2017 VFF Scholarship Winners Announced

Press Release BannerMarch 24, 2017

Contact: Julie M. Gibbs
(703) 684-6777 Ext. 103

AHS Announces 2017 Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship Recipients
$80,000 in Scholarships Awarded to 24 Students

Fairfax, Virginia — AHS International, The Vertical Flight Technical Society, is very pleased to announce its 2017 Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) scholarship recipients. Twenty-four scholarships totaling $80,000 were awarded this year to some of the world’s most talented engineering students interested in vertical flight.

“This year is the 50th Anniversary of the founding of VFF, and the 40th year of providing student scholarships,” said AHS International Executive Director Mike Hirschberg. “Past winners of this very prestigious scholarship have gone on to leadership positions in industry, academia and governments. This year’s applicants were exceptional, and the selected winners will no doubt become the future leaders in vertical flight.”

The following are this year’s awardees, who will be recognized at the AHS Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The banquet is one of the highlights of the AHS International 73rd Annual Forum & Technology Display at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Bachelor Degree Recipients 

  • Mr. Carter Forry, The Pennsylvania State University — Leonard J. LeVasser Scholarship

  • Ms. Kanika Gakhar, Texas A&M University College Station — Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Scholarship*

  • Mr. Riley Hereford, Mississippi State University — Dr. Samuel Tribble Crews, V, Scholarship

  • Mr. James Kenna, The Pennsylvania State University — John J. Schneider Scholarship, 

  • Mr. Francisco F. Pastrana, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University — Barry J. Baskett Scholarship

  • Mr. Robert Veltre, The Pennsylvania State University — Dr. E. Roberts (Bob) Wood Scholarship

Master Degree Recipients

  • Mr. Noah A. Bern, Georgia Institute of Technology — Charles C. Crawford Scholarship 

  • Ms. Angelina Conti, The Pennsylvania State University — Frank N. Piasecki Scholarship

  • Mr. Tanner D. Harms, University of Wyoming — Jeff Pino Scholarship 

  • Mr. Thomas A. Herrmann, University of Maryland College Park — Marat N. Tishchenko Scholarship*

  • Mr. Zhongqi Jia, University of California Davis — Dr. Richard M. Carlson Scholarship 

  • Mr. Adam Kellen, Texas A&M University College Station — Eugene K. Liberatore Scholarship

  • Mr. Zheping Pan, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics — John D. (Jack) Mimnaugh Scholarship

  • Mr. Ryan Patterson, University of Michigan — Santino (Tino) Pancotti Scholarship 

  • Mr. Tyler Sinotte, University of Maryland College Park — Alfred Gessow Scholarship 

  • Mr. Daiju Uehara, University of Texas Austin — Tom Wood Honorary Scholarship 

  • Mr. Wei Yan, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics — Hal Andrews Scholarship

Doctorate Degree Recipients

  • Mr. Etienne Demers Bouchard, Georgia Institute of Technology — Henrich Focke Scholarship

  • Mr. Nandeesh Hiremath, Georgia Institute of Technology — Raymond W. Prouty Scholarship 

  • Mr. Jayanth Krishnamurthi, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — Joseph P. Cribbins Scholarship

  • Mr. Matthew J. Krott, The Pennsylvania State University — Glidden S. Doman Scholarship

  • Mr. Michael William Malick, Washington University in St. Louis — St. Louis Chapter Scholarship

  • Ms. Vidhyashree Nagaraju, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth — Dr. Jing Yen Scholarship for Cost Awareness*

  • Mr. Dhwanil Shukla, Georgia Institute of Technology — Dr. John Zuk Scholarship

The top candidate in each category (marked above with an asterisk) has received special recognition. Each of the Bachelor scholarships includes a cash award of $3,500, but the $5,000 Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Scholarship awarded to Ms. Gakhar. The Masters and Doctorate scholarship winners receive $3,000, with Mr. Herrmann receiving the Marat N. Tishchenko award for $3,500, and Ms. Nagaraju receiving the $6,000 Dr. Jing Yen Scholarship for Cost Awareness.

The VFF was established in 1967 as the philanthropic arm of AHS. Since 1977, the merit-based scholarship program has been a great success story: over 500 scholarships have been awarded since that time. The program has been greatly expanded in recent years, with more than 120 VFF scholarships totaling $362,000 awarded since 2012.

AHS International is kicking off a 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign this year to increase the size of its endowment, in the hopes that a sustained annual scholarship award level of $100,000 can be reach. For more information on the Vertical Flight Foundation or to donate to this important cause, please visit our VFF microsite at www.vtol.org/vff — donations can be designated for the 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign. A list of all past VFF scholarship winners and success stories are also available.

VFF and AHS are both 501(c)(3) charities. AHS International covers all overhead costs of administration and accounting, so 100% of every tax-deductible contribution to VFF goes directly to student scholarships. AHS also contributes a portion of its revenue to supplementing individual contributions.

Founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, AHS International today is the world's premier vertical flight technical society. The Society advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development.

This press release is also available as a PDF.

AHS International — The Vertical Flight Technical Society
2701 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22031 USA
phone: 1-703-684-6777; toll free: 1-855-AHS-INTL; fax: 1-703-739-9279
email: staff@vtol.org; website: www.vtol.org