Indiana State University Newsroom



Professional collaboration to further bolster State’s aviation program

November 28, 2017

Professional collaboration to further bolster State's aviation programIndiana State University will expand its professional development opportunities for students in the aviation professional flight technology program through the creation of a mentorship program with the largest pilot union in the world.

The signing of the agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association International on Nov. 9 will afford Sycamore aviation flight students with opportunities to experience a variety of professional development opportunities available through the creation of a mentorship program between professional pilot educators and Air Line Pilots Association International pilots to help students develop the professionalism needed for a career as a professional pilot.

"Airlines want to foster the next generation of professional pilots, and we've found that mentoring as increased the likelihood of success for employees in the industry," Richard Swindell, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association's professional development group chairman and an Indiana State aviation instructor.

The association will provide a representative for Indiana State's aviation department industrial advisory committee and allow a liaison from Indiana State's faculty or staff to serve as an educator advisor to the Air Line Pilots Association education committee.

"This collaboration will provide students with a mentor they can talk to about the airline industry and get the perspective of someone currently working in the industry," Harry Minniear, aviation technology department chair and associate professor. "Since most of our students want to fly with the major carriers someday, this is a great opportunity for them to learn more about the field before they graduate."

About 170 flight students attended the signing of the agreement, which will allow the association's education committee members the opportunity to visit with flight education and act as mentors, including classroom visits at least once a semester. The signing was followed by a safety night event with the association.

"I know there can be a lot of good opportunities in aviation, and it's nice to be able to talk with professionals in the field about those opportunities and what to expect on a first job in the aviation industry," said Noah Sacasas, a freshman professional aviation flight technology major from Ramsey, Ind. Sacasas spent part of the afternoon chatting with Corey Stutsman, '00, a first officer with United Airlines, about a pilot's work-life balance.

"This is a great opportunity for students to be able to communicate and ask questions of people who are working in the field," Stutsman said. "The pilots who come to talk with the students are volunteers, and we do this because we want the next generation of pilots to be well-prepared when they take to the skies."-30-

Photos: https://photos.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2017/Aviation-Memorandum-2017/i-nf8nsPh/0/2e31512c/X2/November%2009%2C%202017%20memorandum8942-X2.jpg - Harry Minniear, aviation technology department chair and associate professor, accepts a plaque as Indiana State University's aviation professional flight technology program enters a mentorship program during an event with the Air Line Pilots Association International at the flight academy in November.

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or betsy.simon@indstate.edu

Story Highlights

An agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association International on Nov. 9 will afford Sycamore aviation flight students mentorship opportunities.

See Also:

Effingham native tapped as winter commencement speaker

Inaugural ‘Inclusive Excellence Awards’ presented

Indiana State honored for women-in-STEM efforts

Sycamore wins national safety video competition

Seven State alumni among ‘12 Under 40’ honorees