Education Sessions

Follow your interests during WAI2022, and pick the education sessions that will help further your dreams and goals. Topics include: Career, Flying, History, Innovation, Maintenance/Tech Ops, Military, and Personal Development.


Maintenance/Tech Ops

Yes, I Am Your Technician

Presented by AWAM

This engaging session will open the eyes of attendees to a bias that is not widely recognized:  Imagine yourself as a rep who responds to a maintenance call and is met with the question: “Where is the technician?”

This group of technicians and management will share insights intended to increase awareness on the part of the maintenance customer, equip tech ops with tactful ways to address the immediate situation, and handle any negative feelings that may linger. Don’t miss this opportunity to strengthen the bond between maintenance and other departments whatever your role.


Presented by William Russo

Most FAA certificate holders can only use his or her knowledge, skills, and abilities within the aviation industry, but that is not the case for the holder of a mechanic certificate. Many industries outside of aviation heavily recruit A&P mechanics because they are trained to a known standard in the maintenance and repair of all manner of advanced systems and materials. Industries specializing in the use of technologies related to utility power production, marine propulsion, oil and gas production, theme park ride maintenance, assembly line robotics, and more all struggle to find maintenance technicians who are capable of maintaining their equipment and offer some very interesting and lucrative career options.



A Pair of Wings: An Intimate Conversation With Carole Hopson

Presented by Carole Hopson

During this captivating session, Carole Hopson, United first officer, will share moving excerpts from her new historical fiction novel, A Pair of Wings: Based on the Life of Pioneer Aviatrix Bessie Coleman. She’ll also recount her personal, yet unconventional, journey from the halls of corporate America to the flight deck and beyond.


Women and Aviation in the Twentieth Century

Presented by Katha House and Mary Bush Shipko

This session is an overview of how women fit into aviation’s history. Amelia Earhart was six years old when the Wright brothers first flew, and she helped usher in the age of flight. Her many flying adventures were used to promote aviation and women’s rights. We follow her through her last flight. Attendees learn how the name ‘Powder Puff Derby’ came to be and who won the race. The female pilots of the WASP program tested and ferried aircraft during World War II. Amy Baumgarten flew a turbojet in 1944. Female pilots made strides in the 1950s. In 1964 the airline and military cockpits opened, giving a new generation of women opportunity. The century ends with the first female commander of the space shuttle. Come be inspired, and see where you fit into aviation history!


High-Flying Women, 1820-1920

Presented by Loretta Hall

By the time airplanes came into use, women were ready to get on board as pilots and performers. Given their long history of serious flying and daredevil stunts with balloons, it’s not surprising that some made a quick transition to mechanized aircraft. This presentation describes the technical process and aerial antics of six daring dames who established women’s rightful place in the sky from the earliest days of human flight.


Flying and Innovation

Airline Pilot Panel

Moderator: Becky Howell

Panelists: Jennifer Meiners, Linda Kroll, TBD

Each woman tells her aviation story, then the floor is opened to questions. We share how we got to our careers and helpful tips and tricks learned along the way.


Pass Your Instrument Checkride: Tips and Tricks

Presented by Laura Laster

Instrument flying is challenging to learn but exciting to master. Learn tips and hints to help you pass your instrument checkride. You will learn from a seasoned check instructor about common failure items and weak areas, but you will also learn ways to avoid these pitfalls and strategies you can implement in your instrument flying to avoid mistakes on your checkride and beyond. From preparation, to the oral, and on to the flight portion of the test, this presentation will give you a checkride preview. In addition, you will get practical advice managing risk as you navigate through the IFR system.


Come Flight Test With Me

Panelists: Juanita Leal, Patricia Beckman, TBD

Whether flight testing the U.S. Navy’s premier multi-role fighter airplane, the F/A-18 Super Hornet, or the Boeing 7-series commercial airplanes (737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787), flight test provides diverse career opportunities. In this workshop, senior Boeing flight test engineers will explain what flight test is and why it is critical, and present flight test as a career path. In addition, this session will describe what are the most important soft skills needed to thrive in the flight test environment and provide strategies to overcome flight test related challenges.


Sustainable Aviation-Trends, Challenges, and Technology

Presented by Dr. Anita Sengupta

The de-carbonization of the aviation sector is underway with sustainable aviation fuels, battery powered short range trainer planes, and now hydrogen powered aircraft. Dr. Sengupta will review the current state-of-the-art sustainable aviation power plants and aircraft designs. The future of electrified aircraft platforms from single-engine land, to multi-rotor VTOL, to multi-engine turboprop will also be reviewed. This session will also detail advances in stored energy technology for aviation including batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. Also learn about the aviation infrastructure space needed and underway across the globe to support electrification and decarbonization.



Civil Air Patrol - Come Fly With Us!

Panelists: Col. Marth Morris, Col. Andrea Van Buren, Lt. Col. Jackie Fleming, TBD

This passionate influential panel of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) women in aviation will discuss their variety of aviation and space experiences, leadership roles, and careers, both in and out of CAP, and how CAP can enhance aerospace careers for youth and adults. They will discuss the many flying opportunities of CAP for current pilots, such as search and rescue, disaster relief, homeland security, sUAS/drone missions, and cadet orientation flights. And to inspire young people, this dynamic group of women will provide information about CAP’s mentorship, scholarship, aviation/cyber/space career exploration programs, and flight training and certification for aspiring pilots. 


Non-Pilot Flying Careers in the Military

Panelists: TBD

This session will explore the many non-pilot aircrew positions in the military for both officers and enlisted. Panel members will represent many of these career specialties and share their experience and insight. Emphasis will be placed on how to enter and qualify for these positions, what the missions entail, and how a career would progress.


Military Women in Space––Then and Now

Panelists: Col. Eileen Collins (ret.), Lt. Gen. Susan Helms (ret.), TBD

Eileen and Susan were the first military women in space in the early 1990s. Since then, the space shuttle program was terminated, the International Space Station has expanded greatly in size and mission, NASA is looking to return to the moon with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars, the U.S. Space Force was created to protect U.S. interests and provide military capabilities in space. This new military branch is still in its infancy and has none of the issues of gender-restricted roles that the other services experienced. This panel will explore how military women entered into the space mission, what roles they are playing now in the U.S. Space Force, and what opportunities await the next generations as the U.S. military role in space continues to expand.


Women in Combat Operations

Panelists: TBD

Women from all military services representing fighters, bombers, attack, rotary-wing, and drone aircraft will share their real-world combat experiences in this panel discussion. Learn about the training, aircraft capabilities, mission planning, command and control, mission execution, and family and social issues they face.



How to Influence in a Virtual World: Presence, Communication, and Connection

Presented by Stephanie Goetz

This session will focus on how to better connect and influence virtually in our hybrid work world. We will touch on the fundamentals of presence, communication, and influence and then dive into how to properly connect and influence through a WebEx, Zoom, or other video calls. Participants will learn key techniques on the right lighting, framing audio/mic, ideal background set up, and where to look during video calls to connect better.


Career Opportunities in the Business/Corporate Aviation Industry

Moderator: Ava Shubat

Panelists: TBD

Women in Corporate Aviation invites you to interact with pilots, maintenance, safety, and business professionals within the corporate aviation industry. This discussion will feature each panelist's path to her current career, quality of life, work/family balance, why they chose business aviation, and a typical work day. Ask your questions, and come see why business aviation is a career option for you.


Yes, You Can Be an Airline Pilot!

Moderator: Justin Dahan

Panelists: Sara Baer, Jade Lubinski, TBD

Do you want to be an airline pilot? Are you looking to advance your piloting career? Transition from the military? There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach, and it can be a daunting process to navigate. Talk with pilots about various pathways, and get advice on your next steps. Also learn about scholarship opportunities, mentoring programs, what airlines are looking for, and how you can stand out in a crowd.


Brain Power: Improve Your Performance as a Student, Decision Maker, and Leader

Presented by Stacey Jackson

The human brain is powerful, yet fallible, and it is subject to many perception errors and processing barriers that can result in sub-par, and even dangerous, human decisions or actions. Improving these aspects of human performance begins with an understanding of how the brain perceives, processes, and evaluates information, and the associated situations where errors are common. Learning preventative and mitigation strategies allows aviation and aerospace students and professionals to improve their ability to accurately process information, evaluate their situations, make timely and accurate decisions, effectively communicate, and become better students and leaders.


Three Steps to Leading a Transformation

Presented by Mary Woolf

We see transformation happening in every industry, every geography, across every functional topic and as leaders, we are expected to know what to do to lead our company, our departments, or our teams through a transformation. In three steps, you will learn what you need to lead through a transformation. Step 1, we will discuss the Why-what is our anchor for every decision we make? Step 2, we will define the What-what specifically needs to change? Step 3, we discuss the How-how to activate change and make the change stick.


How to Interview and Handle the Tough Questions

Presented by Robin Kardon

There are basic skills that any candidate for a job will require in order to be successful. This session will give attendees a toolkit to use to handle even the toughest questions. Included will be specific tips for answering questions about skeletons in the closet and behavioral interview questions.


The State of Women in Corporate America

Presented by Amanda Atler and Melanie Rey

This presentation summarizes research results published by multiple organizations on the state of women in corporate America. The objective is to bring awareness to areas of concern and inspiration to move forward by reversing the promotion and hiring bias, unconscious bias, diversity, impact of COVID-19 to women's careers, and aviation industry specific data. This will be a data rich yet interactive and engaging session.


Job Crafting: Proactive Steps to Redesign Your Work

Presented by Susan Bartlett

One of the motivating factors for employees is having autonomy over four areas of work: what they do, when they do it, how they do it, and with whom they do it. Job crafting is the actions that employees take to shape, mold, and redefine their jobs. Employees can take steps to redefine and reimagine their job to make it more personally meaningful to them. Since job crafting is initiated by the employee, from the bottom up, and not by the manager from the top down, it is one way of directing their career toward their vision for themselves.


Women in Leadership Inspiring Leadership

Presented by Nicole Bennett and Kimberly Stark

Have you ever considered how your career might have developed if you had an example of leadership? Knowing that you could be a leader without being in management? What decisions would you might have made if you had an advocate in your corner? This session will give you examples of people and growth skills needed for leadership, and examine challenges women may face in the pursuit of leadership. This session will also equip you with the necessary awareness of gender bias, harmful labels, and raising the bar on gender equality. Most importantly, this session will discuss the importance of work/life blending, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic impact.


Engineer"ing" Your Career

Panelists: Dr. Cynthia Campbell, Francis McCarthy, Asha Rao

Using Dr. Campbell’s dissertation on “The Recruitment and Retention of Women in Aerospace,” the challenges and rewards of maintaining an engineering career will be highlighted. A panel of female engineers from Boeing-San Antonio will discuss life experience working in a historically non-traditional industry and career for women. The panel has worked on military and commercial aircraft from program startup to close-out. Discussion will include how to stay engaged in the industry and engineering. The panel will highlight the benefits of creating networks, personal development, and inspiring others while navigating life and career events.


How To Create a Highly Functional Team

Presented by Ullas Perez

Creating a highly functional team is an important part of success as an organization and as a company. As vital as this is, it is also one of the most daunting tasks most leaders take on. It is easy to miss the mark. Many leaders are unsuccessful in creating an extraordinary team despite having individuals with the highest competency. Ullas will share her experience as a technical leader who led a team of 12 highly competent network designers with varied levels of work experience. This is an exercise in emotional intelligence, and the key is building trust.


Personal Development 

Paying It Forward

Presented by Diana Taylor

This presentation highlights my career from secretary to senior systems engineer at Boeing and how a manager saved my life through empowerment, and showing me how a company like Boeing truly invests in its people. I was a victim of physical, emotional, and financial abuse for over a decade by my ex-husband who was a police officer who at my lowest held myself and three children hostage at gunpoint for an entire night. I tell the story of how a manager who invested in me––encouraged me and provided me with opportunities to grow––helped build my confidence and self-worth so that I eventually left my abuser. I hope to help and inspire others who are in a similar position or knows someone who is. I also hope to reach the leaders of tomorrow and show them that they could be the difference that changes someone's life.


Post-Pandemic Parenting

Presented by Dr. Tim Lewis and Cory Scott

The impact of the pandemic has been a staggering impact socially, medically, politically, and “parently.” The impact of balancing a career with the duty as a parent created unprecedented challenges leaving some struggling, and others feeling defeated. This discussion will explore how we are more alike than apart in our journey and identify what can be done to get your family, your foundation, back on track to have a solid place to stand your ladder for personal success. Participants will head discussions, provide experience, hear solutions, and learn tools that can promote broad life success.


Engaging Men As Advocates – Virtually and In-Person

Presented by Caroline Prado

Today there are many conversations about the importance of involving men in efforts to create a workplace environment that is equitable and inclusive. We also know how crucial advocacy and sponsorship is to women's advancement. But what is a male advocate, and why are they important? How do we go about approaching a well-intentioned man, and what do we ask of them? We know how powerful it can be to invite men into the conversation, but once we invite them, it is critical to engage, educate, and equip them with practical ways to join and champion gender inclusion efforts. Join this dynamic and relevant session to explore best practices and lessons learned to create a gender inclusive environment.


Resiliency: What You Can Control

Presented by Stephanie Elliston

Adapting your resiliency to challenges is a developed behavior which comes from practice. We cannot control all of life's twists and turns, but we can build a roadmap to emerge stronger. Becoming more aware and educated on resilience will help you get through difficult circumstances and empower you to manage your life. This session is designed for the individual who wants to prepare and thrive in change. You will leave with practical and evidence-based tips to acknowledge your resiliency level and manage what you can control during difficult transitions.


Use your Setbacks to Fuel your Comebacks

Presented by Sondra Radcliffe

What if we looked at failing as our first attempt in learning rather than the dreaded four-letter word? How would that change the way we approached obstacles as individuals, and as organizations? One of the most important characteristics of leadership is resilience. Personal resilience is important, and organizational resiliency is critical to success. In an environment where change is constant, and stress is heightened––resilience helps us cope, adapt, and carry on. This education session will explore what resilience is and how we can build personal and organizational resilience.


Core Strength: The Key to Thriving in a Man's World

Presented by Lane Wallace

Often overlooked in career advice is the importance of first building our own core strength, so (just as in fitness) we have the ability, strength, and resilience to recognize and navigate pressures and challenges more effectively. In this session, Aviation for Women columnist Lane Wallace will lay out some of the personal and career challenges women in aviation face, and how building our core strength can help us survive and succeed in that environment. She will also provide tools, resources, and steps women can take to start building, enhancing, and applying that core strength in their careers and lives.


Keeping Relationships Strong and Finding Balance Between Home and Your Career

Panelists: TBD

Women tend to be born nurturing, and taking care of others is a responsibility they assume. Societal pressures and expectations of what is “normal” often make it appear that women must choose between a nurturing role or a career. But do your goals and ambitions need to take a backseat? Understanding resources, navigating challenges, and developing a support system to fit your unique situation is fundamental to maintaining your connection with your spouse, partner, children, and extended family. Hear the experiences of three women and how they adapted the traditional roles to fit their personal situation.


Enhancing Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in the Aviation Industry

Panelists: TBD

What steps can we take to change the current aviation culture without disenfranchising others gradually? We believe simple measures will help us become more aware, better coworkers, and more proficient role models for the next generation. Individuals can make meaningful contributions with minimal effort if they are willing to engage in a conversation and consider another’s experiences. We can make progress to inspire the next generation of commercial airline pilots and make their path just a little less challenging. Panelists will discuss exclusionary practices such as language, microaggressions, unconscious biases, and how these issues have impacted them.


Pen to Paper - Aviators Write!

Moderator: Elizabeth Booker

Panelists: Robin Kardon, TBD

Has anyone ever told you, “You should write a book?” Have your flying adventures sparked your imagination and creativity in the form of a story? Do you love research, and want to bring our aviation history to life on the page? Just as flying is a skill that must be learned and developed, so, too, is writing. This panel of published and working writers will share why and how they incorporated their experiences and research through writing and publishing to bring the story of women in aviation to a broader audience and inspire the next generation of women in aviation.


A Financial Checklist Through the Stages and Ages

Presented by Aubrey Macklin

As our careers and lives change and progress, so do our financial needs. Join us for a discussion on four important areas that contribute to your financial wellbeing, and steps you can take at each stage of your life to set yourself up for success. Whether you are just beginning your career, are living your dream retirement, or are anywhere along the way, this session can help you learn more about areas to focus on (and maybe discover some new tips) as your financial life evolves. We will cover saving and budgeting, estate planning, taxes, and insurance needs, with plenty of time for you to ask any questions you may have!.


The Audacity to Empower Yourself

Presented by Tiana S. Clark

This session gives women the inspiration, motivation, and tactical tools to get in the driver’s seat of their lives. They will learn how to reclaim their power by challenging their preconceived notions about their identity, changing perspectives of “failure,” stop seeking external validation, proactively building equity in resilience, practicing affirmations and manifestation, creating and implementing boundaries, and fully dedicating themselves to a transformation that puts them back in control of their lives. We are the changemakers, the innovators, and the nurturers too. We cannot pour out into the world from an empty cup.




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