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Spotlight Story

Maxine Lubner, PhD

Dr. Maxine Lubner admits she took a roundabout way to Vaughn College and the chairmanship of the aviation and management faculty.

Born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa, she moved to New York in the 1980s when racial tensions were at their peak in South Africa. After completing master's and doctoral work at Columbia and working in the doctoral program at New York University, her love of aviation landed her at Vaughn.

"As a kid, my family used to go to a vacation place in South Africa, where the planes would land in a lagoon," Dr. Lubner says. "I told my father I wanted a plane; he said, ¬Ďabsolutely not.' "

Half a world away, Dr. Lubner has made her childhood dream of becoming a pilot a reality. She's an FAA-certified pilot, and a recognized authority in aviation psychology. She sees aviation safety "as a public health issue" and is frequently called on by local and national media to share her expertise. In May 2011, she was invited to attend the prestigious e-G8 forum on technology matters in advance of the G8 global economic conference in France.

Dr. Lubner teaches occupational safety for airports and research methods classes, among others, and wants her students to master the challenges of collaboration through the school's management curriculum.

"In group work, students learn the joys and difficulties of management in a team," she says.