Vaughn College is excited to announce its 2023 Computer Engineering Summer Boot Camp, happening in July and August. Students will be introduced to some of the hottest topics in the industry, including cybersecurity, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, computer scripting, operating systems, ethical hacking and so much more! And best of all—it’s completely free!
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, our summer boot camp can be your first big step to becoming a highly sought-after candidate in one of the fastest growing career sectors in the country.
Why the field is red hot
Today, nearly all financial transactions are conducted online, which have given rise to cyberattacks. If you’ve ever been hacked, you know firsthand experience how disruptive it is. Because of the serious nature of cyberattacks, the U.S. government is now requiring companies to protect data. There are approximately 1.8 million cybersecurity-related positions worldwide that will go unfilled this year. The urgency to fill these positions is making computer engineering and information technology among the hottest career sectors today.
The computer engineering boot camp will be held on Vaughn’s main campus. Here is what you need to know:
Program runs from July 17 – August 24.
Each week, classes will be held Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
(One hour lunch break between 12-1 p.m.)
Who is eligible to participate?
This free, in-person, program is open to:
High school students, particularly seniors
Community college students
College students with an interest in computer engineering, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence
What will be taught?
Students will receive an introduction and hands-on training in some of today’s most influential topics in the industry, including:
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Principles of ethical hacking
Plus, so much more!
Through project implementations in hardware and software, students will engage in hands-on learning practices to help them understand the top-down processes that focus on application results. Here are some other exciting features:
Each class focuses on the hottest topics in the industry.
Each week, a new topic will be explored.
Students will be fully engaged with theory and hands-on training.
Vaughn has the faculty, resources and industry experts to help you engineer a bright future in cybersecurity and information technology. Need more proof? Check out our proven results:
Vaughn was ranked #1 in upward mobility nationwide.*
Vaughn was ranked a 2022 Best Regional College by U.S. News & World Report.
88 percent of Vaughn graduates―75 percent in their chosen field―are employed or continue their education within one year.**
Vaughn was ranked in the top four percent of colleges with the highest ROI for low income students.***
Vaughn’s well-connected, experienced faculty and staff will keep you on a path of success throughout your college career.
Vaughn’s curriculum is based on the latest trends in the industry and is updated as trends shift with new technological advancements.
We guarantee you’ll graduate with the skills you need for a successful career.†
Ready to register for boot camp?
Make the most of your future this summer. It’s easy to register. Complete a simple form and we will confirm your acceptance.
**Outcomes include data within one year of graduation for graduates who reported via survey. There were a total of 237 graduates in 2020. 178 reported an outcome for an 75% response rate. The 2020 graduate class includes September 2019, December 2019 and May 2020 graduates.
February 12: VEX IQ Competition—Middle school students will compete in an open-ended robotics challenge. This exciting opportunity not only enhances hands-on STEM skills but fosters a student’s development of teamwork, critical thinking, project management and communication skills.
Vaughn has degree programs to meet robotics demand
Competitions such as VEX Robotics World Championship offer students an amazing opportunity to put their robotics and automation skills to the test, while also building vital leadership, collaboration and problem solving skills that students take with them into their future careers.
Vaughn College has long been an institution that meets industry demands by offering futureproof degree programs in fields that impact our daily lives. Robotics engineering and automation are becoming part of today’s most sought-after professions. Through exciting clubs like VCAT and VEX U Robotic World Championship competitions, Vaughn students from diverse majors like mechanical engineering, mechatronic engineering and management are able to put their diverse talents into motion. Why is this important?
According to surveys conducted by ABB, a Swiss-based automation technology company, robotics and automation training are falling behind the increased global demand as it relates to supply chain and education. In fact, although the survey revealed that only one-in-four institutions are teaching these competencies throughout the globe, 80 percent of education professionals said skills in these fields will be crucial for employment in the future. Further results showed that due to supply chain issues, an average of 70 percent of US and European businesses plan to invest in robotics and automation over the next three years. So, what does this mean for your future? If you have ever had an interest in robotics, it might be time to start considering it as a solid career.
Your pathway to success
Vaughn’s mechatronic engineering curriculum was developed to combine mechanical, electrical and computer engineering to prepare students for this fast-paced and ever-changing industry. This leading-edge program gives students the education and tools that are needed to have successful engineering careers in aerospace, automation, automotive, computer, communications and other high-tech industries. And were you aware that this leading-edge degree in engineering is one of only four in the country to receive accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET?
Meet the future you: Success stories
Check out some of our student success stories to learn how Vaughn’s mechatronic engineering program has allowed our students to become successful in a variety of industries.
Misael Marquez ‘22: Read this exciting article featuring Misael Marquez, president of VCAT, who discusses winning the Excellence Award at the 2022 VEX Worlds Championship—the highest honor presented at VEX Competitions. Learn how he credits joining the robotics team and pursuing a degree in mechatronic engineering as being key to his success.
Are you interested in the exciting field of robotics engineering? Now is the time to earn your degree to meet the demand in this surging field. Apply today.
And don’t forget to keep up with VCAT team – follow their live stream competitions on Twitch!
Looking for the perfect holiday gift ideas for the engineers and tech lovers in your life? We’ve done the shopping for you. Vaughn College is excited to share its 2022 Holiday Gift Guide. Get ready to “sleigh” the holidays with these awesome gift ideas!
Anyone who works with their hands will love having light at their fingertips—when and where they need it. These cleverly engineered flashlight gloves have LED lights on the index finger and thumb, which makes working in dark spaces an illuminating experience. Plus, they’re made to be ambidextrous, so there’s no fumbling when time is of the essence. Talk about shedding light on the subject!
You don’t have to be an mechanical engineer to love this gift. In fact, any robotics or tech enthusiast will be thrilled to build this cool robotic arm. The kit includes everything needed to get started. Check it out:
The control system of the mechanical arm shown here is equipped with:
Operates via a DC port
Once built, here’s what it can do:
Grab and hold up to 55 pounds
Save 1,020 different actions
Can be programmed using PC software, mobile applications and offline
Smart weather station
Be a meteorologist in your own backyard! This innovative smart weather station allows you to monitor the weather conditions at your home and backyard at a glance using a bright, LCD color display. You can keep up with the current temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speeds and so much more via the wireless all-in-one integrated sensor. This makes a great gift for anyone who loves meteorology—or just likes talking about the weather.
Magnetic levitating globe
How does it do that? This magnetic levitating globe is one of the coolest gifts to give this holiday season. Powered by electricity, the globe levitates by use of powerful magnets on the top and bottom of the unit. It’s the perfect gift for the students, engineers, scientists and curiosity-seekers in your life.
The latest aviator smartwatches have amazing features that the pilot in your life will be sure to appreciate. These watches have touchscreen displays with GPS/moving map, weather/radar reports, call/text and animated workouts. It also can be paired to an app to transfer flight plans. With so many different variations of this type of watch, there’s definitely one for your pilot!
From all of us at Vaughn College, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!
Sometimes the path you’re on may be leading you in the wrong direction. This was the realization for Vaughn graduate Antonio Florio ’19 when, at the age of 25, he switched gears from a career in economics and decided to pursue his passion for aviation and become an air traffic controller. Now, at 29, he’s training for his future at New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZNY) on Long Island. Read on to learn how a conversation with his uncle sparked his ambition to go back to college and follow his lifelong dream of being an eye in the sky.
Keeping an eye on the sky
Growing up in Rockland County, New York, Florio always had his eyes on the sky. He remembers how going to the airport was one of his favorite things to do as a child. “From as far back as I can remember, I would always have my head out of the car window, looking up at the planes as we drove to the airport—or anywhere for that matter,” Florio said laughingly. “Airplanes always fascinated me.”
Finding his way
After graduating from high school, Florio attended the State University of New York at Oneonta, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 2015. For the next three years, he worked in this field but eventually realized the economics industry was not for him. “I was bored at my job,” he said. “I wasn’t happy going to work every day. I knew I had to make a change.” Then, one day he had a conversation with his uncle, who happened to be a pilot. “My uncle saw how unhappy I was at my job and suggested I pursue a career in aviation like him,” Florio explained. “I knew I didn’t want to be a pilot, but my uncle suggested becoming an air traffic controller. The rest is history.” Florio left his job and took some time off to travel and contemplate his next move. Knowing he had his sights set on becoming an air traffic controller, the next decision was where to earn his degree.
Being a native New Yorker, Florio was familiar with Vaughn College and knew that was where he was destined to turn his passion into a career. As one of only 30 colleges in the country to offer the Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI), Florio was certain that Vaughn would be the best place to prepare him for a career as an air traffic controller.
“I attended a campus tour and was instantly excited about attending the College,” Florio explained. “Once I saw the control tower on campus, I was hooked!” In September 2018, he enrolled in Vaughn’s Airport Management degree program. Since Florio already had one bachelor’s degree under his belt, he was able to complete the program in one year and he graduated with his second bachelor’s degree in May 2019. “The instructors at Vaughn were instrumental in my aspirations to become an air traffic controller,” Florio said. “Their firsthand industry knowledge and sincere interest in my success was paramount during my time there.”
Applying for training
After graduating from Vaughn, Florio went through the rigorous process of applying for the air traffic controller program. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), applicants must meet minimum requirements before being selected to attend the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. Florio said the process—which he describes as “intense”—took about four months to complete. In April 2020, he received notice that he’d met all the requirements and passed all the mandatory testing and evaluations. “I believe having the AT-CTI certification gave me a strong foundation of knowledge to be successful at the FAA academy,” he said. “The pool of applicants was considerable.” Florio was now one step closer to his dream. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This was a major setback for Florio, but he didn’t let it hold him back. He took a job at Westchester County Airport, where he worked in the operations department to fill the time while waiting to begin his training. “Working at the airport was a great learning experience,” he said. “I gained valuable knowledge outside of the classroom that was instrumental in my career.”
Back on track
In November 2021, Florio began his training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, where he remained for four months. “Training at the academy was an amazing experience,” he said. “The competition was steep, but it makes you want to work harder.” Of the eight candidates in his class, Florio was one of the four who passed the FAA training. With this milestone behind him, he was given a list of available positions across the country. “I was chosen to work in En Route Operations, which are facilities that own and operate airspace around 18,000 -to-60,000 feet,” he explained. Florio accepted the position at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZNY) on Long Island located in Ronkonkoma, where he has been training for the past three months. “New York is home for me,” he said. “My fiancé and our families live here as well. I feel like I hit the lottery with this job.”
Florio explained how there is a backlog of trainees at the facility due to the COVID-19 lockdown. “I’m hoping to complete my training and become a certified professional controller within the next few years.” In the meantime, he is training on material that is specific to New York: The study of maps of the airspace in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, the airports in that airspace and military rules, among other topics.
When asked about his decision to switch careers, Florio replied: “Don’t be afraid to make a move in a different direction. You never know how it will turn out until you try, so never settle to play it safe. You have to be happy going to a job every day. It’s never too late to make that happen.”
The ongoing shortage of aviation employees—which include pilots, crew members and air traffic controllers—continues to cripple the industry. If you’re looking for a high-paying career with great benefits and a flexible schedule, becoming an air traffic controller may be the perfect job for you. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for air traffic controllers in 2021 was $129,750. Were you also aware that the mandatory retirement age for air traffic controllers is 56 at which point they receive a pension (50% of average pay) after working for 20 years? For this reason, aviation enthusiasts who are interested in this field are encouraged to begin the process early.
Do you have your sights on becoming an air traffic controller? Vaughn can get you there—and in less time than you think. Apply today!
For more than 70 years, Mental Health Awareness Month has been recognized during the month of May. The purpose is to raise awareness for how mental health is essential to overall health. With nearly one-in-five Americans living with a mental health condition according to the National Institute of Mental Health, the reality is that someone you know—or even yourself—could be struggling. The good news is one of the best ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month is to talk about it.
Vaughn College is starting the conversation by exploring some of the mental health conditions students are facing today, as well as the ways to overcome them. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is mental health?
It’s not always about what you can see, but what you can’t see. Unlike physical health—which is mostly visible on the outside—mental health is an inner process that involves how we think, feel and process situations. How you handle a stressful situation or relate to others, for example, can determine the state of your mental health. If you’ve been struggling but are hesitating about getting help for fear of being judged, now is the time to release that fear and seek counseling. Not sure if what you’re feeling is part of mental health? Let’s discuss.
Mental health conditions
Most of us have experienced one or more challenging times in our lives and those times can be overwhelming, leaving our mental health to suffer. Millions of Americans experience mental health conditions. Some conditions are more prevalent among college students due to the stress of studying, juggling work and extracurriculars, maintaining relationships, etc. Some of these conditions may include:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Sleeping issues and disorders
If you’ve been experiencing any of these conditions, it’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Internalizing and ignoring any of these conditions can lead you to feeling isolated, alone and with nowhere to turn. It is important to achieve mental wellness by finding a healthy balance between your studies, job, family and extracurriculars, while seeking the appropriate support. To learn about the wellness programs and activities offered at Vaughn, read our blog: “Stress Awareness Month: How Vaughn Helps You Find Your Balance.”
Some facts about anxiety disorder
Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America
In many cases, anxiety disorders are treatable
Only about 36 percent of affected people choose to get help
Exercise is a proven way to help lessen the effects of anxiety disorders
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health
There’s no denying the pandemic has impacted our mental well-being. And for college students, this impact has complicated life even further. Remote learning has caused students to be much less social, more sedentary and more complacent. Even with the latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions, students are still feeling the emotional impacts of the pandemic. Some of these include:
Relationships—Social distancing may have put a strain on relationships with friends and partners.
Remote learning—Learning via Zoom can cause students to feel isolated, alone, and complacent.
Loss of loved ones—Complications from COVID-19 may have taken the lives of loved ones which takes a long-term toll on mental health.
Healthy ways to improve your mental health
First, let’s start by saying that self-care isn’t selfish. Good mental health begins with being honest with yourself, your feelings and emotions. Here are some healthy ways to improve or maintain good mental health:
Self-check-ins—Regular self-check-ins are important steps for reflecting on how you’re feeling and addressing anything that might be upsetting you. The goal here is to not ignore any issues but to work through them or seek help if needed.
Schedule some “me” time—Life can get busy and overwhelming with studying, work and other responsibilities. Make time to do things that bring you peace and joy, even if it means setting boundaries with others. Remember it’s ok to say “no” sometimes. Whether it’s meeting up with friends, going on a nature walk or even packing a picnic lunch in the park, taking a break from the books is a great way to nurture your mental health.
Check-in on loved ones—Friends and family may be struggling with their own mental health. A simple phone call or visit can make all the difference to helping them feel loved and encouraged. (And it may help you, too!)
Form a study group or get a study buddy—Studying with friends is always better than studying alone. Even if you prefer to study alone, checking your knowledge with your peers can never hurt.
Participate in on-campus happenings, events and clubs—Doing things outside of your normal comfort zone and meeting other students or alumni with similar interests will invigorate your soul and help you to feel a part of something larger. Check out Vaughn’s events calendar for students – there’s always something fun going on!
If you need someone to talk to or want more information on staying mentally healthy, we encourage you to make an appointment at Vaughn’s office of counseling and wellness. Vaughn is committed to helping you overcome any challenges and guide you towards graduating and obtaining your dream career. Need help academically? Stop by Vaughn’s Academic Success Center – it’s always open to provide you with the one-on-one support you need to succeed in your classes.
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time when our country celebrates this select group of individuals for their contributions to the history, culture and achievements in the United States.
This month, Vaugh College invites you to join this celebration as we recognize four AAPI trailblazers for their extraordinary accomplishments in the fields of engineering and technology, management and aviation.
Josephine Santiago-Bond: NASA Systems Engineer
Growing up in the Philippines, Josephine Santiago-Bond had a passion for engineering but never dreamed she would have a career at NASA, let alone in the position of systems engineer. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from the University of the Philippines, she ventured to the United States, where she found her first engineering job designing sports products. It wasn’t until she went on to earn her master’s degree in electrical engineering at South Dakota State University, however, that her life took an unexpected turn. She landed an internship at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and, as they say, “the rest is history.” In 2004, she began her career at NASA by contributing to exciting projects that included space shuttle ground system operations, the Constellation subsystems design and even several lunar missions. During her time at NASA, her career evolved from electronics engineer to that of systems engineer. Today, she leads a team of engineers as the chief of the advanced engineering development branch. As a woman of Pacific Islander descent, she recognizes herself as a minority in the field but says it’s a blessing that she can work for NASA, an organization that values inclusion.
Jerry Yang: Co-Founder and CEO of Yahoo!
As one of America’s wealthiest men, Jerry Yang’s story began as a 10-year-old boy from Taiwan who moved to the United States knowing only one English word—“shoe.” After his father died, Yang moved to San Jose, California with his mother and brother. Determined—even at a young age—Yang learned the English language in only three years and graduated high school at the top of his class. He attended Stanford University—working throughout his school years to support himself—where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only four years. While pursuing his doctorate in electrical engineering, he and a classmate, David Filo, joined forces to create a directory of websites that were organized by a hierarchy rather than a searchable list. In 1995, this venture became Yahoo! (“Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”). Yang dropped out of the PhD program as Yahoo became an overnight success. From 2007-2009, he served as the company’s CEO—when at one point in time, Yahoo! was worth a whopping $130 billion. In 2012, Yang left the company and went on to form AME Cloud Ventures, a company that invests in entrepreneurs of technology-heavy startup companies. Yang’s contributions to the Internet as we know it today places him as one of the most influential tech entrepreneurs to transform all of Silicon Valley. He and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, live in Los Altos Hills, California. In 2007, the couple pledged $75 million to their alma mater—Stanford University—to build the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2). Ten years later, they generously pledged $25 million to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the highest donation in the museum’s history.
Reshma Saujani: Founder of Girls Who Code
Born in Illinois to parents of Gujarati Indian descent, Reshma Saujani is an attorney, education activist and politician who first made a name for herself in 2010 as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. While campaigning, she visited local schools and discovered a gender gap in the field of technology. In response to her passion for empowering women and fighting for women’s rights, she founded Girls Who Code, one of the country’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit organizations. To date, the organization has taught 300,000 girls through in-person computer science education programming. Globally, the numbers are even more impressive, having reached 500 million people through Saujani’s award-winning campaigns and New York Times-bestselling book series, “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World.” Saujani has authored other influential books that include “Women Who Don’t Wait in Line,” the international best seller “Brave, Not Perfect,” and she’s also captured national attention with her TED Talk, which has reached over five million viewers around the world. Saujani earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
Colonel Ellison Onizuka: First Asian Astronaut in Space
Born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, Colonel Ellison Onizuka made history as the first Asian astronaut and the first of Japanese origin to reach space. With dreams of someday going higher than the birds and reaching the stars, Onizuka’s nights of star gazing by the Pacific Ocean came to fruition. After graduating with honors from Kealakekua, Kona High School in 1964, he attended the University of Colorado, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering. In 1970, Onizuka joined the United States Air Force, where he served as a flight test engineer and test pilot at McClellan Air Force Base. Four years later, he attended the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and became a squadron flight test engineer at the USAF Test Pilot School. In 1978, Onizuka was selected among 8,000 applicants to be one of 35 astronauts—and the first Japanese American—for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. On January 24, 1985, he was aboard the space shuttle Discovery—America’s first classified manned military space flight—as a mission specialist, making him the first Asian astronaut to enter space. That same year, Onizuka, along with six other crew members, were chosen for the Challenger Flight 51-L. Tragically, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded only 73 seconds after liftoff, ending the lives of all aboard. Onizuka left us with inspiring words to live by: “Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine. Make your life count—and the world will be a better place because you tried.”
As an institution steeped in diversity, Vaughn College welcomes students from all walks of life. If you’re looking to earn your degree at a college that will make you feel accepted, safe and empowered, look no further than Vaughn. We offer futureproof degree programs in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Apply today!
Vaughn College is excited to announce its Spring Open House happening on campus on Saturday, April 9 at 10 a.m. This in-person event is a fantastic opportunity to discover all the benefits of a Vaughn degree. See how one of our valuable degree programs in engineering, technology, management or aviation can lead you to an exciting, in-demand career.
So, who is “the future you” going to be? We’ll help you find out at our Open House.
What are the benefits of a Vaughn degree?
Vaughn graduates leave with more than just degrees. They leave with exciting, in-demand careers. We call it being futureproof. And we guarantee it. If you aren’t employed within one year of graduation, we’ll reimburse one year’s worth of federal Direct student loan payments. Now, that’s a guarantee!
Our stats: The numbers are stacked in your favor
Vaughn is ranked as among the top colleges in the country. We have raised the bar to provide an unprecedented education that will set you apart from the rest. Check out our fast facts:
Vaughn has been ranked as a best regional college in the North by US News and World Report for twelve consecutive years and a best college for social mobility (Source: US News and World Report Best Colleges)
88 percent of Vaughn graduates―75 percent in their field of study―are employed or continue their education within one year. In recent years, outside of a pandemic, Vaughn’s outcomes for students typically average more than 95 percent and have been 99, 98 and 97 percent for the three prior years.
Vaughn’s career services team is dedicated to helping students find internship and career opportunities through networking events, employer connections, professional associations, conferences and through the help of our caring and committed faculty, advisers and career services team.
Vaughn has small class sizes with a 14-to-1 student/faculty ratio. Committed faculty provide the personalized attention that students need to succeed. With experience working in the industry’s they teach, an added layer of inside knowledge and expertise gives students a competitive edge in the market.
More than 90 percent of Vaughn students receive some type of financial aid, and there are many financial aid and scholarship options available for incoming students.
Vaughn has a highly diverse student body, serves many first-generation college students and is recognized by the US Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving institution
Vaughn is highly supportive of encouraging more women to enter the fields of engineering and aviation, which have historically been male dominated.
Where the jobs are
Vaughn graduates go further, faster. Our students go on to have exciting careers at some of the nation’s top companies in industries that include aerospace, engineering, airport/airline management and transportation. They also find rewarding opportunities in industries you may not expect, such as healthcare, utilities and sustainable energy. Here are some of the companies where Vaughn graduates have landed – you can click on the links to read the stories of graduates who have received employment at these companies.
The morning will kick off with a warm welcome from President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo and Celso Alvarez, associate vice president of enrollment. You’ll learn about the College’s exciting degree programs and how Vaughn can help you be a part of the next futureproof generation. Additionally, you’ll hear firsthand success stories from some of our graduates—via our student outcomes video—on how their Vaughn degree landed them positions with some of today’s most sought-after industry leading companies.
You will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions in your program of interest. Led by the chair of each department, you will hear about Vaughn’s programs in engineering and technology, management, aviation or aviation maintenance (whichever you are interested in), learn about coursework and the types of jobs you’ll be eligible for upon graduation, see classrooms/labs and ask questions.
The event will close with an admissions presentation, where you will hear about:
Students can get involved in clubs such as robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
There are several student chapters of professional organizations such as the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
Become a Vaughn Warrior and get involved in athletics such as tennis, basketball, cross country and soccer.
Consider becoming a part of Vaughn’s residential community equipped with a full kitchen and TV lounge, multipurpose room and fitness center.
How to apply for FREE – Open House attendees receive a $40 application fee waiver
“Open House is an exciting time when we see and meet the future faces of our Vaughn community,” said Alvarez. “We look forward to a fun, informative and engaging event.”
To accept your invitation to meet the future you, register here. For those who are unable to attend the in-person Open House, there will be a virtual event held on April 21.
Note: Vaughn College requires proof of vaccination to be permitted in a campus facility.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Vaughn College celebrates the extraordinary lives and achievements of women who have paved the way for future leaders from all walks of life. In this special edition, we spotlight four inspiring women who have made their marks in the fields of engineering, management and aviation.
Aprille Ericsson-Jackson—Aerospace Engineer Who Has a Career of Firsts as a Black Woman
With a distinguished career marked by “firsts,” Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, 58, has made impressive advancements as an aerospace engineer. Born April 1, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York, Ericsson-Jackson is the eldest of four sisters. She credits her achievements to her mother, who—from an early age—supported her career decisions.
After graduating high school with honors, Ericsson-Jackson attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering. She overcame racial and gender bias to become the first African American woman to receive both a master’s degree in engineering from Howard University and a doctorate in engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ericsson-Jackson recalls watching the Apollo missions growing up, which inspired her passion for science and space.
During her 25 years at NASA, she has held the positions of aerospace engineer, technologist, project and program manager and executive. She is credited with adding to the existing knowledge of our solar system and helping the effort to lead us to the future of space flight. Her work has included the design and development of instruments for spacecraft and satellites geared to help gain a better understanding of the Earth. In addition to her work as an aerospace engineer, Ericsson-Jackson teaches mechanical engineering and mathematics at Howard University and has also instructed at University of Maryland and Bowie State University.
Her dedication and excellence in the field has earned her a number of accolades. The National Technical Association named her one of the “Top 50 Minority Women Working in the Fields of Science and Engineering,” and in 2016 she was ranked number eight of 20 on the list of the “Most Powerful Women Engineers” by Business Insider. Her many honors and awards include an Honorary Doctor of Science from Medgar Evers College, The Women’s Network “Top 18 Women Who Will Change the World,” and the Tau Beta Pi Alumni of Distinction. But the one honor Ericsson-Jackson considers her most prestigious is being the first person of color to receive The Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers.
Beverly Burns—First Female Pilot to Fly a Boeing 747 Jet
If you ever needed inspiration to become a female pilot, Beverly Burns would be it. Born in Maryland on August 15, 1949, Burns, 72, is best known as the first female pilot to command a Boeing 747—despite the rampant bias and chauvinism of the 1970s and 1980s. On July 18, 1984, she took her historic flight as a captain from Newark to Los Angeles.
As a young woman with a passion for aviation, Burns held several job titles in the industry—which included aircraft dispatcher, gate agent and baggage handler—before becoming a pilot. It wasn’t until she became a stewardess for American Airlines that her life took a drastic turn. One day, while listening to an American Airlines first officer giving a speech to fellow crew members, she heard him say: “Women are just not smart enough to do this job.” That statement fueled Burns’ determination to become a captain. During her seven years working as a stewardess, she attended flight school—where she unfortunately was faced with more bias. She went through eight instructors until she found one who took her seriously: Captain Robert Allen Burns, whom she married in 1972. In 2008, Burns retired after having worked for 27 years with People Express, which merged with Continental Airlines in 2000. Over the years, she operated some of the industry’s most impressive aircraft, including the DC-9, DC-10, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767. Then, in May 2001, her ambition and superior cockpit skills landed her in the captain’s seat of the Boeing 777—the most technologically sophisticated aircraft of its time. Over the course of her career, Burns received several awards and commendations. These include the Amelia Earhart Award for her historic flight, a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan (along with an invitation to the 50th American President Inaugural), a 2001 citation from US Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and a letter of congratulations on her service from President George W. Bush, among many others.
Connie Palacioz—A Real-Life “Rosie the Riveter”
At 95 years young, Connie Palacioz is known as a real life “Rosie the Riveter” for her amazing work on the B-29 Superfortress at Boeing in Wichita, Kansas during World War II. Born in Peabody, Kansas (but raised in Newton), Palacioz worked hard for her family, working as a laundress earning $0.25. per hour.
After graduating from high school in 1943, Palacioz joined the war effort at the age of 18, where she trained for three weeks to work as a riveter, earning $0.50 per hour. Helping with the war effort was important to Palacioz, as she had several family members in the service, including her brother who was serving in the United States Navy. Her first day on the job was also the day when the B-29 was introduced. She and her bucker, Jerri Warden, were assigned to work on the noses of the B-29s. Together with their team, they produced four B-29 nose sections per day. Her hard work earned her a raise to $1.00 per hour—which was considerably more than she was earning as a laundress only a few years before.
In 1944, Palacioz was asked to be part of the team that manufactured the famous B-29 known as “DOC.” When the war ended, she was laid off from her job. In 1946, she married her fiancé and moved to Emporia, where she and her husband attended college through the G.I. Bill and started a family. Nearly 60 years later, she was surprised to learn that the B-29 nicknamed “DOC”—which she worked on decades earlier—was discovered in the Mojave Desert after having been there for 42 years. Interestingly, DOC was found in pieces—except for the nose of the plane, which only suffered a broken window! In 2000, DOC was returned to Wichita, where Palacioz and other volunteers formed a team and worked for 16 years on its restoration. In 2016, they witnessed how their work paid off when they watched DOC return to the skies. Today, Palacioz not only remains an active volunteer at the DOC hangar in Wichita but is a regular member of the team that travels with DOC to airshows around the country.
Marillyn Hewson—Former CEO of Lockheed Martin
Born in Junction City, Kansas on December 27, 1953, Marillyn Hewson, 67, is the former CEO of Lockheed Martin and arguably recognized as one of the world’s most powerful women. She credits her mother’s resilience, hard work and determination for teaching her the leadership skills that brought her where she is today. After Hewson’s father died when she was only nine years old, her mother, a former member of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC)—the women’s branch of the United States Army—raised her and her four siblings. Hewson is quoted as saying: “My mother did what all great leaders do: She sparked the growth of future leaders.” She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and her Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Alabama. She eventually went on to attend the Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School executive development programs.
Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 1983 as the company’s senior industrial engineer, Hewson worked as an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for four years. She held several executive positions that included president and chief operating officer (COO), executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Electronic Systems Business Division, president of the company’s Systems Integration and executive vice president of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, among others. In 2012, Hewson was elected to join the company’s board of directors. She eventually accepted the position of chief executive officer (CEO) in 2013, a position she held until June 2020. It’s impressive to note that during her tenure as CEO, Lockheed Martin’s stock value increased by more than 300 percent.
On March 1, 2021, she retired as the company’s executive chairman and board member. Hewson’s stellar leadership achievements have placed her among the most powerful women in business. Fortune magazine named her as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” in the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and most notably, 2015—when she ranked fourth place. In 2018, Hewson took the top spot with Fortune, which named her as the “Most Powerful Woman in the Business World.” That same year, Chief Executive Magazine named Hewson “CEO of the Year,” and she was awarded the Edison Achievement Award for her leadership skills and achievements in making a lasting contribution to the world of innovation. In 2019, Time magazine named Hewson in its list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2019.”
We hope you enjoyed reading about these extraordinary and inspiring women. What inspires you to be your best? A degree from Vaughn College can get you there. Whether your passion is in engineering and technology, management or aviation, Vaughn will be by your side throughout your journey. Apply today.
Want to learn more about Women’s History Month? Check it out here.
February is Black History Month. It is a time when we celebrate the achievements of African Americans and recognize their notable contributions to our country and its history.
To honor this special time, we are featuring influential African Americans whose lives, careers and pioneering efforts in the fields of engineering, aviation and management continue to pave the way for future generations.
Lewis Latimer: Notable Inventor and Engineer Who Helped Edison and Graham Bell on Their Revolutionary Inventions
Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848, Lewis Latimer was an engineer and inventor best known for his contributions toward the development of the light bulb and the telephone—although his achievements go way beyond those. Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell may come to mind when you hear about the invention of the light bulb and telephone, respectively, but it was the innovative insight and drafting expertise of Latimer that helped these renowned inventors obtain their patents on two of the most fundamental inventions of modern life.
The youngest of four children, Latimer, lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War at 15 years old. He was honorably discharged one year later and returned to Boston, where he was hired as an office assistant at a patent law firm. It was there that Latimer saw an opportunity to teach himself mechanical drawing and drafting by observing drafters at the firm. He worked himself up to head drafter and used his design skills to invent other ways to improve on existing life. It was during this time that Bell sought out Latimer to do the drawings for his patent application, which ultimately awarded him the patent rights to the telephone.
Considered one of the most important Black inventors of his time, Latimer was in demand as the need for electric lighting spread throughout the country. He co-authored a book, “Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System”. Although he never worked in any of Edison’s labs, Latimer was the only Black member of “Edison’s Pioneers”—a group of men who worked closely with the famous inventor during his early days. He married Mary Wilson and had two daughters, Emma and Louise. He died on December 11, 1928, in Flushing, New York.
Mae Jemison: Aerospace Engineer and Physicist and First Black Woman Astronaut to Travel to Space
Born in Alabama in 1956, Mae Jemison—an American engineer, physician and former NASA astronaut—was raised in Chicago. She became the first Black woman astronaut and the first Black woman to travel to space. At the age of 16, she enrolled at Stanford University and earned degrees in both chemical engineering and African and African American studies.
Jemison’s aspirations to become a professional dancer and desire to go to medical school left her at a crossroads during her senior year at Stanford. As history revealed, she went on to earn her medical degree from Cornell University while continuing to study dance during her time there.
From 1983 to 1985, Jemison worked as a medical officer for the Peace Corps in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where she held several responsibilities that included supervising the medical staff, providing medical care and conducting research. Over the next few years, she entered private practice and took graduate-level engineering courses in preparation to fulfill her childhood dream of someday going into space.
In 1987, she was accepted into NASA’s astronaut training program and became the first Black woman astronaut. On September 12, 1992, Jemison became the first Black woman in space, where she served as a science mission specialist aboard the Endeavour, which orbited the Earth for nearly eight days. After leaving NASA, she founded the Jemison Group, Inc., a technology research organization. She has received several honorary degrees and awards, including the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award and the Kilby Science Award. Additionally, Jemison has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame and the Texas Science Hall of Fame. She currently lives in Houston, Texas.
Henry Kuykendall: Senior Vice President of Airport Operations, East at Delta Airlines
As Senior Vice President of Airport Operations at Delta Airlines, Henry Kuykendall is a shining example of how diversity, inclusion and equity play a significant role in becoming a successful cross-divisional leader in the aviation industry. As someone who worked his way up the corporate ladder, Kuykendall has firsthand knowledge of the importance of understanding the complexities his peers face, since he once walked in their shoes.
From a position of facing professional challenges as a member of the Black community, Kuykendall knows that understanding differences comes power. He believes the best way to “get a seat at the table” and create opportunities to learn is to insert yourself with leaders who are innately different from you. This notion has proven successful for Kuykendall over the years. In 1988, he joined Delta and worked in several positions that included airport customer service, airport operations and corporate and reservation sales. His arduous work over the years earned him a position at Delta’s hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he led a team of 4,000 employees.
In 2011, he moved to New York, where he served as vice president for Delta, overseeing all New York routes and commercial functions for the business in that state. His career continued to take off when he was appointed Senior Vice President of Airport Operations, Northeast, where he oversaw Delta operations at LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport. In 2017, he assumed his current position as Senior Vice President of Airport Operations, East, where he not only oversees all airport operations in Boston, New York and Detroit Metropolitan Airport, but 42 airports in the East, not to mention 134 smaller airport locations across the United States. Kuykendall is a graduate of West Los Angeles College and the University of Phoenix. He serves on the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater New York and the New York Building of Congress.
You can read more about other Black pioneers who made their marks in history in this blog. Which one of these amazing trailblazers inspired you? Just imagine: You could create the next revolutionary invention or explore space as a next generation astronaut! Your dreams are possible with a degree from Vaughn College. We offer programs in the fields of engineering and technology, management and aviation that can set you on a path of a futureproof career. Discover the possibilities. Apply today.
Following in the family footsteps has been an inspiring journey for Vaughn graduate, Mahdi Macbahi ’13, and his two brothers. As fate would have it, their father’s trade as a carpenter was the steppingstone to pursuing degrees in the aviation maintenance industry by studying at Vaughn College.
This month, we spotlight Macbahi and the story of how his aviation maintenance management degree from Vaughn was instrumental in not only helping him land his current position at Delta Air Lines, but also in helping him become an instructor at the College as well.
Growing up in Astoria, New York, Macbahi always had a passion for aviation. From a young age, he dreamed of becoming a pilot. It wasn’t until he reached high school, however, that he decided to pursue a career in aviation maintenance. “Being that my dad was a carpenter, I loved working side-by-side with him on the weekends, helping with his projects,” said Macbahi. “It was during that time that I honed my skills and knew I wanted a job that would combine the two things I loved the most—working with my hands and aviation.”
Knowing how eager Macbahi was to earn his degree, a family friend recommended Vaughn as the perfect institution for him to pursue his degree. “I knew about Vaughn College from doing my own research and seeing advertisements but hearing about it from our close family friend really sealed the deal for me.” In 2008, Macbahi enrolled in the College’s Aviation Training Institute, where he pursued an associate degree in occupational science (AOS) in aviation maintenance and then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management. “As someone who loves to work with his hands, I knew I chose the right path,” he said. “At Vaughn, you get your hands dirty and learn as you go. That’s what makes this program so special. The program teaches you how to be a better technician—a better mechanic.”
Nurturing a new passion at Vaughn
As he pursued studies toward his own degree, one of Macbahi’s advisers offered him a tutoring position to help fellow students. “I never thought of myself as a teacher but tutoring gave me an entirely new perspective on a career path,” he explained. After completing his associate degree, Macbahi inquired about becoming an assistant instructor in a sheet metal class. “I was thrilled to learn I would be working with my professor in one of my favorite classes,” he said. With a new position at the College and his newly earned associate degree, it was time to get to work. For the next four years, he worked for regional airlines at LaGuardia Airport—all while working toward his bachelor’s degree. Then, life really took off for Macbahi!
Shortly after graduating with his bachelor’s degree, Macbahi accepted both a new position at Vaughn to teach a hydraulics lecture class, as well as one at Delta Air Lines—stationed at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport—where he has been working for the past seven-and-a-half years. “It’s a big operation at JFK,” he said. “With approximately 230 mechanics, we all have a busy schedule, but I love it. The best part about my job is we learn something new every day.” He says that although his job is demanding, his schedule is flexible enough to accommodate being able to teach at Vaughn. “I never imagined I would discover a new passion of teaching while pursuing my dream in the aviation industry. I suppose you can say I found success by blending my passions.”
How Vaughn made it all possible
At 30-years old, Macbahi says that when reflecting on his life, he owes a great deal of gratitude to Vaughn for making his career possible. “Vaughn gave me the skills and mindset to prepare for a career in the aviation industry,” he said humbly. “Not only am I living my dream—working in the industry—but I’m providing real-world experience to the future generation of aviation mechanics.” As for his personal life, he said he’s grateful for the opportunities provided to him to support his wife, Methela, their young son and a new baby on the way.
Bringing life full circle, Mahdi says his father’s craft as a carpenter and his success at Vaughn not only influenced his career but that of his two younger brothers. “My brother Ali also graduated from Vaughn with a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management, and our youngest brother Rida is currently enrolled at Vaughn, pursuing his AOS in the Airframe and Powerplant program,” he explained. “Our dad, Abdelillah, may not work in the aviation industry, but his strong work ethic, knowledge and skills in craftmanship have molded us into the men we are today.”