Meet the Team

The AFRL Scholars Program Administration 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 PI for the AFRL Scholars Program. She manages USRA’s team to ensure milestones are achieved and that the AFRL Scholars Program continues to exceed expectations.

Denisse Garza
Denisse Garza oversees financials and other programmatic logistics, works cohesively with AFRL management, and works collaboratively with the USRA Director of Education to manage AFRL priorities and maximize productivity.

Jessica Tallent
Jessica Tallent has been a cornerstone of the USRA Team since inception, providing exemplary customer service support and consistently assisting Internship Program Coordinators at all supported sites to successfully execute every facet of the AFRL Scholars Program.

Julie McCullough
Julie McCullough 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 has been the primary point of contact for the AFRL Scholars Program at Eglin AFB 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 an Internship Program Coordinator for the AFRL Scholars Program. Mitchelle supports the AFRL Scholars Program by processing on-boarding forms and scheduling stipend payments for all scholars.