Mission Operations Engineer
Brenham High School
Bryce Strauss, who graduated third in
his 2011 Brenham High School class,
joined Lockheed Martin Space Systems Division a month after he graduated from The University of Texas
at Austin in 2015 with a bachelor’s
degree in aerospace engineering and
certificate in business administration.
Strauss, a mission operations engineer, works with a team that designs,
builds, tests, and controls interplanetary robotic spacecraft for NASA.
Strauss analyzes data received and
writes code to command spacecraft
operating in orbit around other
planets. He is integral in the control
and operation of NASA’s Juno space-
craft currently orbiting Jupiter and in
NASA’s InSight Mission to Mars.
Strauss credits his success to the
teachers and coaches in Brenham ISD.
Additionally, his parents work for the
district, where his mother, Kim, is director of Information Technology and
his father, Mark, is director of Assessment and Accountability.
“I can undoubtedly attribute my adult
successes to my time in Brenham.
Because my parents are both educa-
tors, I was lucky enough to have the
influence of the staff of Brenham ISD
throughout my childhood and teen-
age years. It was a blessing to grow
up around teachers, coaches, and ad-
ministrators. This environment taught
me to give my life away to serve and
shape the lives of those around me
and to develop a legacy of genuine
relationships during my daily work.
One influential teacher I will always
appreciate is Mrs. Markos. For over
three years, she continually invested
the time and effort it took for me to
understand and tap into my talent
and passion for calculus. This inspiration eventually drove my decision to
study engineering and is the foundation I’ve built my career upon. Thanks
to all of Brenham ISD. It’s a special
place, and I’m proud to call it home.”
In four days, she reached almost 400 mentors interested in participating. Ultimately,
600 men showed up to Billy Earl Dade
Along with serving breakfast, the
event featured a variety of icebreaker
activities, event photographer Stephanie
When Jamil Tucker, one of the vol-
unteers, gave each man a tie in an effort
to teach the students, it brought tears to
“I started crying behind my camera,”
she recalled of the heartwarming moment.
“The back of my camera was fogging up.
You’ll never forget as a young man the first
time you tie a tie. So many of our young
men may never experience that rite of
Dove said she hopes the mentors who
showed up for the event will continue to
work with her, especially since her day job
is working as a children’s advocate at Big
Thought, a nonprofit educational
“Our next step is to bring the guys
together again and have them participate
in various opportunities for mentorship,”
Joi-Marie McKenzie is an entertainment,
style, and relationships writer for ABC News.
Reprinted with permission from McKenzie and
ABC News. Copyright 2017-18, ABC News,
all rights reserved.
A mentor and a student talk during the December 2017 “Breakfast with Dads” event
at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas.