September 2016, Volume 20, Number 4

Making Their Mark

Sky Commanders

Miami Dade College’s Eig-Watson School of Aviation has trained thousands of professional pilots who fly commercial, private and cargo jets around the world, as well as flight instructors who prepare future generations of aviators to take flight. Thanks to MDC’s Saul Eig and Lois Eig-Watson Scholarship Endowment, outstanding aviation students receive generous support that opens doors to lifelong, rewarding careers.

Where in the world are these crème de la crème aviators now? Here is a status report from some of our high-flying alumni, and their heartfelt words on what MDC’s Eig-Watson Scholarship has meant for them.

Nawaf Hafidh, ’00
First Officer, A380, Emirates Airlines
Every day that I turn up for work, I do so with a smile on my face. Every achievement, every success that I’ve had in aviation is one I share with the Eig-Watsons and anyone who has believed in me and supported me along the way.

Estefania Montoya, ’07
First Officer, B767, Amerijet
I’m very grateful to Miami Dade College for the education I received there. I’m currently flying a B767. I’m very happy with what I do, and I’m very grateful for the MDC School of Aviation.

Andrew Gayle, ’09
First Officer, CRJ 200, Express Jet Airlines
I am a proud graduate of the Miami Dade College School of Aviation. Without the support of the Eig-Watson Scholarship, I would not be where I am.

Scott Boykin, ’99
Pilot, Falcon 2000, NetJets
I’m currently a pilot for a leading fractional on the corporate side. The Eig-Watson scholarships at MDC allowed me to fulfill my dreams of becoming a pilot and flying around the world.

Alvaro Londono, ’09
First Officer, A330, Avianca Cargo
The Miami Dade College faculty has done such an amazing job of training a lot of generations of professionals in the aviation industry. I was awarded the Eig-Watson Scholarship in 2008, and because of this, I was able to finish my flight training.

Nilupuli Andrahennadi, ’11
First Officer, A330, SriLankan Airlines
Because of the education I received at the Miami Dade College Eig-Watson School of Aviation, I managed to go to Embry-Riddle to do my bachelor’s degree in aeronautics, come back home to Sri Lanka and apply for my dream job, and I absolutely love it.

High-Flying Alumni

MDC’s School of Aviation has graduated thousands of pilots and other aviation specialists throughout the years. Here are just a few more notable alumni:

  • Darrell D. Roberts, SFLA Technical Operations Manager, FAA-Air Traffic Organization
  • Linda Pauwels, Pilot, American Airlines
  • Ernest Taylor Jr., Pilot, Delta Airlines
  • Matthew Smith, Pilot, Delta Air Lines
  • Robert Jedlinski, Pilot, UnitedAirlines
  • Esteban Arcila, Pilot, Avianca
  • Christopher Corona, Pilot, Spirit Airlines
  • Pedro Noguera, Pilot, FlyDubai
  • Kurt Williams, Pilot, EtihadAirways
  • Nilton Kodama, Pilot, Atlas Air
  • Mariel Cordoba, Pilot, Emirates Airlines
  • Jorge Cruz, Pilot, SouthwestAirlines
  • Travis Fiebelkorn, Air Safety Investigator, FAAHeadquarters
  • Andy Gold, Air Traffic Special Operations, FAAHeadquarters
  • Yandor Ramírez, FAA Air Traffic Controller, MiamiTower
  • Stevie Parker, FAA Air Traffic Controller, Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center

— MR


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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution which does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, ethnicity, pregnancy, sexual orientation or genetic information. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577.