Continuing its celebration of Women’s History Month, Vaughn College hosted a Women in Aviation luncheon today to recognize successful women in the aviation industry and celebrate their achievements.

The six guests of honor, all women who have made strides in the field of aviation, were on hand to provide advice for future college students by detailing their career paths and focusing on future opportunities for women. Students from August Martin High School and PS 127 were in attendance to hear their aspirational stories.

The students were welcomed to Vaughn College by President Dr. John C. Fitzpatrick and Senior Vice President Dr. Sharon DeVivo, and were invited to enjoy lunch while talking to the guests, who rotated from table to table.

Lysa Scully, deputy general manager of LaGuardia Airport and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey emphasized the importance of hard work and education as the keys to success in any career.  She told the girls, “You don’t need to choose a career path right now, but with a solid education behind you, you have options and can be successful in any field you choose.”

Additional guests included former students Vanessa Cruz, executive jet sales consultant for ACS and Iaisha El-Tawil, manager of pilot scheduling for JetBlue, Dolores M. Hofman, program manager for the Queens Air Services Development Office at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Verdia M. Noel, area director for the Council for Airport Opportunity, Inc., and Sonia J.T. Saleh, founder of Uplifting Nonprofits.

“Today’s event was a great way to celebrate Women’s History Month, and show these girls that women can, and do flourish in the aviation industry,” said Dr. DeVivo. “We’re very proud of this event, and even more proud to have two of our former students here for it.”


Women in Aviation members, Erika Barcenes, Amelia Sookoo and Mindalia DeJesus attend luncheon.