Jessenia Diaz, Class of '11

Bachelor of Science in Airport Management and General Management
Certificate, Flight Dispatch Program
AT-CTI Program
Brooklyn, New York

"Everyone at Vaughn goes above and beyond to help you."

Jessenia Diaz has always been a busy woman. Having recently completed bachelor of science degrees in airport management and general management after completing the flight dispatch program and the Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative program, a partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Vaughn, she is on the trainee referral list and anticipating life as a controller.

While at Vaughn, Diaz had an internship with the FAA in the aviation and space program, where she led seminars on aviation careers for middle- and high school students. She was a peer leader, a Leadership Academy member and founder and president of Vaughn's Dance Crew, which provides students with the opportunity to learn and perform a variety of popular and cultural dances.

While starting and keeping up with the Dance Crew was a lot of work, it was worth it, Diaz said. "Vaughn students are so focused on their career goals, but it's nice to do something outside of aviation." She believes that too many students just "go to school and go home" and that it's important to get the full college experience. That was why she lived in the Vaughn residence hall.

"Vaughn provides a comfortable environment, great opportunities and, most importantly, professors and staff who go above and beyond to help you, so you're encouraged to go and explore your options," Diaz said.

Diaz graduated summa cum laude, won the Board of Trustees award at spring convocation and was selected as the student commencement speaker for 2011. Hired by the FAA, she began controller training in Oklahoma City in September of 2011 and now works at Kennedy Airport. Her address to her fellow graduates chronicled her time at Vaughn and looked ahead to what she and her classmates can expect as newly minted alumni. Download a copy of her speech here.

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