Friends come into our lives for a reason. For 18-year old Daniel Cianov ’21, it was his close high school friend Edward Carmona who proved to be the driving force that inspired Cianov to pursue an associate degree in occupational studies (AOS) at Vaughn College’s Aviation Training Institute (ATI).

Finding his way to Vaughn

Deeply rooted in his Russian and Jewish heritage, Cianov was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York before moving to his current home in Queens. Throughout his early years, he always believed he would work in the medical field, following in the footsteps of his family. But something changed along the way. “As I got older, I realized working in the medical field wasn’t for me,” Cianov said. “I was lost for a while until my friend approached me two months before high school graduation and told me about the ATI program at Vaughn.

Launching his future

Cianov was excited about Vaughn. He researched all the information he could find and knew the College would be the turning point to guide him toward his future. “I was never a great student,” Cianov said humbly, “but I have always been good at using my hands. Studying to become an aircraft maintenance technician was never on my radar, but thanks to my friend, my passion became my future profession.” Both Cianov and Carmona enrolled at Vaughn in the summer of 2019 and, according to Cianov, they have not looked back since.

Gaining hands-on experience

Growing up, Cianov recalls fond memories of helping his father, Abraham, with various tasks around the house. “My father taught me the importance of knowing how to use my hands,” he explained. “He is a jeweler by trade, which requires skill and precise techniques.”

At Vaughn, Cianov said the hands-on skills he is learning are a perfect fit for him. The mechanical skills involved in airframe and powerplant maintenance operations has validated his passion for working as an aircraft maintenance technician. “The professors teach you everything from the ground up,” he said. “The curriculum is the perfect balance of lecture and lab. Everything you need to know is presented professionally and carefully so the students have a full understanding of the material.”

Having a good support system

Having the full support of his family was an important factor for Cianov to pursue his degree at Vaughn—but affording his education came at a price. “I wasn’t sure how I could afford a college education,” he said. “I learned of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and took it a step further. I am grateful to be a part of the program and the opportunity it afforded me to pursue my degree.”

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program is an important part of life at Vaughn, and its mandate closely follows the College’s own: Providing economically and educationally disadvantaged and underrepresented students the possibility of a college education. The primary objective of both HEOP and Vaughn is to help provide a broad range of services to students who—because of academic and economic circumstances—would otherwise be unable to attend college, yet have the potential and desire to obtain a college degree.a

Like son, like father

Abraham’s excitement for his son to work in the aviation industry has inspired him to possibly pursue a career in this field as well. At this time, Abraham is considering enrolling at Vaughn in the future to begin a new career path for himself.

Looking to the future

Cianov is working toward completing his coursework in the AOS program so he can move on to taking the airframe and powerplant licensing exams. He said he plans on working in the New York area and eventually earning his private pilot license.

“There comes a time when you just know you’re in the right profession,” said Cianov. “I owe it all to my friend. I know I’m not there yet, but I have no doubt I’m on the right path for a bright future.”

Are you interested in a career as an aviation maintenance technician? In as little as 16 months, Vaughn College’s Aviation Training Institute can prepare you for a high paying career as a certified airframe and powerplant technician. Interested in learning more? Sign up for our next Info. Session on July 22 at 6 p.m. – you’ll receive the opportunity to apply for FREE and a chance to win a $500 scholarship. In addition, learn how you can take advantage of Vaughn’s HEOP program which may include a variety of services including workshops, supplemental financial assistance, counseling, tutoring in several subject areas and more.

Are you prepared for your next job interview? You may be relieved to learn the commute may only be as far as your living room. Read on to learn the advantages of a Zoom interview and the best tips and practices to make it a successful experience.

Job interviews of today are getting more screen time as employers are opting to use video conferencing software, such as Zoom, to connect with job candidates instead of traditional in-person meetings. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, Zoom interviews have become more popular than ever. If you have already been using Zoom to connect with family and friends, you may think you have a handle on using this video conferencing software. But how would you fare using it in a job interview?

Below we have prepared a checklist of tips to help you prepare for a successful job interview via Zoom. But first, let us start with some of the ways both employers and candidates are benefiting from screen-to-screen interviews in contrast to traditional face-to-face ones.

Advantages of Zoom Interviews

Interviewing for a job can be a bit nerve-wracking for some. And for the interviewers, scheduling them can be a challenge. Conducting interviews via Zoom can be beneficial for both parties, thus making the experience more convenient and less stressful. Here are some of the advantages of Zoom interviews over traditional in-person ones:

  • No face-to-face contact—which is particularly beneficial during COVID-19.
  • Reduces pressure and puts candidates more at ease, since they are in their own environment.
  • More convenient for out-of-town participants—both employer and individual candidates.
  • Interviews can be arranged and organized quickly.
  • Employers can screen candidates efficiently.

Ways to Prepare for a Zoom Interview

Preparation is the key to success, especially when preparing for a Zoom interview. Here are some helpful tips to prepare for a positive experience:

  • Conduct practice interviews and record yourself to evaluate and fine-tune your answers and screen appearance.
  • Update your computer with the latest edition of Zoom software.
  • If using a laptop, check that it is fully charged.
  • Be sure you have a strong internet connection.
  • Advise household members of the day and time of your call to limit distractions.
  • Close out everything on your desktop before the interview.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Choose a:
    • Professional background with limited clutter
    • Room with good lighting—facing toward a window is better than having the light behind you
    • Quiet space that is free of distractions – make sure children and dogs are secured in separate rooms

Tips for Success Before the Call

There are a few simple things to do right before the call that could make or break the interview. Be sure to:

  • Silence your phone and put it away until after the interview.
  • Turn off all notifications from social media websites and other distractions.
  • Use a desktop or laptop when possible instead of the Zoom mobile app. Computer cameras are more stable and also provide a better view for the interviewer.

Tips for Success During the Call

Now that you have selected the best space for your call, fined-tuned your computer and are dressed for success, here are some important tips to keep in mind during the call. Remember, a Zoom interview is just as formal as an in-person one.

  • Use your mute button when you are not talking to eliminate any distracting background noises.
  • It has been proven that most people look at themselves during Zoom meetings, so you can hide your video from your display by right clicking on your video and selecting “Hide Myself.” This will enable you to focus on and make eye contact with the other people in the meeting.
  • Be aware of your body language. Maintain good posture and use non-verbal cues like smiling and head-nodding when listening to the interviewer.
  • Ask questions with confidence.

Vaughn College is dedicated to the success of its students. We hope you found these interviewing tips for a Zoom interview helpful. Remember: You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Now is your time to shine. Visit career services to learn more about how Vaughn College can help you on your path towards a futureproof career.

Calling future engineers! Vaughn has pulled out all the stops as the College introduces its first-ever virtual engineering competition as part of its summer academy program. Imagine putting your ingenuity and problem-solving skills to the test while competing for a chance to win scholarship money to Vaughn? If you are passionate about engineering and have the competitive edge to show off your skills while solving some of the world’s most serious problems right now, then buckle up for a fun and exciting summer experience. Here is what you need to know:

Who is eligible?

The Engineering Innovation Summer Academy is open to local high school students and transfer students who have a passion for both engineering and problem solving.

About the program

The six-week program offers qualifying students a chance to earn three (3) Vaughn College credits at no cost, as well as a chance to win scholarship money to Vaughn. Here is what you need to know about the program:

  • Students will make a difference by tackling a contemporary problem related to modern circumstances—such as pandemics, societal issues, climate change and the like—that may have an engineering-related solution.
  • Students will work in small teams of three to create an idea and sustainable operations model that will take the form of a product or service that is responsive to clients and investors.
  • Classes will be synchronous and completed online via Zoom.
  • Webinars will feature guest speakers (engineering entrepreneurs) on a variety of topics discussing real-world experiences.
  • Students will pitch products/services to simulated investors on August 14 for the chance to win scholarship money to Vaughn.
    • First Place – $7,500 per team member
    • Second Place – $5,000 per team member
    • Third Place – $2,500 per team member

When is it?

The course runs Monday, July 6 through Friday, August 14.

Speaker Series Schedule: Fridays 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

  • July 10: Young Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 17: Women Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 24: Global Entrepreneurial Programs
  • July 31: IP and Standards Explained
  • August 7: Getting Financing
  • August 14: Summer Academy Pitches

NOTE: There is a nine-student minimum to run the program. Scholarship awards can be combined with current offers but cannot exceed the cost of tuition.

How do I enroll?

(Submissions are due no later than June 18 at 12:59 p.m.)

Eligible students should post a 30-45-second video on Instagram that details a world problem they are passionate about solving.

The following information should be addressed in the video:

  • A world problem that you are passionate about which could be solved with an engineering solution
  • How Vaughn’s Engineering Innovation Summer Academy would help you explore that world problem
  • Why you are excited about winning scholarship money to Vaughn College

The following criteria is required:

  • Tag @vaughncollege on your video to ensure we can access your video for consideration
  • Complete the required form on the Engineering Innovation Summer Academy page
  • After acceptance to the summer program, you will be asked to complete an application to attend Vaughn College, where your application fee will be waived.

Gaining a valuable experience

In such uncertain times, the summer academy program at Vaughn opens the door to students to gain valuable experience at both a personal and professional level. Here is what you will gain:

  • Making your mark among your peers by solving some of the world’s current modern-day problems
  • Studying locally, studying safe
  • Enjoying small class sizes and individualized attention

Engineering Entrepreneur Speaker Series

For those who want to hear from the experts but not compete, Vaughn is also offering a webinar speaker series where you can hear engineering entrepreneurs speak about their experiences. Webinars will be held every Friday from July 10 to August 7 at 12 p.m. You can listen to the webinars for FREE, or purchase access to the videos for a limited time, receive the ability to ask questions of the speakers and obtain membership to the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE).

Tier One Access: FREE

You will receive FREE live Speaker Series Webinar access every Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. from July 10 through August 7.

  • July 10: Young Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 17: Women Entrepreneurs Speak
  • July 24: Global Entrepreneurial Programs
  • July 31: IP and Standards Explained
  • August 7: Getting Financing

Register Now for FREE Tier One Access

Tier Two Access: $50

You will receive:

  • Three-month access to all five webinars
  • Ability to submit one question per week after the webinar to the one of the featured speakers
  • Half-year Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Student Membership

Tier Three Access: $100

You will receive:

  • Three-month access to all five webinars
  • Ability to submit one question per week after the webinar to one of the featured speakers
  • Half-year Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Student Membership
  • Name will be added to a lottery for 10, 30-minute mentorship sessions with a member of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Committee of professionals

Register Now for Tier Two or Three Access

Change can be a good thing—and good things can follow. Are you thinking about transferring to a college that is closer to home? Now is the perfect time to consider transferring to Vaughn College. If you are looking for a local college that checks all the boxes, then we invite you to join us for a Virtual Info. Session specially designed for transfer students like yourself. We make the process easy so you can focus on more important things—like your education. Here is what you need to know:


Virtual Info. Session for Transfer Students

Wednesday, June 24 at 2 p.m.

What you will receive

We invite you to join us for a fun and informative session that will be packed with all the information you will need to make the best decision for yourself. Plus, you will have the opportunity to apply to Vaughn for free and a chance to win a $500 scholarship.

Here is what you will receive during the Info. Session:

  • An overview of Vaughn’s academic degrees and programs in Engineering and Technology, Management and Aviation
  • A preview of Vaughn’s financial aid options, scholarship opportunities and admissions process for transfer students

Vaughn College Virtual Tour

Seeing is believing. Our virtual tour will give you the opportunity to preview our  campus and view the air traffic control lab, engineering labs, flight simulators, residence hall, library, and more. With our futureproof programs and long list of advantages, there is no reason to leave home. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider coming to Vaughn:

  • Close to home
  • Proven model for online learning
  • Hybrid options available for fall to fit your needs
  • Ranked #1 in upward mobility*
  • Small class sizes—faculty know you
  • 15:1 student to faculty ratio
  • Ongoing career support services
  • Precollege prep programs

Did you know that 99 percent of our graduates, 83 percent in their chosen field, are employed or continue their education within one year?** By transferring to Vaughn, you could be among the next generation of futureproof Vaughn graduates. We welcome students from all walks of life. You could be next. See how easy it is to make the switch.


*The Upshot, January 18, 2017, “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60.” **Outcomes include data within one year of graduation for graduates who reported via survey. There was a total of 282 graduates in 2018. 220 reported an outcome for a 78% response rate. The 2018 graduating class includes September 2017, December 2017 and May 2018 graduates.

Sometimes a perfect combination comes along. For example, a New York state grant program and a dynamic student with the academic rigor to take advantage of every opportunity it provides. That is exactly the case with the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Vaughn student Xylene DeCoteau ’20, who received her bachelor’s degree in aircraft operations in May while also taking the set of air traffic control courses offered within her degree program.

HEOP is an important part of life at Vaughn, and its mandate closely follows the College’s own: providing economically and educationally disadvantaged and underrepresented students the possibility of a college education. The primary objective of both HEOP and Vaughn is to help provide a broad range of services to students who, because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend college, yet have the potential and desire to obtain a college degree.

“Mom One” and “Mom Two”

Melissa Teixeira, executive director, and Lauren Cajade, assistant director, run Vaughn’s HEOP office. In addition to helping students understand what is available to them, Teixeira and Cajade provide academic support and personal and social counseling. They are also hands-on advisers who make sure students are getting the support they need throughout their time at Vaughn, including special tutoring or financial guidance. The HEOP office is a unique space where students feel supported. According to Cajade, “This is a special place that is really different. Everyone, not just HEOP participants, enjoy the safe, family feel we provide.” It is no surprise that Teixeira shared that students refer to her and Cajade as “Mom One” and “Mom Two.”

Xylene DeCoteau: Student, Pilot, Teacher, Inspiration

Everyone who knows or has worked with DeCoteau knows that she is truly unique. She earned a place on the President’s List in the spring and fall of 2017, 2018 and 2019. That is a hard-earned honor — a student must maintain a GPA of 3.85 or above to be included.

While DeCoteau was a student, she already earned several licenses, including her private pilot license (PPL), instrument rating (IR) and commercial pilot license (CPL) for both single and multi-engine aircraft. She has also earned her certified flight instructor airplane (CFIA) and certified flight instructor instrument (CFII) certificates and currently teaches and supports other students part-time at Vaughn.

Throughout her impressive academic career, DeCoteau remains generous with her time and spirit and is committed to giving back to the community and to Vaughn. Teixeira says, “We’re here for her. She has a great support group of friends here and a determined focus on the future. We have no doubt that she will continue to accomplish great things.”

When asked about her Vaughn experience, DeCoteau said, “Everyone here has supported my success, and I am happy and honored to have achieved so many of my goals. HEOP and hard work really made a difference. Plus, I get to fly and go to college at the same time. What can be better than that?”

HEOP Information Session

You can learn more about Vaughn’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) during an Information Session on Wednesday, June 17 at 1 p.m. (register here) or Monday, June 22 at 6 p.m. (register here) or visit You can also contact Melissa Teixeira () or Lauren Cajade () from our HEOP office for assistance.