College Aviation Student Awarded Industry Scholarship

Published 08.28.2008

Student News

A senior in Pennsylvania College of Technology's aviation maintenance technology major has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Aircraft Electronics Association.

Benjamin M. Thompson, of Conestoga, is this year's recipient of the association's Plane & Pilot Magazine/Garmin Scholarship, which is available to high school, college or vocational/technical school students who are attending (or who plan to attend) an accredited institution in an avionics or aircraft-repair program.

The scholarship is a competitive one in which each student must submit an essay that is evaluated against those written by other applicants.

"Far too often, I hear about people that can't stand their job, or wish that they went back to school," Thompson wrote. "I refuse to be that person. I am confident that, just as I have succeeded so far in school, my personal life, and my enjoyment and appreciation of nature, I shall also succeed in a career in aviation. Aviation has provided the ability for me to be fluid in my long-term plans and still stay within the bounds of the field."

In the short term, Thompson said, he believes avionics in the business-jet sector will provide him with the most valuable experience when he first enters the workforce. Where his skills take him from there is uncertain, but he is confident that aviation will be a major driving force for the rest of his life.

"There are many activities in my life that I've tried: sports, music, and even a brief stint on stage," he added. "And though I enjoy doing all these things very much, I realize that a career in professional aviation is the direction that I want to go."

Thompson received his check at the college's Lumley Aviation Center from Thomas D. Inman, associate professor of avionics and co-department head of Penn College's aviation department. Thompson is a student ambassador and was among members of the college's first Honors Program, in which high-achieving students study abroad, participate in a campus colloquium and perform community-service projects.

Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents more than 1,300 aviation businesses, including repair stations that specialize in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft.

For more information about aviation maintenance technology and other academic majors offered by the college's School of Transportation Technology, visitonline or call (570) 327-4516.

For more about Penn College, visit on the Web,e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.