WASHINGTON, D.C.—The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has revealed the winners of two scholarships awarded annually to students who have excelled in or are pursuing aviation studies.
Nicholas Funkhouser of Jackson High School in Jackson, Michigan, has received the Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence” Award, given to a graduating high school senior who has been accepted in an aviation degree core program at his or her chosen university or college. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize, and is given on the basis of academic skills, extracurricular activities, and an essay on what aviation means to the student and how he or she plans to pursue a career in aviation. Stimpson was a founder of GAMA and served as its president from 1970 to 1990 and from 1992 to 1996.
Funkhouser, who will attend Western Michigan University in the fall, has achieved his private pilot license and works at Napoleon Airport on runway maintenance and grounds keeping. An Eagle Scout and a member of the National Honor Society, he hopes to become a captain for a large airliner. Funkhouser was praised in a recommendation letter as “a model of excellence.”
The Dr. Harold S. Wood Award for Excellence — given annually to a college student who is a flight team member at a National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) member school — was awarded to Kayan Todiwalla at NIFA’s Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) 2013 Awards Banquet at The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio. The award comes with a $1,000 cash prize and an engraved propeller trophy. Students are judged on the basis of academic skills, and both aviation-related and non-aviation-related extracurricular activities. The award is named after Wood, founder and past executive director of NIFA.
A sophomore at Lewis University majoring in both aviation flight management and aviation administration, Todiwalla is co-captain of the university’s flight team and holds his private pilot certificate. He developed a Safety Reporting System for Lewis University’s flight department that allows students and instructors to fill out a “report sheet” after any safety incident. That information is then used in a newsletter outlining safety problems at the university and providing tips on everyday flying. Todiwalla’s efforts were praised in one of his recommendation letters for leading to “increased safety as well as enhanced communication not only between students, but also with managerial staff, maintenance and flight instructors.”
“GAMA is proud to recognize these two promising students, who espouse the enthusiasm for aviation that Harold Wood and Edward Stimpson were known for,” GAMA President & CEO Pete Bunce said. “We look forward to hearing more about them in the future as they contribute to the general aviation industry.”