Meet the Team

The AFRL STEM Workforce Development Program Portfolio is administered by Universities Space Research Association (USRA). USRA’s team is dedicated to ensuring quality programs are offered at all supported sites and that scholars and mentors have a fulfilling, worthwhile experience that promotes interest and career development in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

USRA Program Administration Team

Dr. Amanda Smith Hackler
Dr. Amanda Smith Hackler is USRA’s Director of Education and also serves as Principal Investigator (PI) for the AFRL STEM Workforce Program Portfolio. She manages USRA’s team to ensure milestones are achieved and that the portfolio continues to exceed expectations.

Denisse Garza
Denisse Garza serves as Senior Program Manager and oversees financials and business operations of the AFRL STEM Workforce Program Portfolio. She works cohesively with AFRL management, and the USRA Director of Education to manage AFRL priorities and maximize productivity.

Julie McCullough
Julie McCullough, Senior Intern Program Coordinator, has been the foundation of the AFRL Scholars Program at Kirtland AFB since 2013. Julie is directly accountable for the sustained, successful, timely execution and development of all components of the AFRL Scholars Program, including: on-boarding, on-site in-processing, engagement and enrichment activities, intern oversight, and communication plans between AFRL and USRA management. Julie has been instrumental in the growth and expansion of the Scholars Program to AFRL directorates around the country.

Melissa Corning
Melissa Corning, Intern Program Coordinator, has been the primary point of contact for the AFRL Scholars Program at Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field and Joint Staff, Pentagon internships since 2018. Melissa is directly responsible for overseeing all programmatic elements and phases in support of program success. Prior to her role at Eglin AFB, Melissa was an Internship Program Coordinator at NASA Johnson Space Center for three years.

Mitchelle Castillo
Mitchelle Castillo is a Senior Internship Program Coordinator for the AFRL STEM Workforce Development Program Portfolio. She is responsible for administering stipend payment processing and scholar travel support for all program participants.

Carolyn Snyder Hansen
Carolyn Snyder Hansen is the Program Specialist for AFRL Scholars Professionals and the University Research and Engagement Program. She is responsible for implementation of all programmatic elements and supports the success of each program. Prior to this role, she was the NASA Lead Internship Program Coordinator for seven years.