University Aviation Association presents awards

The University Aviation Association (UAA) recently presented its three annual awards.

The 2013 Frank E. Sorenson Award was presented to Dr. Suzanne K. Kearns, assistant professor, commercial aviation management at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. A prolific researcher, author and presenter, Kearns is among the vanguard of researchers in the field of online and e-learning in aviation, according to UAA officials.

Kearns is the author of the books, E-Learning in Aviation and Canadian Aviation, in addition to articles in journals and conference proceedings, as well as in trade journals.

She has delivered presentations on the topic of e-Learning at numerous conferences in Indonesia, Canada, Turkey, Jamaica, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States.

She earned her doctorate in Education from Capella University. Kearns also earned a Commercial Pilot Flight Program–Helicopter diploma from Canadore College of Applied Arts and Training.

Sponsored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Sorenson Award is presented to professional educators who have made substantial scholarly contributions to the field of aviation, comparable to the achievements of Dr. Frank E. Sorenson, a pioneer in the field of aviation education, a renowned educator, and a prolific writer.

The 2013 John K. Lauber Safety Award was awarded to Dr. Chien-Tsung Lu, Associate Professor, Department of Aviation Technology at Purdue University. The Lauber Safety Award recognized Lu for achievement that demonstrates clear advancement of aviation safety.

Since 2000, Lu has authored or co-authored more than 30 safety-related articles, and is currently working with research partners in China, Thailand, and Taiwan to improve local safety culture using the concepts and practices of SMS.

He has hosted numerous visiting scholars from China and Taiwan, and invited many to the Purdue campus to interact with faculty and students. He was recently invited to Sao Paolo, Brazil, as a featured guest speaker for the aircraft accident investigators from South American nations.

Lu has been recognized by his peers, students and the aviation industry for his tireless contributions in teaching, scholarship, service, and research. His safety studies have contributed important efforts to the global aviation community in keeping with the tradition of this award.

The Lauber Safety Award honors Dr. John K. Lauber, a pioneer in the field of aviation safety and human factors Lauber was a two-term member of the National Transportation Safety Board, vice president of Corporate Safety and Compliance at Delta Air Lines, and vice president of Training and Human Factors at Airbus Industries.

Finally, Dr. José Ruiz, UAA president 2012-13, presented the 2013 University Aviation Association’s (UAA) President’s Award to Carolyn Williamson, CAE, UAA executive director.

The award was presented to Williamson in recognition of more than 20 years of “leadership and distinguished service to the organization and collegiate aviation.”

For the past 12 years, she has served as UAA executive director, a role she assumed one month after the attacks on 9/11. As chief staff executive, Williamson is responsible for the administration and programs of the 500 member organization.

In 2013, she has overseen the relocation of the organization’s headquarters, the migration of its member database, and the implementation of a new member website. It has been during Williamson’s tenure as executive director that UAA received the prestigious Frank G. Brewer Trophy for “serving as the voice of collegiate aviation for over 60 years in support of professional development, scholarship, industry collaboration, and promotion of aviation and aerospace careers.”

Williamson serves as editor of Collegiate Aviation News and the Collegiate Aviation Guide, and is a contributor for several other publications and articles. She is a founding board member of Women in Aviation, International (WAI) and served as staff vice president from 1997 to 2001. Additionally, she was the founding editor of WAI’s magazine, Aviation for Women.

A Certified Association Executive, Williamson has spent most of her career in nonprofit association management and collegiate aviation education. She is the recipient of multiple awards and honors for dedication to and active service in the aviation community over the past four decades. Earlier this year, Williamson was the inducted, along with fellow WAI founding board members, into the International Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame and recognized as a Volunteer of the Year.

The University Aviation Association (UAA), a nonprofit organization, represents more than 500 members consisting of educators, students, high schools, two- and four-year collegiate institutions offering aviation degree programs, and organizations and industry representatives that support collegiate aviation. The UAA also serves as the voice of collegiate aviation education to government, industry organizations and the general public.

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