University Aviation Association honors SDSU’s Christensen

SDSU photo: South Dakota State University associate professor Cody Christensen received the V.L. Laursen Award from the University Aviation Association. Christensen, who has led the SDSU aviation program since 2014, goes over a preflight inspection with Miranda Sullivan.

BROOKINGS – Cody Christensen, an associate professor at South Dakota State University, received the V.L. Laursen Award at the University Aviation Association’s 73rd Annual Education Conference held virtually in October. Christensen, who has led the SDSU aviation program since 2014, is the first one from SDSU to receive an award from the UAA.

The award is granted to professional educators who are UAA members in good standing, who have at least five years actual experience in the aviation education profession, and who have made outstanding contributions to aerospace education. Nominations for this award may be made by UAA professional, associate, corporate or institutional members. This award is presented in honor of TWA’s captain Vern L. Laursen, staff vice president-flight operations training.

“It is always nice to hear your colleagues think you’re doing a good job and I think that’s what all of us strive to do. This award is one example of the impact our program has at the national level,” Christensen said. “We want to make sure we’re providing the safest, best prepared students we can while still being as cost-effective as possible with student dollars.”

The SDSU aviation program has 180 majors with 120 of those currently working on flight certificates, nearly triple the amount from six years ago.

“Even in this short downturn in the aviation industry, we are still seeing a strong need for pilots and SDSU aviation is ready to deliver,” Christensen said.

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