NASA Engineer Leaves a Legacy with STARS

Daniella Muheim

This amazing woman has left a legacy to help the 2 million people in the United States who live with aphasia – a language impairment due to stroke.

Voices of Hope for Aphasia invites the community to celebrate National Aphasia Awareness Month this June with a ribbon-cutting for the official launch of the Danniella Muheim STARS Program. The event will include demonstration stations where attendees will be able to see the technologies that people with aphasia can use to support reintroduction to meaningful activities.

From small-town Canada to the stars.

Danniella Muheim was born in a small Manitoba town of about 10,000 people, just northeast of Winnipeg. Gifted and driven, she eventually earned a Master of Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech and was awarded a prestigious Amelia Earhart Fellowship by Zonta International.

In 1996, Dannie joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), later helping to build the James Webb Space Telescope – a space-based observatory (launching in October 2018) that will have better sensitivity and cover longer lightwaves than Hubble. Muheim led a team at Goddard Space Flight Center that analyzed the JWST’s function, structure, and design.

Sadly, in 2012, at the age of 46, Danniella suffered a stroke. As an extrovert with many friends, one of her most devastating symptoms was aphasia – an impairment that makes it difficult both for people to convey and understand language. Danniella did not allow her condition to sideline her, though, returning to part-time work at NASA in 2014. She was also passionately committed to supporting and educating others as an active member of Voices of Hope for Aphasia. Dannie passed away in November 2015, but her…

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