News: University Outreach


ALPA Adds Central Washington University to Program Lineup
ALPA and Central Washington University (CWU) recently formalized an alliance to develop an Aviation Collegiate Education (ACE) Club, making it ALPA's ninth collegiate professional development and mentoring program.

In June 2016, approximately 40 students attended the ACE Club's first meeting. Capt. Wes Clapper (JetBlue), the Education Committee's liaison to the university and a CWU alumni, gave an overview of ALPA and current issues facing the piloting profession, as well as answered students' questions. This presentation was well received, and all parties are looking forward to continuing efforts in the new academic year.


ALPA and Lewis University Commemorate Partnership
The ALPA ACE Club at Lewis University started the academic year as the Association's newest professional development program and ended it with a special meeting to commemorate this strategic initiative. F/O Andrew Ross (Envoy), ALPA's Education Committee liaison to the university, presented a plaque to Dr. Bonnie Bondavalli, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Eric Jones, department chairman of Aviation and Transportation Studies. In doing so, Ross noted how quickly the group has evolved into one of the most active student organizations on campus. ACE Club students took two behind-the-scenes tours of ALPA carriers' operations, received tips for airline interviews, learned how to read Jeppesen charts, and more.

Afterwards, Capt. Jose Sanchez (Endeavor) gave an interesting and engaging presentation on crew resource management. He also gave the students a theoretical problem to work on individually and then divided them into groups to solve it together. With an ALPA pilot to help guide them through the process, the groups produced much better solutions and provided positive feedback on this type of hands-on training.


Collegiate Aviators Compete at 2016 NIFA SAFECON
Nearly 325 collegiate aviators from 26 flight programs across the U.S. descended on The Ohio State University May 9-14 to test their knowledge and skills at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (NIFA SAFECON). This annual competition, which ALPA proudly sponsors, consists of flight and ground events designed to promote aviation safety and instill professionalism in the next generation of airline pilots. Events include aircraft recognition, navigation, and precision landing.

Taking home the National Top Pilot Award was student pilot George Nimmer from Southern Illinois University. The 10 regional top pilots were (in order of region) Garrett Ellis, United States Air Force Academy; Roger Williams, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University—Prescott; Luke Ostrom, Western Michigan University; Cameron Laramee, LeTourneau University; Justin Bauer, University of North Dakota; Nicholas Lynam, University of Nebraska—Omaha; Kirk Bittner, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; George Nimmer, Southern Illinois University; Peter Wolbart, Auburn University; and Kyle Gallagher, Liberty University. The full results are listed on the NIFA website.

ALPA Education Committee volunteers presented the 2016 NIFA SAFECON top pilots with scholarship awards. Capt. Fred Kopec (Delta) and first officers T.J. Fogarty and Andrew Ross (both with Envoy) also talked with hundreds of other collegiate aviators about ALPA and the profession; they staffed an ALPA booth at the competition and hosted an information session to answer questions from students and coaches.


Aces to ALPA Programs at Embry-Riddle
ALPA's Aviation Collegiate Education (ACE) Clubs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Fla. and Prescott, Ariz., ended 2015 on a high note and are working to build upon those successes in 2016.

Over the past semester, ALPA Education Committee members met with hundreds of ERAU aviation students as part of a strategic initiative to mentor and prepare aspiring aviators. They hosted monthly meetings at each of the campuses to give students an inside look at the piloting profession, as well as provided them with opportunities to ask questions and interact personally with active line pilot professionals. ALPA pilots have also participated in career fairs at both ERAU campuses, reviewed students' résumés, and provided career advice to help them achieve their goals.

Activities planned for 2016 include bringing the profession to life through continued discussion of real-world scenarios and topics of interest as well as field trips for students to see airline operations first-hand. Special thanks to Capt. Justin Dahan (PSA) and F/O Kurtis Ludwig (Delta), who spearhead ALPA’s efforts at ERAU’s Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses respectively.


ALPA Pilot Talks "A Day in the Life" with ISU Aviation Students
As part of a strategic initiative to expand its university outreach program, the ALPA Education Committee recently visited Indiana State University (ISU) in Terre Haute, Ind. F/O Richard Swindell (United) talked with 30 students enrolled in the Professional Pilot Program about the challenges and benefits of being a professional airman, the advocacy role of ALPA and how the Association supports pilots and the piloting profession, along with common issues and activities related to a "day in the life" of an airline pilot.

This was the first visit by a representative of ALPA in a long time, and it hopefully marks the beginning of a meaningful dialogue with the university and ISU students working toward an airline career.

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