*USA's new Google Group to keep in touch with your former classmates and other ISU alumni in the US!

We are also in the process of relaunching the ISU*USA website - so check it out for news, events, information, and exciting ways to interact with your ISU community.

Help ISU and us keep up to date with all our alumni - update your contact information in the ISU database here.

If you have feedback about this newsletter, suggestions for content, or would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you!  Just send us an email at

Upcoming Events

New Generation Reception at the 25th National Space Symposium - Co-sponsored by ISU

Monday, March 30, 2009, 3:30 - 5:00pm at the Broadmoor Hotel

If you are in Colorado Springs for the 25th National Space Symposium and would like to attend the New Generation Reception, please email Steve Brody.

Yuri's Night 2009

April 4-12, 2009, all over the World!

To find a party near you, go to the Yuri's Night website.

ISU Executive Space Course

April 20-24, 2009 in Strasbourg, France
Application deadline is April 3, 2009. If you know people who could be interested in this great training program, you may direct them to the ISU website, where detailed information and the new brochure are also available. Online registration here.

2009 ISU Alumni Conference

August 6-9, 2009 at NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA

Further details and information now available here.

Notify us of upcoming events by emailing information to'll post them here and in upcoming newsletters.

Recent Events

Thanks to everyone who was able to join for these recent events!  Please visit our website for full details of recent events.

ISU*USA Board Meeting

Thursday, March 12, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

The ISU*USA board met on Thursday, March 12 at the offices of the Aerospace Industries Association in Rosslyn, Virginia.  Minutes from this meeting have been posted to the ISU*USA website (go to and click "Archives" in the top menu bar).

SpaceGen & GWSS Happy Hour

Thursday, March 5, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

People from ISU, NASA Goddard, George Washington Space Society (GWSS), and Yuri's Night got together last week for happy hour at the Science Club in downtown DC. With drink specials and post-class unwinding space folks were able to catch up, meet new people and enjoy drinking in a pro-science environment (which included a periodic table, test tube rack and picture of Einstein...). Dave Treat, Shandy Asturias, and Daphne Dador were on hand to represent the ISU Alumni Board and flit around between the different groups cross pollinating.

ISU-LA Alumni Lunch

Sunday, March 1, 2009 in Santa Monica, CA

ISU Alumni in the LA area got together at Ye Old King's Head in Santa Monica for some good food, catching up with friends, and kick-starting activities in LA. At the lunch were members of the previous and current ISU-USA Alumni Board and the new LA Regional Coordinator, Gina Pieri. The dicussion included getting feedback on the ISU-USA Alumni Association 2009 Strategic Plan and how the Association could best serve the alumni.

To receive email about ISU activity in the LA area, please visit the ISU-LA Google Group website and click on "Join Group" or visit the ISU-LA Facebook group.

"Orphans of Apollo" Screening -- ISU Fundraiser

Friday, February 27, 2009
Washington, D.C.

An exclusive Director's screening of the award winning film "Orphans of Apollo" was screened at George Washington University. The screening of the film raised funds for the International Space University, and marked the inaugural event of the new Arthur C. Clarke fellowship endowment.  The event was held in partnership of George Washington University's Space Policy Institute.

ISU in the News

ISU named first Education Partner of Women in Aerospace

Dr. Michael Simpson, President of the International Space University (ISU), announced that the university has been designated as the first "Education Partner" by Women in Aerospace (WIA), an internationally recognized organization.

"By this action, WIA has recognized the key role of ISU in advancing the careers of women in aerospace and preparing women for leadership roles in the global space community," said Debra Facktor Lepore, WIA Chair of the Board and an ISU alumnae. "ISU offers a tremendous multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural experience for students and professionals alike to facilitate global partnerships," she added.

Click here to see the full press release.

ISU President Mike Simpson - Space News Profile

The International Space University (ISU) appears to be digging itself out of a financial hole even as the sagging economies worldwide are dragging down many universities with them. Founded in 1987, ISU has learned from its earlier missteps and is determined to keep pace with the changes washing through the space sector - a redistribution of wealth from hardware to the service sector, and a rebalancing of investment as India, China and selected other nations in Asia and Africa enter the field. ISU President Michael Simpson said the university, which held its first summer session in 1988 and opened its main campus in Strasbourg, France, in 2002, has found a niche that gives it appeal to companies and space agencies in times of feast and famine. At the same time, it has been able to maintain an aura of international neutrality to such an extent that it held what Simpson says was a miracle of a 2007 summer session in Bejing - despite the fact that China's space sector that year was in a defensive crouch following an anti-satellite missile test. Simpson spoke recently with Space News staff writer Peter B. de Selding.

To see the full profile, click here.

If you've been in the news lately, or know of other alumni associated with current events, the ISU*USA board would be interested in hearing about it.  Just send us an email.

Alumni  Spotlight

Debra Facktor Lepore

Debra Facktor Lepore (SSP '89) is a business and community leader with a knack for forging relationships. Most recently she orchestrated a significant partnership between ISU and Women in Aerospace (WIA), of which she is chair of the board, by recognizing ISU as WIA's first-ever "Education Partner" (as noted above, "In the News").
Lepore's numerous leadership roles (and arguably her ISU education) makes her a serious force in the space world (and incidentally a hard person to track down). When President Lepore is not running her two companies Air Launch LLC and DFL Space LLC, Chairman Lepore is busy advising WIA's Board, the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, the Washington State Women's Forum, or serving as a mentor for aspiring young space professionals. And if you can't find her with any of those groups, it's probably because she's off winning more awards, such as being named one of Seattle / Puget Sound's most powerful women!
Fortunately ISU*USA was able to catch up with Debra Facktor Lepore to ask her a few questions about her ISU experience.

Q. You have a bachelors and masters degree in aerospace engineering, you've literally conducted business all over the world - what compelled you to study at ISU?
 A. Since I was already an engineer and getting my master's degree, I decided specifically to expand my training and education by getting a new perspective in international space policy and law.  I used these skills, along with the multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural diversity of ISU, immediately in my career at ANSER, where I worked in Moscow, Russia and with clients around the world.

Q. As an alumna, what has been an important aspect of your post-ISU experience?
  A. The ISU network itself has been an important piece of my career, as I have forged partnerships with many people in the ISU community, from customers to government agencies to launch sites.  It's amazing what we can do together, through the power of the ISU network.

Q. Tell us your thoughts on the recent partnership between WIA and ISU.
  A. I am very excited about the partnership between WIA and ISU.  I have long been an advocate of mentoring and networks, as it is the relationships with people that make our industry special.  WIA is the one place for expanding women's opportunities for leadership and expanding their visibility in the aerospace community, both in the US and internationally.  ISU helps bring this message to women globally, especially since women represent 1/3 of the growing ISU alumni.  Together, WIA and ISU share the goal of educating the next generation of the aerospace community.

ISU*USA: And that next generation is definitely important!
We know that ISU*USA alumni are making a difference in their communities, so each newsletter will feature at least one profile of a U.S. alumnus (or international alumnus residing or working in the U.S.) who is making an impact, whether in the public eye or behind-the-scenes.

Do you know someone who would be a good spotlight in the future? Email us and let us know.