June 08, 2012

Camp’s focus is aviation career possibilities

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school students can learn about aviation careers at a camp hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s nationally recognized aviation program.

The second Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy will introduce students to careers that involve aviation flight, aviation management and aviation technologies.  The Federal Aviation Administration is among the sponsors for the weeklong residential program.

Registration is open, and the six-day camp is limited to 20 students. The camp runs July 29-Aug. 3, and costs $400 per person. The camp is limited to students who have completed their freshman through senior years in high school.  The registration deadline is June 26.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the students and their camp experiences.  For more information and to arrange times, contact Steve Goetz at 618/453-9280, or by email at sgoetz@aviation.siu.edu.


The academy “provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of career fields” that includes aviation maintenance technology, aviation flight, aviation management, and air traffic control, said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

“It is an outstanding, hands-on way for high school students to obtain a solid overview of aviation career possibilities and university aviation degree programs that can get them to those goals,” he said.  “Because of the wide geographic diversity of the students’ backgrounds, the ACE camp provides SIU Aviation with a way to connect with potential students that it might not otherwise come into contact with.”

One of the camp days will focus on pilot careers and feature time in flight training simulators and in aircraft, if the weather permits. Other days will focus on airport management and airport planning; aviation maintenance, including supply chain management; air traffic control; and safety inspection and management.  Students will spend one day touring the terminal radar approach control facility in Chesterfield, Mo., and also visit the Prologue Room at The Boeing Co. in St. Louis to learn about the history of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.

Steve Goetz, an assistant instructor in aviation management and flight, and the camp director, said it is important that students learn of the wide range of career possibilities in aviation.  The camp will allow students to explore some of the various aviation fields and also learn about job requirements.

“Most people think of aviation as flying, but if we can get the campers to see that there is more to aviation that just flying airplanes, then I consider the camp a success,” he said.  “We want to broaden their horizon and get them thinking outside the box.  Aviation is one of the fields were it is just not the end result of passengers on airplanes being flown by pilots.  You have the people who maintain the aircraft, who develop them, and who supply the product supports.  There are many different pieces in this puzzle and it is more than just the end result.”

Chris Dimoulis, a senior lecturer in the aviation management and flight program, is also a camp instructor.

“Students got a lot out of the camp last year.  It’s not limited to just one subject area,” he said.  “It was neat to see the campers respond to the different subject areas and different careers.  Everybody seemed to get something out of it and it was different for everyone.”

SIU Carbondale is one of two collegiate programs in Illinois, and the only public university in the state offering the weeklong ACE Academy.  The camp will feature instructors from SIU Carbondale, the FAA, AAR Corp., and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics. In addition, four students in the University’s aviation program will serve as camp counselors.

Primary camp sponsors include AAR Corp., a Wood Dale-based aviation maintenance and product supply company; the Illinois Department of Transportation; the Southern Illinois Airport Authority; and the University’s aviation program.

More information about the camp is available by contacting Goetz at 618/453-9280 or by email at sgoetz@aviation.siu.edu.  To register, call SIUC’s Division of Continuing Education at 618/536-7751. Registration online is available at dce.siu.edu/index.php/Academic-Camps/Aviation-Career-Education-ACE-Academy or by FAX at 618/453-5680.