What do you get when you combine unmatched intelligence, tragic opportunities, and peerless resilience? This formula can only produce a person like Tinesha Ross.
If there has ever been a story of an overcomer, Tinesha embodies it, and her story has fueled her dedication to seeing others experience their full potential.
Growing up, Tinesha and her family experienced abject poverty that left her unable to meet basic financial needs. Beyond her poverty, she was in a home that was filled with traumatic domestic violence. One night, when she was just 9 years old, she awoke to a tragic fire that tragically claimed the lives of her mother, while seriously injuring her brother.
In the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, Tinesha struggled but never quit. She realized that in life, there is no testimony without a test. Through the loving sacrifice of her aunt and uncle, she was able to recover her childhood, experience responsibility, and reach her true potential as a young woman. Tinesha is living proof that with the right vision and determination, your wildest dreams can come true.
After she showed prodigious gifts in engineering in high school, Tinesha dedicated her life to the beauty of science. Within a short period of time, she excelled with multiple post-graduate degrees with high honors. Her fierce ingenuity translated to a groundbreaking career as a rocket scientist. Her accomplishments are extensive. She was named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado. Now serving as the United Launch Alliance’s Senior Manager of General Procurement, Construction, and Capital of Production and Launch Operations, she has also been recognized by The Denver Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 Honoree.
Most notably, Tinesha was instrumental in successfully launching the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover into space and onto the surface of the planet.
Design and technology were used by NASA to successfully complete this vitally important mission of exploration and discovery.
Tinesha’s mantra is that every person should “dream big”, and instead of looking at their circumstances, focus on their own potential. Through her inspirational story of success and determination, Tinesha has moved others to refuse to see themselves as a product of their environment and begin to change their environment for the better. Through her example, countless people have been inspired to be their best selves and elevate to the next level.
While no one could have predicted that a rocket scientist would come from humble beginnings in Fairfield, Alabama; Tinesha Ross has defied the odds to become a motivational icon. She has turned her circumstances into a powerful story of hope and resilience. This power is evident when she speaks to audiences about how she overcame her tragic circumstances. Tinesha regularly amazes audiences across multiple demographics with her life-altering advice.
Tinesha brings over twenty years of aerospace industry experience to her position at ULA, including ten years at ULA’s rocket factory in Decatur, Alabama as an electrical systems test engineer and 12 years of experience at her company’s headquarters located in Centennial, Colorado. She recently returned to the Decatur Rocket Factory in 2021.
She was also the commencement speaker at Fairfield High Preparatory School’s graduation ceremony for 2021, Recipient of a Resolution Presented during Council Meeting from the City of Fairfield in May 2021 (which was also featured on WVTM Channel 13 in Birmingham, Al). Additionally, during Women’s History month in 2022, she was recognized by the Birmingham Chapter of NOBLE as one of the “WOMEN of the Year National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
Ross is a graduate of Fairfield High School; in addition, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Alabama A&M University, a Master of Science degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix, and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in project management from American Continental University.
While at Alabama A&M, she was a member of the Marching Maroon and White Band, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She also has a son, Chis, an extremely talented percussionist studying at the University of Northern Colorado.
Listen to Tinesha on the American Achievers Podcast by Clicking Below
Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Featured in The Boeing Frontiers Magazine
Women of Color Magazine Rising Star in Technology Award Recipient
Women in Launch (WIL) President
Featured in the Women’s Vision Foundation Promo video “The Best of Me”
Denver Business Journal “Aerospace Engineer Learned Leadership in Girl Scouts”
Denver Business Journal “Making their mark: Engineer aims for the stars, overcomes doubters”
Recognized as 100 Distinguished Girl Scouts Alumnae of Colorado
Board of Directors Girl Scouts of Colorado
Featured in Wired Magazine
Featured in Minority Engineer Magazine
Women of Distinction Honoree – Girl Scouts of Colorado
Featured on wvtm 13 NBC Birmingham Mars Rover Landing Coverage and al.com
Youth Day Speaker at Mt. Pilgram Baptist Church Fairfield, Al
United Launch Alliance STRIDE (Saluting Teammates Resiliency in Inclusivity, Diversity & Equity) Award recipient
Recognized by The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Alabama Chapter
Life Time Member of the Alabama A&M University Alumni Association
TINESHA’S ROLE IN
THE Mars 2020
Tinesha played a significant role in getting NASA's 2020 Perseverance rover to Mars.
Tinesha in the Media
Start and Go Tinesha Ross S4E5
Start and Go is Alabama A&M University's weekly one-on-one conversation with the people shaping our world. Elvin Jenkins, Director of Electronic Media Communications/WJAB-FM is the host of the podcast.
Elvin’s guest for this episode is Tinesha Ross, Alabama A&M Alumnus, Rocket Scientist, and STEM Advocate. They discuss her time as a student at AAMU, what lead her to major in Engineering, her adventures in her chosen profession, and the thrill of watching her rockets lift off from the Cape. She also talks about her devotion to speaking to school children around the country about the benefits of STEM education.