York Aviation Major Wins Industry Scholarship

Shawn Ferguson is a quiet presence on campus, but the Aviation management major is anything but retiring when it comes to pursuing scholarships to help fund her education.

Ms. Ferguson, a senior in the CUNY Aviation Institute at York College, was recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship by the Airport Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Commissioners’ Committee, which encourages aviation education.

“I’m on the right track” said Ferguson. “There are organizations out there that do support students in the aviation field. You just have to be willing to apply.”

A transfer student from CUNY’s Queensborough Community College where she majored in Business, Ferguson said she was not focused on her education until she took a job at a rent a car center and realized that she needed to finish school.

“You don’t make a lot of money without the degree,” she said. “I appreciate the ACI-NA for helping to further my education in aviation.”

Asked how she applied the scholarship, Ferguson, who enjoys mentoring others, said she had already paid for her semester before the check arrived.

“I used it pay back my credit card from paying my tuition,” she said. “I also bought some books. I hope they keep York on their radar. I would encourage [other] students to apply for scholarships. I think a lot of people don’t apply because they don’t think they’ll get it.”

Dr. Chun-Pin Hsu, acting director of the Aviation Institute, is delighted with this new scholarship for York.

“I’m glad they consider our students,” said Hsu. “A significant number of our students are first generation [college-goers]. Scholarships give them the opportunity and the courage to get their education.”

ACI-NA has been supporting student achievement in aviation with these scholarships since 1993. The Commissioner’s Committee Scholarship, was “established to recognize students with high academic achievement who are working toward a career in airport management or airport operations.”

York College Aviation students now compete for ACI-NA’s, and National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) scholarships, proving themselves worthy candidates alongside their counterparts at Embry Riddle, Purdue and many other institutions with long-established aviation programs.

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