Wichita Aero Club Names Scholarship Winners for 2016

July 11, 2016
Zavier Luciano, an AMT student at Wichita Area Technical Col-lege and Talon Michelle Wanless, an electrical engineering student at Wichita State University have been chosen to receive scholarships from the Wichita Aero Club this year.

Monday, June 20, 2016—The Wichita Aero Club has awarded two Edward W. Stimp-son Scholarship for 2016 and, for the second year in a row, has increased the amount of the award, this time to $5,000 each. “We are very pleased to announce that Zavier Luciano, an Aviation Maintenance Technology student at Wichita Area Technical College and Talon Michelle Wanless, an Electrical Engineering student at Wichita State University have been chosen to receive scholarships from the Wichita Aero Club this year,” said John O’Leary, Vice President of Airbus Americas Engineering and Chair-man of the WAC Education Committee. “Zavier and Talon were selected from among 10 applicants who qualified for consideration for the Aero Club’s Edward W. Stimpson scholarship. No applicants met the qualifications for the H. Dean Humphrey Scholar-ship this year, so the committee chose to award two Stimpson scholarships,” O’Leary explained.

“Both Wichita Aero Club Scholarships are designed to encourage and support students who have already demonstrated success in a major course of study at a post high institution and have established a clear aviation-related career path. That means the applicants must be able to provide transcripts with at least 50% of the required course work towards their degree or certificate completed and satisfy the industry career intentions, as well,” O’Leary continued. “While these requirements are admittedly somewhat rigorous, they have allowed us to provide financial encouragement to several students who are carrying on Kansas’s aerospace tradition.

“And, the differences in the specific focus of each scholarship—the reasons that make them unique—are also the reasons the Committee decided to award two Stimpson scholarships this year. We obviously had a number of candidates who met the guidelines for the Stimpson award, which targets students pursuing engineering, flying, service or maintenance and technical careers but that wasn’t the case with the Humphrey scholarship, which is aimed at public relations, marketing, communications and human resources or similar administrative areas. It didn’t generate any which met the required prerequisites and disciplines. We expect more applicants for the Humphrey as students become more familiar with its requirements. In the meantime, we congratulate this year’s recipients,” O’Leary added.

Zavier Luciano enrolled in the Airframe and Powerplant program at Wichita Area Technical College in February of 2016. He has spent much of the past decade as a mechanic at Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing, BE Aerospace, Cessna and United Technologies working on interiors, electrical and structural components. A graduate of Maize High School, he is pursuing an Associate degree in Aviation Maintenance and an Airframe & Powerplant license. He is a sport pilot and hopes to continue flight training and obtain his private pilot’s license, as well.

Talon Wanless is pursuing her goal of being a third generation aviation professional. Currently a junior Electrical Engineering major at Wichita State University, she is also serving as an Avionics and Electrical intern at Textron Aviation and following in the footsteps of both her father and grandfather. A graduate of Wichita Northwest High School, she participated in both the BEETS (Bridge for Engineering and Engineering Technology and BEST Robotics programs and was a member of the National Honors Society while in High School and earned the distinction of being a Presidential Scholar at Wichita State in 2014, as well.

The Wichita Aero Club will host an event later this summer to formally present the awards and celebrate the recipients of the scholarships. The WAC was established in 2008 to foster and promote interest in aviation, provide a forum focused on the industry’s issues and achievements and bring together those with a passion for flight in an environment that expands and enhances professional relationships and furthers cooperation and understanding.

For more information on the Wichita Aero Club, the Ed Stimpson and Dean Humphrey Scholarships or events, call 316-641-6766 or visit the WAC website at www.wichitaaeroclub.org.