Candidate Platforms for Director of Special Projects

Sharma, Megha

"In dreams Begin Responsibilities", not just a fact but the truth of my life. Megha, the second child of the traditional Sharma family, much against their desires for a baby boy, was a dream come true for her Mom. Born in a small township of Ambala in north India at the foothills of Himalayas on the 5th of May, 1986, I have never fallen less of the expectations of the conventional minded family. I started mainstream schooling at the age of four at the best school in my hometown, Convent of Jesus and Mary, CJM. At that time I had no idea that this would become my alma-mater for the next almost 13 years of life.

CJM time has by and far been the best part of my life. Academics, sports, acting, public speaking, elocution, mischief, I did it all and all so good. I was the monitor of the class from grade one till grade nine consecutively. In 1995, I got elected as the Student's Council Member. I captained the girls' basketball team in school for two years. Excellent grades and outstanding performance in co-curricular and sports earned me the Best Student Award. First Prize in Elocution was like my prototype from first to the seventh grade. After graduating from High School with a first division, getting selected into Aerospace Engineering at Embry Riddle was like the first biggest step in the realization of my life-long dream.

Though the family never approved of a profession dominated by men but since then, there's been no looking back. In the very first semester I got actively involved with ERFSEDS, which was an organization doing closest to what I wanted to do. I was elected as the Secretary for the club and also the leader for the solicitation team of the Rocket Project-Icarus. With my strong interest in Astronomy, I have revived the astronomical activities on campus as a part of the ERFSEDS. Maintaining a 3.789 with three jobs and extra-curricular activities, its been hard work and determination that has driven me through. Like a dream that is more real than the reality, its been a long way for this small town girl.

I have big dreams, but a bigger responsibility to attain them. And hence I live by the belief that I have to reach for the stars because for me every end is a new beginning.

Goals for 2005:
I started as a freshman in Aerospace Engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall of 2003. I came from India with the goal of making a difference in The space industry and making my contribution in every way possible to make aerospace and space-related careers the most revered and sought after in the society. So the attainment of this main goal has directed me to set up my goals for every year.

Just as last year, my aim this year also would be to keep-abreast with all the latest developments in the field so that I can spread the right knowledge among the non-space related population. Betterment and progress of ERFSEDS would be one of the main focus in this regard. I plan to help in big fund-raising to get the group on good standing for the next year as well. As I have undertaken the responsibility of helping the astronomy team of ERFSRDS, reviving the interest of the school community as well as others in the field of astronomy and space knowledge will also be on the big plan of things this semester. One of the most ambitious projects is the construction of an observatory on the Embry Riddle Campus so that space knowledge becomes more easily available to the non-space related majors. And that too in a way that will be interesting to them. This will be a great exposure for the high school students who are interested in space and will allow them to plan ahead for the particular field of space industry they are interested in.

If I do get elected into the National Executive Board of SEDS, it will give me the much-awaited chance to extend my plans further than just the confines of the campus of Embry Riddle. The position of Director of Chapters will enable me to interact with many like-minded people in the different parts of the country and elsewhere, who share the same interests as me and hence will give me an opportunity to chanalize all our efforts in the direction of meeting our common goal of spreading space knowledge in the society. With my contacts in India, I will be able to induct a whole new group of energetic space explorers, especially with the space industry picking up at such a fast pace over there. Along with all this of course, I also plan to maintain an excellent academic record.