Aerospace Engineer Aprille Joy Ericsson to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Saint Peter’s Michaelmas Convocation

Saint Peter’s University today announced that aerospace engineer Aprille Joy Ericsson, Ph.D., will provide the keynote address for the 2022 Saint Peter’s Michaelmas Convocation on Wednesday, September 28 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church. Dr. Ericsson will also receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Dr. Ericsson’s career is distinguished by “firsts.” She was the first person of color to receive The Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers. She is the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University and the first African-American female civil servant to earn an engineering Ph.D. at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). There she currently serves as new business lead for the Instrument Systems and Technology Division (ISTD).

Dr. Ericsson has served NASA for nearly 30 years and has worked as an aerospace engineer, technologist, project and program manager and executive. She has taught at Howard University, the University of Maryland and Bowie State University. Dr. Ericsson has been named one of the top 50 minority women working in science and engineering fields by the National Technical Association and she was ranked 8 of 20 on the 2016 list of the Most Powerful Women Engineers by Business Insider.


Aerospace engineer Aprille Joy Ericsson, Ph.D.

Dr. Ericsson earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical/astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During her time there she was involved in several aerospace research projects and led the research for Manned Mars Mission crew systems for interplanetary vehicles for her senior project. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Howard University, where her research focused on developing practical design procedures for future orbiting space structures, like the Space Station.

“Dr. Ericsson exemplifies the mission of Saint Peter’s as she is a dedicated mentor who encourages young people to follow in her footsteps and has created an opportunity pipeline for underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines,” said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University. “We are honored to welcome Dr. Ericsson to our campus to address the talented students who will be honored at this year’s Michaelmas Convocation.”

Michaelmas is an annual ceremony that recognizes Saint Peter’s students for outstanding academic achievement in all areas, including the sciences, humanities, education, nursing and business. Additionally, 10 seniors are inducted into the oldest and most distinguished honors society at Saint Peter’s, the Most Noble Order of the Peacock (MNOP), for attaining the highest scholastic average in all courses throughout their first three years at the University. This year’s inductees include Alex Abreu, biology major; Nicholas Gale, accounting major; Marina Hanna, biology major; Christina Maldonado, biochemistry major; Ethan Mangold, English major; Amani Mustafa, finance major; Biagio Stoduto, computer science major; David Szaro, biology forensic science major; Akshaye Tamasar, biochemistry major; and Danielle Zimny, biology major.

For 150 years, Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit


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Angeline Boyer
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