Meet the 2010-2011 Scholarship Recipients  



 Jordan Alexandria DiGrazia


Jordan Alexandria DiGrazia


Jordan DiGrazia is a third year aviation flight and aviation management student at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (SIUC).  She will receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management in the spring of 2012.


Upon graduation, Jordan is seeking a career as a professional pilot. She received a private pilot certificate in May 2009, instrument rating in December 2010 and is currently working towards a commercial pilot certificate.


Jordan’s honors and achievements include: 

*      Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society

*      Honors Day Ceremony - Spring 2009-2011


She also received recognition for the following scholarships in addition to the William S. Arnott Memorial Scholarship:


*      LuAnn Gatewood Memorial Scholarship - Spring 2011

*      Victor L. Davis Memorial Scholarship - Spring 2010

*      Aviation Flight Tuition Waiver Award - Spring 2009


Besides concentrating on her studies and flight certifications, Jordan added the following extracurricular activities to her busy schedule:


*      SIUC Saluki Aviators Chapter of Women in Aviation, International – President

             Spring 2010-Present

       “Let’s Wing It” - Volunteer program to involve students in learning activities

                    focusing on aviation

*      SIUC Aviation Ambassador

       Provide prospective students with information regarding the aviation

                  program at SIUC

       United Airlines Career Day volunteer

       American Airlines Career Day volunteer

       Corporate/General Aviation Career Day volunteer

*      SIUC Aviation Management Society – Banquet Coordinator – 2009-2010

*      Summer Wings/NASA Wings Camp Counselor – Summer 2010


Jordan has also been worked from January 2011 to present as a dispatcher with the SIUC Dispatch and Weather Center where she greets airport guests, checks students in for flights and ground lessons and observes weather conditions. 



 Rick Palkovic



Rick Palkovic


Rick Palkovic is a sophomore at Mt. St. Antonio College in Walnut, California.  He is on the Dean’s list and will receive an Associate’s degree in Aviation Science in the spring of 2011.  He then plans to enroll in the Aviation Management program at Southern Illinois University where he hopes to receive his Bachelor of Science degree from in 2013.


Rick’s accomplishments to date include:

*      First Flight – 3/18/2008

*      Solo – 5/19/2008 goal met

*      Private Pilot Certificate Single Engine Land – 64.5 hrs total time 10/9/2008 goal met

*      Instrument Rating – 40.0 hrs total instrument time 10/3/2009 goal met

*      Commercial Certificate – 250.0 total time 11/14/2009 goal met

*      Flight Instructor Certificate – 266.8 total time 3/22/2010 goal 2yrs from first flight, done 2yrs 4days

*      Commercial Pilot AS degree – Spring 2010


Rick’s future goals include:

*      Instrument Instructor – Spring 2011

*      Aviation Science AS degree Mt. Sac – Spring 2011

*      Aviation Management BS degree (SIU) – Spring 2013

*      Multi Engine Land – Summer 2011

*      Multi Engine Instructor – Summer 2011

*      Airframe & Powerplant Certification – Fall 2011

*      Commercial Airline Pilot – Date undecided

*      Human Factors MS degree – Date undecided


Upon receiving the United Airlines Historical Foundation’s William S. Arnott Scholarship Rick Palkovic wrote the following note to the Foundation:


I am very grateful to be a recipient of the United Airlines’ scholarship in honor of Captain William S. Arnott.   Support such as this makes aviation truly great.  I have accomplished many of my goals and am making progress toward a career as an airline pilot, but recently have been weighed down by the high cost of my passion. 


This scholarship represents the final push I need to not only gain my instrument instructor rating, but also become the active member of the Mount San Antonio College Flying team I would not have otherwise been able to finance.