Meet the IWASM Staff


Executive Director
Barbara Williams

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Barbara became the first minority female in the state of Ohio hired into the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Controller training program. She completed training to become the first minority female air traffic controller certified at the Cleveland Air Route Control Center in Oberlin, Ohio. Barbara went on to become the Interim Air Traffic Manager at Cleveland Hopkins Airport (first minority female) and Operations Manager at Cleveland Air Route Control Center.

Barbara has received the National Partnership for Reinventing Government Award, known as the “Hammer Award” from former US Vice President Al Gore. In 2010, Barbara was featured in the IWASM 100 Ohio Women in Air & Space Exhibit, honoring trailblazing women who made their mark in aviation and space history and celebrating the 100th anniversary of American women in flight. Barbara retired from the FAA in 2006 with 36 years of service and 40 years of government service overall.

Barbara continues to mentor young people in aviation and STEM careers through a variety of programs and remains active in her community as a member of The Links Incorporated, Western Reserve Chapter and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater Cleveland Chapter. She is a member of Eastview United Church of Christ.

Office Manager
Heather Alexander

Heather started working in the non-profit sector in the early 90's installing exhibits for the Akron Art Museum. She graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in photography and art history. She then went on to manage several local photography studios and custom labs and worked as an archival framer for over 5 years. She has spent over 16 seasons working on different archaeological sites in the Middle East where she has served as photographer, small finds registrar, restorer and coordinator. She is currently involved with a project in Egypt, working under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Her aviation life started in 1991 when she was hired to photograph an air show. She has since  coordinated fly-ins, arranged the aerial portion of military reenactments and ran an air show for 8 years. Heather owns a Pietenpol Aircamper (a 1930s designed aircraft). She has been with the museum since 2003.

Education Specialist/Collections Assistant
Rebecca Dickinson

Rebecca graduated with a history degree from Heidelberg University in December 2013 with Honors. Throughout her undergraduate work she interned with the Manuscripts and Collections Curator at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio and spent two summers with the Berea Historical Society in Berea, Ohio. She is currently working on her Master's in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives and Special Collections at Kent State University. Her goal after the completion of her Master's degree is to work in an archives pretty much anywhere but her dream would be to work in an archives focused on institutional history. She is working on revamping our education program including Kids Club, day programs, and other exciting events that will be offered throughout the year.

Collections Specialist
Michael Sharaba

Michael is an Ohio native living in one of Cleveland’s suburbs all his life. He went to Lakeland Community College and earned his Associates of Arts degree. Michael then went on to graduate from Cleveland State with his bachelor’s degree in 2012 and earned a Masters in History degree in 2014. Michael would like to work as a registrar at a museum in order to work with historical objects. He wants to help educate people in both domestic and international history through the examination of and study of objects. To actually show people their history and where they came from and what we've been able to accomplish through objects speaks volumes compared to just reading about it in books. Michael is currently accessioning newly donated items into the museum’s collection and is working on exhibits and collaborations with other local museums.