Executive Board

SOAR currently has approximately 150 active members, including project sub-team leads as well as our executive board. Meet our 2018-2019 executive board members below:


Faculty Advisor:

To learn about our faculty advisor, Dr. Manoug Manougian, see his USF Faculty Bio and his Wikipedia article.

Stephanie Bauman, President

Stephanie was elected President of SOAR in April 2018. Since assuming the position, she has taken the responsibility of overseeing major operations in the organization, including obtaining sponsorships, structuring teams, increasing membership, educating members, and ensuring projects are resourced fiscally and personnel-wise. Since SOAR is an organization encompassing more than just engineering, Stephanie plans to engage all colleges for recruitment, including finance, safety, human resources, and project management. This year, as SOAR expands its programs to include the Base-11 Competition, funding and educational development will become critical components. Stephanie’s ultimate goal as President is to establish strong collaboration among all of the different skill sets inside and outside the organization and develop a long-term sustainable, successful, winning organization that will bring credit to both USF and its Engineering College.

Stephanie is a senior, pursuing a bachelor of science degree in physics, graduating in May 2019. She is a US Army Veteran, currently serving in the Reserves, with a civilian background in aviation and aerospace contract management. She joined SOAR at the recommendation of her calculus professor and SOAR’s advisor, Dr. Manoug Manougian, and quickly took on roles as the Tripoli Rocket Association Level 1 Certification Trainer, the NSL Production Manager, and most recently, Vice President. She has completed three research internships at SOFWERX, USF, and MIT and is a 2018 Tillman Scholar. She hopes to continue on to graduate school to earn a PhD in Civil Engineering or Materials Science.

Ian Sanders, Vice President

Our elected Vice President for the 2018-19 season is Ian Sanders. As the Vice President, Ian aims to increase efficiency, organization, and communication across all SOAR departments. As SOAR ventures into more challenging and complicated projects, these properties are becoming paramount to the effective operation of the organizations. Ian also intends to dramatically expand SOAR’s recruiting and fundraising programs, in order to increase the organization’s access to its most essential resources. With these goals in mind, Ian will be coordinating the creation of new organizational software tools, such as automated Slack bots, a dynamic human resources database, and a purchasing / financial management database. Ian also aims to have every team avoid costly errors and increase efficiency by approaching 100% CAD modelling of all parts and components.

Ian is a junior in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He expects to graduate in spring of 2020, before continuing to a career in rocketry and space systems. In the past, Ian served as Chief of Operations, a position in which he created and developed SOAR’s brand image and built the new fundraising / sponsorships program. Ian was also a payload software developer during the 2016-17 NASA Student Launch, in his freshman year at USF. Ian is an Honors College student and serves as a financial officer on the USF Engineering Funding Council. He currently works on campus at the Advanced Visualization Center as a software developer. His ultimate dream is to start his own company designing and building rockets to efficiently and inexpensively launch small payloads into orbit.

Jackson Stephenson, Chief of Rocketry

Serving as our Chief of Rocketry, Jackson Stephenson will oversee and advise rocket design and production across all projects undertaken by SOAR. Starting off as helping hand for the NASA Student Launch Initiative his freshman year in Fall 2016, his interest drastically turned from payloads to launch vehicles soon thereafter. His curiosity and motivation got the best of him, as he became Project Manager for the 2017-2018 NSLI and invested much of his time into designing and building a rocket for the rover payload that year. Not satisfied with the mile-high height waiver set by NSLI competition rules, he desired to put USF SOAR on the map as one of the premier undergraduate rocket programs. As a result, Jackson conceived the High-Altitude Program, pushing SOAR members to their limits in technical innovation and teamwork. In June of 2018, the Base 11 Space Challenge started, offering a unique opportunity for SOAR to apply the High-Altitude initiative towards developing both liquid engines and a high-performance launch vehicle. If all goes according to plan, SOAR will be launching high-tech scientific payloads and reaching speeds and altitudes far beyond many collegiate and amateur clubs.

Jackson is a junior working towards an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, set to graduate in 2020. He is Level 3 certified through Tripoli Rocket Association, and wants to continue leading SOAR projects through his time at USF. His ultimate personal goal is to one day work for an aerospace engineering company.

Javian Hernandez, Chief of Engineering

Javian is a Junior majoring in Mechanical engineering and wishes to pursue a career in the aerospace industry. Previously Javian worked as the Mechanical Engineering lead for the NSL project in the 2017-2018 year and is currently working on the Base 11 team. This is his second year in SOAR and is expected to graduate in May 2020. He goes by Jay or Javian.

As Chief of Engineering, Javian oversees all payload and other non-rocket related projects in SOAR. Specifically he makes sure projects are on-track, organized, and do not go over budget. He plans to expand the “Aeronautics” part of SOAR with new and exciting challenges that everyone can work on.

Ashleigh Stephenson, Chief of Operations

The new Chief of Operations for the 2018-2019 school year is Ashleigh Stevenson. As our Chief of Operations, Ashleigh hopes to continue growing SOAR’s organizational structure and develop new speciality team throughout the organization. She plans to use this school year to gain new members through recruitment and partnerships with other student organizations. Ashleigh would also like to focus on developing a fundraising team within SOAR to increase the funds available to all of our projects.

Ashleigh is a senior working towards her undergraduate degree in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science and an expected graduation date of May 2019.  She is currently working as an Engineering Co-op at CAE USA. Ashleigh is in her second year of SOAR and is currently working on getting her Level 1 Certification and is also serving as our NASA Student Launch Team’s Student Advisor.

Akari Devonish, Chief of Safety

As Chief of Safety, Akari will create safety policies and ensure their implementation within SOAR in order to foster a proactive safety culture and promote a safe environment for all members. This year, Akari is assisting with the safety portion of the NASA Student Launch. He is also responsible for establishing necessary safety procedures, ensuring that all materials and equipment are stored and transported safely, creating and presenting documentation and records of safe practices within the organization, and overseeing and managing safety officers for each project team.

Akari is a junior working towards an undergraduate degree in Finance with a minor in Marketing and an expected graduation date of May 2020. He is the current Team Lead for the hybrid powered rocket. Akari is in his first year at SOAR and is currently working on getting his Level 1 certification through the Tripoli Rocket Association.

Cameron Holt, Chief of Finance

Cameron Holt is SOAR’s 2018-2019 Chief of Finance. As our Chief of Finance, Cameron will ensure individual teams and SOAR as a whole stay on budget, compiles and reviews purchase requests, and is looking to find more cost effective and efficient resources for SOAR to use.

Cameron is a Junior studying Finance with a concentration in Corporate Finance. He hopes to obtain his MBA and then plans to work in the Aerospace industry. It is his dream to one day own his own rocketry company.

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