October 02, 2007

Aviation Career Day is Saturday, Oct. 6 American Airlines helps students learn about SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Homecoming is not the only annual event taking center stage this weekend at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

SIUC Aviation Career Day — a continuing venture with American Airlines — will bring an expected 114 Chicago-area high school and community college students to campus on Saturday, Oct. 6. Students are flying from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to learn more about one of the nation's premier aviation programs, and will have the opportunity to talk with American Airlines personnel who are SIUC graduates. Students from Indiana and Wisconsin also are expected aboard the flight.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to attend the event and interview students, faculty and American Airlines personnel. The optimum time for video and photos will be when the plane lands at Southern Illinois Airport at approximately 8:45 a.m. For more information, contact David A. NewMyer at 618/453-8898.


This is the third consecutive year Chicago-area students have flown American Airlines to visit SIUC's aviation program in the fall. Aviation career days also take place in the spring.

David A. NewMyer, chair of the University's Department of Aviation Management and Flight, is not aware of a similar career-day collaboration between a university and a major airline.

"It's unique for SIUC," he said. "We are able to get more than 100 potential students for our programs to come to campus and the cost to us is very minimal. If, for example, we took out a full-page color ad in a magazine … the cost would be close to $10,000 and there would be no guarantee anyone would come to campus."

NewMyer deeply appreciates American Airlines' efforts.

"We couldn't do this without them, that is for sure," he said. "They also give us a unique opportunity for a mini-alumni gathering."

American Airlines alumni will be present at the SIU Alumni Association tent on Saturday for introductions by Paul D. Sarvela, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. The aviation management and flight and aviation technologies programs are within the college.

Students and teachers will depart from Chicago aboard an American Airlines MD-80 at 8 a.m., and arrive about 40 minutes later at Southern Illinois Airport, between Carbondale and Murphysboro. NewMyer expects every seat on the 140-seat plane will be filled; about 15 volunteer employees, many SIUC aviation program alums, will also be on the flight.

Students utilized an online application form for the first time this year and it "worked very well," NewMyer said. The program received 123 applications in the first 12 days the application was online, he said.

In addition, interest in aviation continues to grow, NewMyer said.

Students who are attending expressed interest in aviation careers to school counselors or contacted SIUC. A total of 18 students from Maine West High School in Des Plaines are expected to attend.

After arriving in Southern Illinois, students will tour the aviation program's facilities, receive introductory flights on flight training airplanes and participate in aviation career seminars. The students will then bus to Carbondale to tour the main campus and hear from American Airlines personnel about their jobs and career opportunities in aviation management and flight, and aviation technologies.

"They are great examples of people who have done very well in aviation careers for these students to see," he said. "They have attended the very SIUC aviation program that the students are coming to see. It's a first-hand account."

Current SIUC aviation students also discuss the impact the Aviation Career Day played in their decision on where to attend school, NewMyer said.

The itinerary for the day is:

  • 6-7 a.m. — Check-in at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, American Airlines terminal.
  • 8 a.m. — Depart for Carbondale.
  • 8:45-9 a.m. — Arrive at Carbondale.
  • 9:15 a.m. — Group photo at planeside.
  • 9:45 a.m.-noon — Airport tours, introductory flights, and lunch.
  • 12:45 a.m.-2 p.m. — Aviation careers briefing; briefing on SIUC.
  • 2-3 p.m. – Tour of SIUC campus.
  • 3:15 p.m. — Buses depart for Southern Illinois Airport.
  • 3:30 p.m. — Check-in and passenger security screenings.
  • 5:30 p.m. — Return flight arrives at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Students from these communities are expected to attend:


Antioch, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Beach Park, Blue Island, Buffalo Grove, Calumet City, Cary, Cherry Valley, Chicago, Coal Valley, Crete, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Eureka, Geneva, Genoa, Glenview, Grayslake, Great Lakes, Greenfield, Hoffman Estates, Kingston, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Lemont, Lisle, Machesney Park, McHenry, Mokena, Monee, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Palatine, Peru, Plainfield, Port Byron, Roscoe, Round Lake, St. Charles, Sandwich, Streamwood, Streator, Wheaton, Worth,


Brazil, Munster.