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University of Alabama STEM students included in nation’s top 20 in 20s

Two University of Alabama College of Engineering students have been listed among the nation’s top 20 science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, students who are in their 20s.

According to a press release, Jane Gillette and Sean Devey are recognized as two of Aviation Week’s 20 Twenties for 2020, which is sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

“The award recognizes students earning STEM degrees who are nominated by their universities based upon great academic performance and research paired with civic contribution,” the press release stated.

Gillette is a senior from St. Louis, Missouri, who is studying aerospace engineering with a double minor in mechanical engineering and math. Gillette is also working on her Master of Business Administration in the Accelerated Master’s Program, in an attempt to graduate early.

Gillette interned at both NASA and United Launch Alliance and plans to intern this summer at Boeing in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

In addition to her other successes, Gillette was recently named the first Brooke Owens Fellow at the University of Alabama. Gillette credits her involvement in the Alabama Rocketry Association.

“My involvement in ARES at school has been instrumental in my growth as an engineering student and my ability to receive this recognition,” Gillette said. “As a woman in STEM, I’ve been lucky to receive amazing support, respect and leadership opportunities to push me to become a 20 Twenty and a Brooke Owens Fellow.”

Dr. Richard Branam, UA assistant professor of aerospace engineering, has served at Gillette’s mentor.

“Every now and then, I encounter a young person with the raw intelligence, natural creativity and enthusiastic motivation, a person with the ability to make a difference in the world given the opportunity,” Branam said. “I know Jane Gillette is one of these people and will be successful in anything she chooses to undertake.”

Devey, a native of North Salem, New York, is a master’s student in aerospace engineering with a focus on experimental fluid mechanics. Devey has completed internships at PepsiCo, Lincoln Laboratory and Boeing during his time as a UA undergraduate.

Devey also spent time in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates, or REU, program hosted by Dr. Amy Lang, UA associate professor of aerospace engineering.

“Sean is truly an exemplary student, extremely self-motivated and highly intelligent, yet surprisingly humble,” Lang said. “He is certain to make valuable contributions to the field of aerospace.”

Devey praised the University of Alabama’s programs, saying it allows students to succeed on a national and international stage.
“I think it shows that UA has a program that allows people to succeed and move forward with their careers while excelling on a national and international stage,” he said.

Devey and Gillette will be honored during Aviation Week Network’s 63rd Annual Laureates Awards March 12 at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @RealKyleMorris and Facebook.