The University Aviation Association (UAA) awarded its prestigious William A. Wheatley Award for 2011 to Dr. Julie Massie Speakes, professor and department chair of Commercial Aviation at Delta State University in Mississippi.
The Wheatley Award, presented at the UAA Fall Education Conference Awards Banquet in Indianapolis, recognized Dr. Speakes for 18 years of aviation education experience from the flight line to the classroom. The award honors Professor Wheatley, an aviation education pioneer who established a strong relationship between airlines and educators that remains to this day, according to association officials. This award is presented annually to a professional educator who, for more than 10 years, has made outstanding contributions to aerospace education.
Dr. Speakes is currently professor and the chair of the department of Commercial Aviation at Delta State University (DSU). In this role, she oversees the undergraduate and graduate aviation programs and teaches in the graduate program. Prior to returning to DSU in 2009, Dr. Speakes served as chair of the Aviation Management and Business Division at Middle Georgia College (MGC). At MGC, she developed a Bachelor of Science in Aviation degree with four tracks: flight management, air traffic control management, airport management, and logistics management. She also served on the Georgia Aviation Implementation Team for the Georgia Aviation Authority (GAA) and the Transportation Education Foundation of Georgia (TEFGA).
Dr. Speakes earned Bachelor and Master of Commercial Aviation degrees from DSU, and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. She is a gold seal flight instructor.
The University Aviation Association (UAA), a nonprofit organization, represents more than 525 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.