From Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29 three Vaughn College students attended the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture convention held in Oshkosh, Washington for the third year. Eryk Kozub ’19, Rafal Kwatro ’19 and Alyssa Mitchell ’21 represented the College at the convention as student ambassadors and distributed information about its programs and offerings to attendees.

The students witnessed air shows, aerobatics and pyrotechnics throughout the entire week. Groups were shown AVSIM and Redbird flight simulators, explored the convention, and took a tour through a Douglas C-47 transport plane which was operated in World War II for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. During the second world war both male and female pilots were trained for missions on this plane. This increased need for pilots lead to 22,000 soldiers being trained at Vaughn throughout the war, then known as the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics.

“The fact that there were so many aviation professionals there, at one place, at one time really blew me away,” said Kwatro. “I can’t wait to finish my studies and hopefully be able to participate in these kind of exhibitions.”

Alumni Ken DiLillo ’83 and Haider Al-Zubaidy ’17 were spotted at the convention and stopped by the Vaughn College information booth to talk with the student ambassadors. DiLillo worked as an airframe and powerplant mechanic starting in 1987 and is now a pilot for United Airlines. Al-Zubaidy is currently an instructor at Saint Louis University as a certified flight instructor.

“This is an excellent chance for our students to meet industry professionals and make connections that they wouldn’t be able to in the classroom,” said Celso Alvarez, associate vice president of enrollment. “Events like these are an important supplement to their degree programs and help prepare them to enter the industry when they graduate.”