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Margarita Bassil, a mechanical engineering major, was named the recipient of not one, but two scholarships from the Tony Jannus Scholars Program, which recognizes college students who are pursuing a degree related to the field of aviation.

Bassil was one of six college students to receive the Scholar Award, which is worth $3,000, as well as a supplemental award of $2,000 for having the highest scoring application.

“Receiving this award further proved that success does indeed necessitate sacrifice, and that all of the effort I have put in as a student both professionally and academically has paid off,” Bassil said. “I intend to pay it forward and inform all students of this opportunity so that they too can demonstrate their success as an engineering student not only to aviation leaders, but to the world.”

Bassil is already on the path to success — she has already completed a NASA internship and is participating in the UCF College Work Experience Program with Lockheed Martin.

“My time at Lockheed has further expanded my understanding of my current coursework because it gave me the opportunity to apply all of my theoretical knowledge to practical applications,” she said. “In addition to real world experience, my mentors at Lockheed constantly remind me what my number one job is — being a student.

Once she receives her degree, she hopes to apply what she’s learned from her experience to her future career, whether that’s on the ground or up in space.

“After graduation, my goal is to apply the skills and knowledge I have obtained from both my internships and academia to a company whose overall objective is to make the world a better place — whether from an environmental standpoint here on Earth or up in space conducting research on how to benefit the lives of people back on the ground. After all, we all share the same home.”