200 aviation educators tackle ‘today’s challenges’...

200 aviation educators tackle ‘today’s challenges’

MTSU’s aerospace department, faculty and facilities are front and center at the University Aviation Association Fall Education Conference, which is being held this week in Murfreesboro.

The conference, “In Tune With Today’s Challenges,” is being hosted by MTSU and held at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center.

Interim MTSU aerospace department chair Dr. Ron Ferrara, former faculty member Dr. Daniel Prather and College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer discuss the annual University Aviation Association conference, which is being held at Embassy Suites Nashville Southeast-Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

“Students, they’re the ones that drive us. They’re why we’re here,” said Dr. Bruce Chase, president of the University Aviation Association, bringing the opening general session to order earlier Thursday.

About 200 administrators, students and industry partners are attending the annual event.

MTSU College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer provided welcoming remarks on behalf of President Sidney A. McPhee and Provost Brad Bartel.

Members of the Siegel High School Junior ROTC color guard participated in the opening ceremony. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Doug Chaffin, former MTSU professor of military science, directs the Siegel unit.

Interim aerospace department chair Dr. Ron Ferrara led the MTSU faculty contingent participating in the three-day conference. It will end with an awards banquet Friday, Sept. 28.

MTSU participants included Drs. Paul Craig and Wendy Beckman, aerospace adviser Andrew Symonds, faculty members Andrea Georgiou and Gerald Hill and graduate student Paul Carlson. An MTSU group led a flight operations center unified simulation workshop Sept. 26 at the MTSU Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport.

Former MTSU aerospace chair Dr. Wayne Dornan and faculty member Dr. Daniel Prather are among those attending.

Dornan is the first-year dean of the College of Aviation and Public Services at Utah Valley University in Provo. Prather is the first-year chair of aviation science at California Baptist University in Riverside.

At last year’s conference, Prather received the V.L. Laursen Award for 2011, an honor recognizing teaching excellence in collegiate aviation education.

— Randy Weiler (