While there won't be an in-person Dayton Hamvention® this year, the Hamvention Awards Committee continued its tradition of honoring the achievements of outstanding amateurs, and three of its four 2021 awardees have their heads in the stars … literally!
This year's Amateur of the Year is Angel Vazquez, WP3R, Head of Telescope Operations at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. In addition to his many ham radio activities associated with the observatory, such as using the big dish antenna for a moonbounce effort in 2010, Angel also provided emergency communications for area families every day for eight weeks after Hurricane Maria in 2017. He is currently deeply involved in plans to rebuild the main radiotelescope at Arecibo following its collapse last year.
The 2021 Technical Achievement Award goes to "the Space Weather Woman," Dr. Tamitha Mulligan Skov, WX6SWW. Skov is a research scientist for The Aerospace Corporation, teaches space weather forecasting at Millersville University and has a weekly video podcast. A ham since 2018, she has also spoken at various hamfests and club meetings.
Wes Lamboley, W3WL, is this year's recipient of Dayton's Special Achievement award. A veteran of the aerospace industry, Wes has been a ham for more than 65 years. He was recognized for what the awards committee described as "his lifetime high-energy support for the science and art of amateur radio (including) youth coaching membership recruiting and technical problem assistance." He ha also been an active DXpeditioner, taking part in five Southwest Ohio DX Association "DXpeditions of the Year."
The Club of the Year Award for 2021 goes to Virginia's Vienna Wireless Society, which has grown to be the largest and most active amateur radio club in the Washington, DC area. Its public service work includes providing communications for the annual Marine Corps Marathon and being part of the presidential inauguration security team.
The Hamvention committee did not indicate where or when this year's awards will be presented. The Hamvention itself has been cancelled this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.