HAMPTON, Va. (November 26, 2019) – The Hampton University student chapter of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) hosted a meet and greet with OBAP’s Northeast Regional Director and United Airlines Captain Joe Hayes, November 19.
Each region hosts a meet and greet once a quarter to network and since Hampton’s OBAP chapter is relatively new, this was a great opportunity for students to meet and interact with Captain Hayes and other aviation professionals. The event was held at The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille in Hampton, Va.
“This was a great opportunity for our students to interact and learn from career professionals in the aviation field. Terrific job on coordinating a successful event,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Over 30 aviation professionals and OBAP members, including current Hampton students and alumni of the Hampton University Aviation Department, turned out for the event. Members traveled from all over to be a part of this professional networking opportunity. Thoughts, ideas, contact information and words of wisdom were all exchanged as everyone enjoyed the free appetizers courtesy of OBAP.
The Hampton University collegiate chapter of OBAP was chartered in Spring 2019 with 10 students. Currently, there are 20 students in the chapter. Dazha Austin, a graduating senior and Aviation Management, Air Traffic Control major, is the president of the OBAP student chapter here at Hampton University. Dazha reached out to Captain Hayes and helped with the organizing of the meet and greet. “I’ve been a member of OBAP since 2016 and it is truly an amazing organization,” Dazha said. “During my time, I have met so many positive role models and influencers who are now mentors to me. I can’t wait to be able to give back to others like this organization has done for me.”
“Mr. William Franklin, professor of Flight Education; Mr. Andrew Smith, professor of Air Traffic Control (ATC); and Dazha Austin, senior Aviation Management, ATC have done a fantastic job building this important professional aviation student chapter. OBAP is critical to assisting our graduating seniors find opportunities in aviation career fields and providing guidance by enhancing the department's outreaching and possible contribution through funding and equipment endowment,” said John Murray, chair of the Hampton University Aviation Department.
Founded in 1976, OBAP was created to support and encourage minorities in aviation and aerospace careers. The organization has numerous aviation programs that bring the world of aviation to youth who may not be aware of the numerous opportunities in this career field. OBAP implements FAA-endorsed ACE Academies each summer in approximately 30 cities reaching nearly 1,500 students between the ages of 14 - 18. OBAP currently has over 3,000 members from numerous aviation professions.
To learn more about OBAP, please visit https://obap.org/.