February 13, 2007

Aviation students win prestigious scholarships

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Two students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's aviation programs are receiving scholarships from the National Business Aviation Association.

Garrett R. Gieker, a senior in aviation management, and Justin P. Witt, a senior in aviation technologies' helicopter specialization, are recipients of $1,000 Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarships.

Gieker, the son of Gary and Valerie Gieker of Liberty, and Witt, the son of Gary and Mary Witt of Crystal Lake, are among five aviation undergraduates nationwide at National Business Aviation Association- and University Aviation Association-member institutions to win scholarships this year.

The departments are part of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

"The Barden Scholarship is a very nice recognition for Garrett Gieker and Justin Witt from one of the premier Washington, D. C.-based aviation associations, the NBAA," said David A. NewMyer, chair of SIUC's Department of Aviation Management and Flight. "The fact that two of the five national winners were from SIUC is evidence of the fact that SIUC aviation students are very competitive on the national level. I am very proud of the accomplishments of our students."

Witt is in his fourth year as an aviation maintenance technician in the U.S. Coast Guard, and maintains HH65 Dolphin Helicopters used for search and rescue operations off the coast of Louisiana, according to John D. Cotter, interim chair of the Department of Aviation Technologies.

According to the National Business Aviation Association, the scholarship is named for Janice K. Barden, founder of Aviation Personnel International. The scholarships are for students seeking to advance their professional development in the business aviation industry.