Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN, Named 2022 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year

Young Ham of the Year
Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN
(Photo courtesy Newsline)
Eighteen-year-old Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN, of Cumming, Georgia, has been selected as the 2022 Bill Pasternak Memorial Newsline Young Ham of the Year. McElroy comes from a ham family and has been licensed since 2014, upgrading to Amateur Extra in 2016. She and her brother, Jack, KM4ZIA, were featured on the cover of CQ in March, 2021. Her parents are Tom, W4SDR, and Jan, K4PRM.

Planning for a career in biotechnology, Audrey will begin her sophomore year at Georgia Tech this fall, helped along by a $25,000 scholarship from ARDC, the Amateur Radio Digital Communications foundation. While in high school, she actively promoted amateur radio as part of her onging efforts to encourage more girls and young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). A graduate of her county’s STEM Academy, Audrey also served as president of her school’s chapter of Healthcare Occupations Students of America, and qualified for the organization’s international competition. She was named her school’s Biotechnology Student of the Year in 2021.

A fan of amateur radio high altitude ballooning (ARHAB), her senior capstone project in high school centered on launching a balloon carrying a payload including a biological sample for purposes of studying high-altitude conditions on a small roundworm (C.elegan). Her interest in ballooning has been helped by the fact that she has been mentored by ARHAB authority Bill Brown, WB8ELK.

Audrey also participated in the 2019 Dave Kalter Memorial DX Adventure Program, during which she joined other young hams in operating from Curacao, and has made presentations at the Dayton Hamvention, Youth on the Air Camp and Radio Club of America, which presented her with its 2021 Young Achiever Award. She currently serves as a director of the Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL).

McElroy will officially be inducted into the pantheon of Newsline Young Ham of the Year awardees at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama later this month – the first in-person presentation since 2019 – and will receive gifts from corporate co-sponsors Yaesu, CQ, Heil Sound and Radiowavz Antenna Company.