This January two UVU students participated in the opportunity of a lifetime.
Aviation students Tree Gore and Cordell Stevens were sent to Washington D.C. to attend an annual seminar run by the University Aviation Association.
The UAA was founded decades ago in an effort to nurture and expand aviation programs around the United States. Each year 50-60 students are sent to attend meetings in D.C. with industry associations, congressional staff and FAA managers to understand how the leaders determine aviation policies.
“We need to be involved as individuals and also as a school,” said Gore. “We’re influencing our community as well as the national community and I think it’s good that we had a presence there.”
UVU has successfully funded the trip for four aviation students in the last two years. Last year the funding came from an IPE grant, and this year the funds were donated by the Aviation Development Committee. Involvement in the seminar allows students the right to speak their minds and offer valuable opinion on important policies related to the field.
Gore and Stevens noted that many of the leaders who influence policy decisions at the national level have little or no background in aviation, making the role of aviation students at the conference even more crucial.
“I think we need to continue to educate people about influencing policies in aviation,” said Gore. “I think people need to know that their role is important in determining those policies. The aviation community is ours and we should shape it.”
The students attended several different meetings during the five-day conference, and both Gore and Stevens expressed gratitude at being given such a rare opportunity. The experience is not unique to the students of UVU; it is offered to aviation majors across the country.
Dr. Mavis Green of the Aviation Science department at UVU hopes that in the future more students can have that same experience. She encourages everyone involved in the aviation department to consider making a trip to the D.C. seminar.
“They are thrilled to have the college students there, and you as a student get the chance to see what their work is like,” said Green. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and we’re hoping we can continue to offer it in the future.”