Vaughn is thrilled to announce its new roster of Vaughn College Student Ambassadors! Get to know them below, and stay tuned for more updates from our students!


Paolo Adragna ’19

“I plan to continue flying and to someday be a flight instructor, to teach future Vaughn College students who share the dream that I have and help them reach their goals of becoming a pilot.”

Paolo Adragna is a sophomore aircraft operations major from Long Island, who has achieved two of seven pilot certificates and is currently working on his commercial pilot certificate.


Christina DeLuca ’20

“I met Vaughn’s robotics team at a competition at my high school. Being able to interact with the team on such a personal level gave me the chance to learn more about Vaughn College and its exciting engineering programs.”

Christina DeLuca is a freshman mechatronic engineering major and a member of the Vaughn College Robotics Team. Christina recently attended the VEX Worlds robotics competition in Louisville, Kentucky where Vaughn College was named world champion.


Jonathan Hernandez ’17

“When you’re surrounded by people that have the same goals and motivation as you, everybody in that group becomes stronger.”

Jonathan Hernandez ’17 is a senior aircraft operations major, and the president of the Vaughn College Veterans Organization and student government association. A Navy veteran, Jonathan continues to help both veteran and civilian students make the most of their college experience.


Zoyla Martinez ’17

“I went to Vaughn’s open house and when I walked through the doors I knew immediately that this was going to be a perfect place to begin my journey toward a career in aviation.”

Zoyla Martinez is the first member of her family to go to college, and is working hard to achieve her goal of earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree. As an active board member of the Vaughn student chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives, Zoyla takes every opportunity she can to network with professionals and attend conferences, to help better prepare her for a career in the aviation industry.


Maia Rivers ’19

“I decided from early age that I would be an engineer, because I was always taking apart and putting back together anything I could get my hands on. Enrolling in Vaughn College just seemed like the right thing to do and ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Maia Rivers is a sophomore mechatronic engineering student. A captain of the tennis, cross country and basketball teams, Maia keeps active on campus and enjoys exploring New York City. As the first of her siblings to go to college, she hopes to set a good example for them and show them how wonderful a college experience can be.


D’Moi Rouse ’18

“Institutions like Vaughn, where we do things that seemed impossible only a few years ago, are the best places for someone’s imagination to take flight.”

D’Moi Rouse was born in Brooklyn and raised in the US Virgin Islands. He is active in the student government association, the music club, the Caribbean student association and is a supporter of the Vaughn chapter of the Women in Aviation International. A mechanical engineering technology major, D’Moi looks forward to using the skills he’s learning on campus to develop next generation devices.


Flying is the best thing I’ve ever done. Being in an airplane several thousand feet above the ground is where I find peace. I know lots of people who are terrified of flying – my grandfather is one of them – but not me, flying is my bliss. Flying will make my day, week, even month a thousand times better.

My goal for 2015 was to complete my private pilot training and receive my private pilot certificate. I can proudly say that, even with all the obstacles in my way, I spent my Thanksgiving break being incredibly thankful for achieving the first of many more certifications to come. I am thankful to my parents who have always supported me, and to everyone who in every little way made this possible: Instructors, classmates, friends. Thank you for the continuous courage and for answering my questions! I am very happy and proud to officially be a part of this wonderful industry and can’t wait for all the challenges to come my way!


I’m finding, as graduation approaches, that there are no breaks for college seniors. I’m currently juggling classes, commuting and working at JFK Airport as a security coordinator; a position I landed after making a connection at Vaughn College’s career fair. It’s a busy year, but it’s exciting.

At JFK, I’m responsible for many different projects and tasks revolving around the aviation industry. In addition, I work on weekly car audits, and ensure parking safety in specific lots. I also grant security access in different areas of the terminal. Lastly, I cover the signing approvals of escort forms for visitors such as construction workers and other companies contracted by the airport. This job has given me the opportunity to view aviation on a whole new level, and to experience airport management firsthand, bringing my classes at Vaughn to life in a really valuable way.

Getting this job was not simple. I knew I had to stand out as an applicant to land this internship. There were many other people applying for the position, including several other Vaughn students. I was confident with my application, because of the great resources available through Vaughn. I consulted with the office of career services when I was compiling my resume and scheduled mock interviews to help build my confidence. When my JFK interview arrived I presented myself well, had a great resume, and gave a memorable interview. Sure enough, they called me back, and I started my paid internship immediately.

When one door closes, another one opens. Graduation is approaching, and the rest of my life is about to begin. I’m so thankful for the experiences and connections I’ve made with the help of Vaughn College. I know this job is the start of an exciting career.

AngelaPost2This semester I had the opportunity to attend the Leadership Academy retreat at Frost Valley YMCA with other Vaughn students. In this program, 20 students are chosen to spend a weekend away, learning and developing our leadership skills. We participated in group and trust exercises to build morale and learn more about each other. What I really liked about this program is that it brings together so many people that may not have connected on campus otherwise. I developed great friendships while learning the importance of networking, decision making, problem solving, a positive attitude and self-motivation. Now we attend different workshops where the College brings inspeakers from diverse backgrounds in aviation, management and engineering. Because of the friendships I made in this trip, I attended a career fair in Tennessee with four other students from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). I met with so many companies and was able to talk with them and apply for internships and jobs. I will also be attending two more professional association conferences sponsored by Vaughn later this month. I encourage students to apply for this program the Leadership Academy because it’s one of the many things I love about Vaughn: They want students to develop as people, as well as in our academics so we can be ready for that dream job after graduation.


With the stress of classes, finding the time to take a step away from it all is ineffable. Senior year, according to the status quo, is supposed to be the year of relaxation; however, for me it’s sometimes the opposite. I knew it was anything but relaxing when I was given a quiz that took three hours to complete. When given the opportunity to take a “breather,” I took it without hesitation. And nothing puts the mind at ease quite like music. I’m sure senior year will be rewarding, but sometimes the time spent away from it all is just as rewarding. But as Colin Powell once said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” So on that note I’d better head back to class.


Hello one and all!

My name is Nick. I’m writing this blog post to introduce myself and my role as a Vaughn College student ambassador. I’m a student at Vaughn, and I must say that it really is a great place to be. Don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life? I didn’t either! But the faculty at Vaughn College helped me find my direction.

Let’s put it this way… I knew I wanted to go to college, but I wasn’t sure what for. After my experience at one of Vaughn’s open house events, however, I knew I wanted to go into aviation… and I knew that I was going to be attending Vaughn.

A little bit about me:

I am 27 years old, originally from New Jersey, and I am always having fun. I’m a Marine Corps Veteran, and while on active duty I was an aviation hydraulics mechanic, and attained the rank of Sergeant. Currently, I’m enrolled in the ATI Program at Vaughn College (AKA The Aviation Training Institute) to acquire my A&P license (Airframe and Powerplant) via the Federal Aviation Administration. After that, I will be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance management at Vaughn. I’m all about making a better life for myself and Vaughn College has helped put me on that path.

One thing is most certainly true: The Vaughn experience is not something that you want to miss out on. As a Vaughn student ambassador, I plan on giving you as much insight into the life of a Vaughn student as I can. I hope you enjoy all of my and my fellow ambassadors’ photos, videos and blog posts. And if there’s something we miss or something you want to see, reach out to us! Send us an email at . Thanks for checking us out!


“Want to see what it’s like to be in the cockpit for a real flight lesson? Check out my video post!” – Lisa, aircraft operations major.

In this clip meet Edison, an airport management student and travel buff who came to Vaughn from California and was born in Shanghai, China. Check back here for upcoming posts from our student ambassadors!



“Want to see what it’s like to take engineering classes, have lunch with Dr. DeVivo, and work in Vaughn’s library? Check out my video!” -Angela