AU OBAP chapter teams up with United Airlines for leadership opportunity
In July, seven aviation management and professional flight students went to Denver for a leadership retreat where they learned about multiple divisions of United's operations. All seven students are officers in the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals – Auburn Chapter (OBAP), which promotes diversity in the aviation industry.
The leadership retreat was held to assist the students in their OBAP leadership roles and give them access to the inner-workings of a commercial airline.
“It was an amazing opportunity to build the leadership of a relatively new chapter and to energize us heading into the next year,” said Zachary Lewis, aviation management student and community outreach coordinator for OBAP.
According to Lewis, the trip was possible thanks to the efforts of numerous United Airlines employees, including Auburn alumnus Jason Mohrman, Chris Watson, United operations supervisor and OBAP alumni mentor coordinator, and Captain George Kling, United flight training instructor.
"Our United team did an amazing job as they shared their aviation passions with AU Aviation students," said EWR Boring 767/757 and Auburn University OBAP mentor Jason Mohrman. "The experience was just unreal."
Students toured the Denver Airport, which included a Maui-bound Boeing 767, SOC (Station Operations Center), Ramp Tower, United Airlines Flight Training Center, and Boeing 767 and 777 simulators. They met with managers from United, including flight training, flight standards, and pilot hiring. At the end of their last day, the students also participated in preparing and cooking food for a cookout in collaboration with Sox Place Denver for the United maintenance staff and firefighters of the Denver Airport as well. Sox Place focuses on helping youth and young adults who are battling homelessness and addiction.
Auburn University’s OBAP chapter was founded in 2019. OBAP itself was founded in 1976 to increase diversity and inclusiveness throughout the aviation and aerospace industry.
The students who attended the leadership retreat are:
Stephen Barlow, OBAP President, Professional Flight
Anirudh Busetty, OBAP Treasurer, Professional Flight
Will Dodds, OBAP Secretary, Professional Flight
Christian Harvey, OBAP Social Media Chair, Professional Flight
Zachary Lewis, OBAP Community Outreach Coordinator, Aviation Management
Mohamed Salama, OBAP member, Aviation Management
Benjamin Wakefield, OBAP Vice President, Professional Flight