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A Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) employee at Naval Air Station Patuxent River received an award for her work as the deputy assistant program manager for Systems Engineering on the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) program.

Nicole Theberge received the Star of Tomorrow award at a conference held by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in Indianapolis on Nov. 2. Each year, SHPE presents the award to an engineer with three to seven years of experience in his or her field who exhibits a strong commitment to excellence and the potential to excel, according to the organization’s description.

“Nicole seizes opportunities and consistently produces positive outcomes,” said Andy Guy, NAVAIR Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Weapons Program (PMA-242) assistant program manager for engineering, who received the call from SHPE and informed Theberge of her win. “When we need someone to step up to the plate, she does so without hesitation.”

According to SHPE’s website, the organization’s mission is to expose the Hispanic community to fields of study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Growing up in a small Army town in Arizona, Theberge said she always appreciated astronomy and excelled in math and science. She took advanced placement courses at Buena High School and entered the engineering physics program at University of Arizona, Tucson, where she graduated in 2006 before moving to Pt. Mugu, Calif., to work as a contractor for the Navy. In 2009 she moved to China Lake, Calif., to work for PMA-242 as a civilian. Since then, she moved to work in acquisition at Pax River.

Theberge quickly made a name for herself among the AARGM team, coming to be known as an ambitious, dedicated, intelligent, hard worker, Guy said. This reputation, paired with her work and leadership on the AARGM program, led to her nomination for the Star of Tomorrow award.

“Nicole is a heck of a role model not just for women and Hispanics, but for everyone around here,” Guy said. “We are very fortunate to have her as a member of the PMA-242 engineering team.”

Theberge plans to apply for the NAVAIR Leadership Development Program next year, and if accepted, said she looks forward to the program preparing her for more advanced leadership positions within the NAVAIR community.

Andrea Watters, Naval Air Systems Command Corporate Communications, contributed to this article.