A Message from the President

by Dr. Sam Pavel

Aviation is in a critical transition, with the Baby Boomers beginning to exit the workforce and enter retirement, the industry scrambles to find and train qualified replacements.  UAA member institutions are leading the way with innovative research-based solutions to meet the accelerated need for personnel and technology to fulfill industry needs.  The gathering of UAA members is a time where we share research and best-practices to help each other do our part; rising to the challenges in aviation education in this unique time.

UAA continues to grow and transition with the industry.  I was honored to be a member of a search committee formed over five years ago by the Board of Trustees to find new staff leadership to build on the foundation set by our former and beloved Executive Director Carolyn Williamson.  When Dawn Vision came on board she was given a mandate to not only continue the development and advancement of aviation education - but to plan a path for UAA growth in the most efficient and economical way possible.  As a direct result of this committee, UAA Headquarters was established at our current location at General DeWitt Spain Airport in Memphis, TN. 

I encourage each of you to join us at the 72nd Annual Collegiate Aviation Education Conference & Expo and experience firsthand the growth of collegiate aviation and the impact UAA is making in the field. I look forward to welcoming everyone to the upcoming conference in Memphis, TN. Memphis has a deep aviation history and is centrally located to all UAA member institutions.  Three evening networking events will offer a taste of the local cuisine and an opportunity to socialize with the UAA Board of Trustees and professionals from more than fifty different colleges and universities from across the country – and beyond. We will be showcasing our new HQ Thursday night with a Hangar Party hosted by four aircraft manufacturers (Cirrus, Diamond, Piper, and Textron). 

My first year as President of this amazing organization comes to a close, I thank you for the opportunity to serve and am humbled by the support you have shown me.  As the first President elected under the new two-year term, please come share with me your visions, stories, and ideas for year two. Together we can continue to keep UAA the primary voice of Collegiate Aviation across academia and the aviation industry at large.