Alumni Updates

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Career News


Phil Woodruff (’71, DB) received the National Aeronautic Association’s (NAA) Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award at the NAA’s fall awards ceremony on Nov. 29, 2017. The award honors those who have made significant contributions to aeronautics in the United States. As director of education for the Federal Aviation Administration, Woodruff’s efforts led to the creation of new aviation education programs in every state, including opening more than 100 Aerospace Education Resource Centers for teachers and Aviation Career Education Academies for youth.


Dennis Jones (’80, DB) was named managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). He is the first African-American to hold this post. He started at NTSB as an intern in 1979 and has investigated more than 1,000 aviation accidents, including Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared in 2014 over the Indian Ocean.


Cedric Rockamore (’92, ’96, WW) was named vice president of American Airlines’ Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Hub Operations.
Natasha Parks
Natasha Parks (’98, DB) joined the executive board for the International Institute of Space Commerce as a corporate liaison for the southeastern United States.


U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jeffrey Mullins (’06, WW) and Navy Lt. Garrett Hopkins (’09, WW) were selected for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ 2018 air show season. Mullins is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 31, Beaufort, South Carolina. Hopkins is a maintenance officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Detachment, Fallon, Nevada. [Photos courtesy of U.S. Navy Blue Angels; the appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.]


U.S. Air Force Capt. Abby Hall (’12, DB) represented the Air Force, which won the Armed Forces Volleyball Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, in May 2017, and played on the All-Armed Forces Team, representing the United States, which won a silver medal in the World Military Volleyball Championship in June. Hall is a program manager and director’s action group chief at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. She is a former Eagles Volleyball player and 2017 inductee to the Embry-Riddle Athletics Hall of Fame. This is her third consecutive year as a member of the All-Air Force team. She is currently the only member of the 11-player team who is not a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Umar Farouk Idris (’15, ’17, DB) is a software engineer at Intel, where he performs platform evaluation and competitive assessment enabling various business units.

Lt. Col. Jaime R. Harvey (’12, WW) is the incoming president of the Aerospace Physiology Society. She is the executive officer to the U.S. Air Force chief of safety and branch chief at the U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dan Brooks (’14, WW) was promoted to product owner at CAMP Systems International. He is responsible for the CAMP Inventory application as well as other major products. CAMP Systems is a provider of aviation management products and services.

Family News

Melissa (Andrzejewski Pemberton) Burns (’13, WW) and Trent Burns welcomed Isla Sky Burns on Nov. 5, 2017, at Tree Of Life Birth Center in Deland, Florida. Melissa is a professional aerobatic pilot, display skydiver and B.A.S.E. Jumper, and performs in airshows for audiences worldwide.


Jonathan P. Rupp (’06, DB) and Sarah Ward were married on Nov. 11, 2017, at West Milford Farm in Cumming, Georgia. Rupp is a pilot for Jet Methods, a private jet air charter company.


Mario Borda (’02, DB), Oscar Garcia (’04, DB), and Sakeer Sheik (’02, DB), pictured left to right, reconnected at the 2017 Daytona Beach Campus Homecoming Weekend in October. Borda is CEO of Interflight Law and a Boeing 787 captain; Garcia is chairman and CEO of Interflight Global; and Sheik is CEO of Titan Aviation. They are all graduates of the Embry-Riddle Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA) program, which was offered by the university from 2000-04. Other EMBA graduates (not pictured) who Skyped in for the occasion were Fred Messina (’02, DB), senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton; George H. Snyder Jr. (’02, DB), president and CEO of GHS Aviation Group; and Scott Wargo (’89, WW; ’02, DB), general manager at Sargent Aerospace. Garcia says the EMBA degree helped propel him and his classmates to the top of their respective careers.