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This item originally appeared in the April 8, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Five students have been announced as recipients of the department of professional aviation's spring quarter scholarships.

Vincent Benfatti, a senior professional aviation major, considers his award recognition for all his hard work over the years.

"It's pretty rewarding," Benfatti said. "I have worked real hard to keep my grades up. It is pretty good to get so much back out after putting in for a while."

Scholarship recipients include Benfatti; Sarah Capstick, a junior professional aviation major; and Anthony Dovie, a senior professional aviation major. All are receiving $500.

The other recipients include Kirk Sweeney, a junior professional aviation major, and Nathan Schilling, a senior professional aviation major. Both are consecutive scholarship award recipients and both are receiving $300.

Dale Sistrunk, director of the department of aviation and a professor of aviation, made the announcement after a committee of three looked over each of the student's applications.

"All of the students deserved awards; we just wish we had more money to award," Sistrunk said.

Requirements for a scholarship in the department of professional aviation are that students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrate progression in flying pursuits and have a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

Sistrunk said the scholarship recipients must have been a part of the aviation program for at least three quarters.

"We don't award scholarships to students until a student's third quarter, because we allow students to establish a GPA," Sistrunk said. "We can then determine a student's seriousness of the field of study."

Scholarships are awarded based on money available in the department.

The scholarships come from alumni contributions and are not given directly to the student, but used as a supplement to help in the student's flight pursuits.

Schilling is excited about his consecutive awards and tends to use them to work on his flight instructor rating.

"[It's] a good way to get money in the flight accounts, and it takes a lot of hard work," Schilling said.

A flight instructor rating is received in a class that teaches licensed pilots how to teach other pilots how to obtain their license.

Sistrunk sees the recognition of outstanding students and presenting awards on a quarterly basis as a means of ensuring that students continue to study at this university.

Sistrunk said, "The scholarships are a stipulation that students continue to pursue their flight careers at Tech."

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