The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today announced the winners of two leading scholarships awarded annually to students who have demonstrated excellence in pursuing aviation studies. Each scholarship is worth $2,000.
Cara Baldwin of Morgantown High School in Morgantown, West Virginia was named the winner of the Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence” Award, given to a graduating high school senior who has been accepted to and will be enrolled in an aviation degree core program at his or her chosen university or college. Named for Stimpson—a founder of GAMA and its President from 1970 to 1990 and 1992 to 1996—the award 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.
Baldwin will pursue an aeronautical sciences degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida starting this fall. A member of the National Honor Society, she flew with her grandmother and aunt in the Air Race Classic, an all-women cross-country airplane race in 2012 and 2013. She achieved solo status last summer and is a member of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots.
GAMA also awarded the Dr. Harold S. Wood Award for Excellence—which is given to a college student who is a flight team member at a National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) member school—to Alex Kwiatkowski of Lewis University. Kwiatkowski received the award, which also comes with an engraved propeller trophy, at NIFA’s Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) 2014 Awards Banquet at The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio. The award is named for Wood, founder and past executive director of NIFA. The scholarship is based on a student’s academic abilities, aviation- and non-aviation-related extracurricular activities, recommendations, and an essay describing his or her future plans in the aviation field.
A junior majoring in aviation flight management and minoring in both aircraft dispatch and business administration, Kwiatkowski possesses his private pilot’s certificate with added instrument rating. He serves as president of the Lewis chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives, works on the line for the Lewis University Flight Department, and is an aviation tutor at the Leckrone Academic Resource Center. Kwiatkowski was praised for having “high goals, a strong sense of purpose, and a good work ethic to pursue those goals” in one of his recommendation letters.
“These two outstanding awardees represent the very bright future of the aviation industry,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “We are pleased to recognize their dedication, talent, and passion for aviation, and look forward to seeing their contributions to the field in the years to come.”