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Top Business and Government Leaders to Speak at Embry-Riddle Commencement
Daytona Beach, FL, April 12, 2006
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will hold three commencement ceremonies in May on its Daytona Beach Campus, with 685 students from that campus graduating in two ceremonies and 273 students from the Extended Campus graduating in another ceremony. All three events will be held in the school’s ICI Center at 600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Don Smith, an associate professor of Aeronautical Science, joined Embry-Riddle in 1991. He brought a wealth of experience to his aerodynamics and aircraft performance classes and has published numerous articles on the benefits of experience in the classroom. Smith is a retired Navy fighter pilot, a graduate of the “Top Gun” fighter pilot school, a former airline pilot, and a former West Africa bush pilot. At Embry-Riddle he received four Faculty Appreciation Awards from graduating classes, the first Sigma Chi Faculty of the Year Award, and two Presidential Innovation Awards. Smith also served in the Faculty Senate and coached the rowing team for six years. While teaching at Embry-Riddle he was the first mayor of the city of DeBary, Fla.
Dave Barger has been the president and chief operating officer of JetBlue Airways since 1998. The award-winning low-fare carrier is based in New York City and serves 35 cities in the United States and the Caribbean. Under Barger’s leadership, JetBlue was the first American airline to introduce “paperless cockpit” flight technology, the only American airline to be 100 percent ticketless, and the first and only airline to install security cameras in the passenger cabin for customer and crew safety. Previously Barger held various management positions with Continental Airlines and New York Air. In 2003 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Entrepreneur of the Year Program.
Barbara Barrett, owner and president of the Triple Creek Guest Ranch resort in Darby, Mont., is also a business and aviation attorney who serves on the corporate boards of Raytheon Company and Exponent Inc. Early in her career Barrett worked as corporate counsel to two Fortune 500 companies. As an instrument-rated pilot she was appointed vice chair of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board and later served as the first female deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Barrett was the first Republican woman to run for the office of governor in Arizona. She is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Association’s Distinguished American Award.
Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris is the director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Women Veterans in Washington, D.C. She served 38 years in the U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard, retiring in 2001 with the rank of major general. She was the first African-American woman in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general officer. Dr. Trowell-Harris received the Air Force Distinguished Service and Legion of Merit Awards, and a Tuskegee Airmen Inc. chapter was named in her honor. A registered nurse, she has been inducted into the Columbia University Nursing Hall of Fame. This summer she will be honored at Yale University as a distinguished alumna.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.