Cape Cod Community College celebrated the success of its first group of students completing all requirements of its Aviation Maintenance Technology Program, Thursday, November 9, 2017. As this first group of 16 graduates qualified for FAA Certification testing, some were preparing to begin work in the aviation industry, while others were already enrolling for further study to complete their Associate in Applied Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance at the College.

President John Cox welcomed family and friends to the formal completion ceremony which saw each program graduate receive a newly minted program pin, created specifically for the College’s program, signifying their completion.

In his remarks to the graduates, President Cox expressed his personal gratitude for the vibrant spirit, commitment, and persistence shown among all of the first students to enter the program, and drew parallels to his early life, working on the farm in rural Pennsylvania. He noted that nurturing life from its very beginnings to successful harvest through care, persistence, and adaptation to adversity was a similar to the start, growth, and ultimate success of these first graduates.

Board Vice Chair, David Bushy, congratulated the graduates and reminded them that a lifetime of learning still lay ahead, as he looked forward into the future of aviation’s evolution to the potential for all-electric flight, pilotless flight, even sub-space and space flight in commercial aviation. The former pilot, chief pilot, and senior executive for major airlines, including Cape Air, continues to be very active in aviation today, and spoke with great pride in both the industry and the new graduates.

College Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Susan Miller reminded the honorees that as program graduates, wherever they were in the world, Cape Cod Community College was there as well, and she encouraged them, as did every speaker during the ceremony, to embrace education throughout their lifetime. Many of the 16 graduates, in fact, will continue on at the College to earn the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance.

Special awards were presented for numerous unique accomplishments within this cohort including $1500 “tool scholarships” for those who earned their FAA Certification. An anonymous donor has pledged this scholarship to every graduate who earns their full FAA certification. As of the ceremony five had completed the very comprehensive certification exam, and more were preparing to do so.

The keynote speaker at the ceremony, the Honorable Mr. John Goglia, reminded the graduates of the great responsibility they had as certified maintenance technicians. Their signature, showing that work was complete, correct, and that a plane was ready to fly, could literally be the difference between life and death for everyone on board the aircraft that they serviced. He gave numerous examples of where an aviation mechanic’s lack of care and personal responsibility had ended in tragedy.

Mr. Goglia is a highly respected figure within aviation today. With more than 40 years of industry experience, he was the first and only Airframe and Powerplant mechanic to receive a presidential appointment to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), where he was instrumental in gaining recognition for the importance of airport crash fire and rescue operations, the dangers of wildlife at airports, and the increasing significance of aircraft maintenance in aviation accidents. He is a leading proponent of airplane child safety seats.

Just prior to speaking at the event, he had spent a month in China, giving seminars on maintenance safety. He has a local connection to the region. John Goglia is the Director of Safety and Security for Rectrix Aviation and Rectrix Aerodrome Centers located in Hyannis, Bedford, Westfield, and Worcester, MA, and in Sarasota, FL.

 

Many of the program’s graduates are securing employment within the industry. Some will join Cape Air in Hyannis, one will be headed out of state to Overhaul Support Services in East Granby, Ct., while others are awaiting the outcome of final interviews with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in California, and SkyWest in Texas. A number of graduates plan to complete the Associate of Applied Science Degree at CCCC while they work part-time within the industry. One student’s goal is a Mechanical Engineering degree from UMass.

Class # 916 graduates (signifying their start together in September of 2016) are (alpha’d by town):

Michael J. Villa – Centerville, MA

Eric D. Goeldner – East Dennis, MA

Thomas F. Mortland – Duxbury, MA

Joe L. Ricci, Jr. – South Easton, MA

Sean R. DeWitt – Forestdale, MA

Stan Laine – Forestdale, MA

Evan P. Eldredge – Harwichport, MA

Johnathan D. Rodriguez – Hyannis, MA

Collin M. Moriarty – Plymouth, MA

Devon A. Porter – Plymouth, MA

Joshua E. Snell – Plymouth, MA

Leland G. Taylor – Mashpee, MA

Shelton F. Wiebe – Maynard, MA

Erica Parini – Sandwich, MA

Jonathan D. Teixeira – Teaticket, MA

Brendan A. Berger- South Yarmouth, MA