Our Staff

Founder and Director

L. DeWayne Cecil, PhD

Dr. L. ​ DeWayne Cecil founded Destination SPACE in March​ 2017 with a vision of providing students with space related interactive science education. As the Chief Scientist of Destination Space, Dr. Cecil draws upon his extensive background in applied earth sciences and remote sensing. After earning a PhD. in Earth Science from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Cecil went on to serve as Chief Scientist of the Applied Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters and as Senior Science Advisor at NASA Langley's Systems Engineering Office, Lead Applications Scientist at the USGS 's Global Change Research Program, ​and the first Western Region ​Climate Services Director at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information​ (NCEI)​.


In 2015 he formed Sustainable earth Observation Systems, LLC​ (SeOS). SeOS consults with NASA, NOAA, and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) for the commercialization of the International Space Station’s US National Laboratory’s space research and applications. Dr. Cecil is also the Chief Climatologist for Global Science & Technology, Inc.


In addition to his work in climate research, aerospace applications, ​and management, Dr. Cecil has worked extensively around the world​. His travels have taken him to Japan, Nepal, China, Argentina​, Brazil, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, ​Russia, ​and beyond. He has climbed the Tien Shan and ​Himalayan mountains, traversed glaciers, and searched the world's oceans​. Dr. Cecil's breadth and depth of experience in research and in applied sciences has inspired him to pass on his expertise and enthusiasm to the next generation of scientists, engineers, and data managers.

Founding Members

Annette Hollingshead

Annette provides scientific and technical curriculum support in addition to fostering sponsorship and community support.  Annette holds a Masters of Science in Meteorology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering from Nova Southeastern.   Since transplanting from Hawaii in 2015, promoting STEM activities in western North Carolina has become a passion.​​ 

Alec Courtright

Alec has helped the organization through logistics planning, curriculum development, as well as scientific and technical support. Alec holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of South Carolina. Through Destination SPACE Alec has been able to fulfill his passion for connecting students with STEM experiences that can prepare them for a future in science and engineering.​ 

Kathy Dooley

Kathy serves as our grant writer and event coordinator and helps design and facilitate curriculum. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Carleton College with an emphasis on GIS and remote sensing research. Her favorite part about Destination SPACE is meeting all of our participants and helping them explore new skills and interests. 

Our Interns

Conor Mulderrig

Conor aids in public outreach, communication, logistic and organizational support. He grew up in Winston-Salem before moving to Asheville in 2014 to attend UNCA. He is currently working on his B.S. in Atmospheric Science with a concentration in Climatology as well as a minor in Political Science. Through his time at UNC Asheville, Conor has developed an interest in climate policy and the international and domestic political repercussions of a changing climate, and hopes to one day have a role in drafting climate legislation. 

Lauren Ballard

Lauren is a sophomore at Auburn University in Aerospace Engineering,  She graduated with highest honors in the inaugural class at the Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. Discovery Academy in 2018. She attended Satellite Week 2017 and was a mentor at Satellite Week 2018. She is a ThinSat Program participant and attended the Ground Systems Architectures Workshop. She is helping with project management and the Deep Space STEM Mission on Team Miles’s CubeSat and that is set to launch on the first Space Launch System launch (SLS-EM-1) in early 2020. Austin and Lauren are mentoring the first group of STEM students in the world to fly a CubeSat into deep-space

Austin Gleydura

Austin Gleydura is a freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Aerospace Engineering. He graduated from Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. Discovery Academy with highest honors and received his Associates in Science degree from Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. He attended Satellite Week 2017 and mentored and documented Satellite Week 2018. He is interning with Team Miles CubeSat helping with documentation and CAD design. He is also a team member of the Space Craft Development Club’s RADSat CubeSat team at Embry-Riddle. 

Asheville Museum of Science Affiliates