Fourteen students receive scholarships from NBAA


Viva NBAA 2013

Fourteen young people are receiving scholarships from the National Business Aviation Association today, to support them as they establish careers in business aviation.

The NBAA offers scholarships through NBAA Charities, and is awarding this year’s batch during NBAA-BACE at Las Vegas.

Five young people are receiving the UAA Janice K Barden Aviation Scholarship: Erich Miner, a freshman at Western Michigan University who is majoring in flight science; Joel Montoya, a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha who is majoring in professional flight; Natalie Shemigon, a junior at the Metropolitan State University of Denver who is majoring in aerospace science; Odanys Velazquez, a junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who is majoring in aeronautical science; Sgt Rainiel De La Nuez, a Marine Corps air delivery chief who is studying unmanned aircraft systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

The UAA Janice K Barden Aviation Scholarship was named after the late founder of Aviation Personnel International, who received the NBAA’s John P “Jack” Doswell Award for her support of business aviation.

This year’s Al Conklin  and Bill de Decker Business Aviation Management scholarship is going to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University senior Michelle Bennett, who is majoring in global business with an aviation/aerospace focus.

The scholarship was first created to honour the memory of US Air Force veteran and business aviation leader Al Conklin. It now also honours Bill de Decker’s contribution to the sector, for which he received the John P “Jack” Doswell Award in 2014. Conklin and de Decker launched the Aircraft Cost Evaluator in the 1970s and founded the Conklin & de Decker aviation information company.

The William M Fanning Maintenance Scholarship is being awarded to Jeremy Smith, a member of the Army National Guard who is completing his training as an aviation maintenance professional at the National Aviation Academy, and Scott Simon, a former aircraft commander for the Wyoming Air National Guard who is training for his A&P licence at the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology.

The William M Fanning Maintenance Scholarship is named after retired NBAA staff member William M Fanning, who was actively involved in maintenance issues during his two decades with the Association.

There are six recipients of the Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship this year: David Burridge, a senior at Broward College who is majoring in aircraft airframe and power plant mechanics; Petre Stefanescu, a senior at Arizona State University who is majoring in aeronautical management technology; Tate Wegman, a sophomore at Liberty University who is majoring in aeronautics; Clare Willette, a sophomore at Kent State University who is majoring in flight technology; Wilford Rose, a junior at Kansas State University who is completing a professional pilot degree.

The Lawrence Ginocchio Aviation Scholarship was created in 2001 by NBAA Charities, along with Ginocchio’s family and friends, to honour his “outstanding personal contribution” to business aviation. The recipients are chosen for “demonstrating honesty, integrity and selflessness”, according to the NBAA.

Florida Institute of Technology senior Leonia Hunt, who is majoring in aviation management with flight, is this year’s recipient of the Eddie Queen Business Aviation Management Scholarship. The scholarship was created by NBAA Charities and Signature Flight Support in memory of Queen, a Signature Flight Support line service technician for 58 years, and is awarded to business aviation management students at NBAA/UAA institutions who “show an exceptional commitment to customer service”.

NBAA Charities offers monetary and training scholarships to both students and aviation professionals worth nearly $100,000 each year. The scholarships are run by NBAA standing committees and are supported by NBAA member donors.