Eagle Competing for Miss Arizona Title, Inspiring Women in STEM

Prescott graduate student Samantha Ramos hopes to advance aviation and aerospace safety – and inspire other young women to pursue their passion.

Safety Science graduate student Samantha Ramos competing for Miss Arizona title
Graduate student Samantha Ramos to compete for Miss Arizona Title (Photo: Gage Brumbaugh)

Southern California native Samantha Ramos dreamed of becoming a military pilot from a young age. Her parents, who juggled higher education with full-time jobs and a family, instilled in her a strong work ethic and the ambition to pursue a career that she would enjoy every day.

Beginning her Embry-Riddle journey in 2016, she discovered a new passion for aviation and aerospace safety and found a family away from home with Alpha Xi Delta.

Seeking a scholarship opportunity, Ramos was encouraged by her sorority mentor to compete in the Miss Yavapai County Scholarship Competition hosted by the university in February 2019. She has since competed for multiple local titles in the Miss America Organization.

Despite working part-time anywhere from 25 to 40 hours a week with a full course load, Ramos completed her bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics in 2020 – but she’s not finished yet.

With the aviation and aerospace industries becoming increasingly competitive, she is now working toward her master’s degree in Safety Science while employed full-time as a Purchasing and Property Control Coordinator at the Prescott Campus.

While her primary focus had always been aviation, she became intrigued with space after connecting with classmates in the Space Physics program, she said.

Ramos is most looking forward to learning more about the science behind crash investigation and, upon completion of her program in 2023, aspires to apply her skills to help create the space industry of tomorrow.

“Because space shuttles still go through the atmosphere, the portion related to safety can easily be combined with what I have already learned about aerodynamics,” she said.

Ramos is prepared to achieve her goals thanks to Embry-Riddle’s variety of courses and resources tailored to her specific goals and highly experienced faculty, she said.

Having won the local title of Miss Desert Willow, she is set to compete for the Miss Arizona title in June. With emphasis on the four points of the crown, “Scholarship, Success, Style and Service,” the competition has encouraged her to be a better version of herself.

“To be a woman in STEM means to support other strong-minded women and be successful together,” she said. “A beautiful woman doesn’t have to be just looks – she can be brains too.”