With over 1,200 student organizations at Texas A&M, there are a wide variety of activities, hobbies and professional interests represented on campus. With a base of organizations that is ever-growing, students at Texas A&M are able to establish new clubs to meet unfulfilled needs.
Among these organizations is Texas A&M Women in Aviation, a club focused on connecting, engaging and inspiring women to be the best they can be, both in their personal lives and in their pursuit of aviation and/or STEM careers. Texas A&M Women in Aviation was founded in March of 2020, after cadet Maria Hall ‘23 and Emily Smith ‘21 met at the Women in Aviation International Conference in Florida.
“Emily and I met for the first time at the conference and formed an instant connection through our love for flying. We talked about how we wanted to create a community where other like minded individuals could meet and encourage each other, so we came back to Texas A&M, got some of our other pilot friends together and formed Texas A&M Women in Aviation that following fall.”
With their newly established organization up and running, Maria and Emily got to work on building the club’s membership numbers. Maria credits her love for flying as a driving factor in her desire to support others through Texas A&M Women in Aviation.
“When I was 11 years old, my dad took me flying as his first passenger in a 1946 light sport aircraft called an Ercoupe. As soon as we took off, I immediately knew that flying was what I was called to do. Six years later, I was fortunate to earn my Private Pilot's License and it was only natural that I took my dad flying as my first passenger. I have been extremely blessed with support in my own aviation journey, so creating and leading this organization has been a special way to give back and help others start flying.”
“The aviation community is amazing, but it can be daunting and expensive to get into if you’re brand new to it. My goal is to not only help with the financial aspect of flying through flight scholarships, but to send the message that aviation is for everyone and should not be intimidating,” Maria explained.
As the club has grown over the last few years, more cadets have gotten involved with Texas A&M Women in Aviation. Of these cadets is Alex Sellman ‘23, who currently serves as the organization’s Outreach Director.
“This organization provides a lasting support network of women who are all here to help each other succeed in a career field of their passion. We have had graduates go on to careers all over the industry and come back to talk to us about what they have learned. This organization has had a massive impact on my perception of the aviation industry and has helped me realize that there are so many opportunities within it,” Alex said.
With several significant opportunities like scholarships for organization members currently being awarded through Texas A&M Women in Aviation, Maria says that she hopes to see the organization’s reach continue to expand.
“My hope for this organization is that it continues to grow and that we will receive more donations to use as flight scholarships for our members to begin flying or continue their aviation training. From the generous donations we have already received, we have had the opportunity to provide full scholarships for two members to attend this year’s Women in Aviation International Conference in California. We have also awarded 15 free introductory flights at Brazos Valley Flight Services, and we just gave away our first $500 flight scholarship. These donations have had a tremendous impact on our members and have fueled their fire for flying.”
For the past three years, Texas A&M Women in Aviation has empowered students to pursue their passion for aviation, regardless of their initial level of experience in the field. Several cadets have benefited from the support provided by Texas A&M Women in Aviation.
The Corps of Cadets develops leaders, both on and off the Quad. Texas A&M Women in Aviation is just one of many ways for cadets to become involved on campus, and one of many ways for them to find the support they need to pursue their passions.
If you are interested in donating to Texas A&M Women in Aviation, visit here. Your support directly benefits and impacts every member of the organization, and enables those with a passion for aviation to pursue their dreams.
Story By: Robin Nelson '22