Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Student Awarded Tbird2 Aviation Scholarship

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Douglas NiemelaScottsdale, AZ (February 3, 2022) – Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. (“Tbird2“) announced a 2022 Aviation Scholarship has been awarded to Douglas Niemela, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (“ERAU”) senior earning a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics Fixed Wing. Tbird2 is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, honoring all military veterans, creating unique educational opportunities for Arizona students studying all aspects of aviation, and supporting Dogs4Vets.

In addition to earning his Bachelor’s degree and holding a 3.96 GPA, Mr. Niemela has earned licenses and certifications for Certified Flight Instructor, Commercial Pilot Multi-Engine Land, and Instrument Rated Pilot Single Engine Land. Douglas currently works at ERAU as a Pilot Instructor. He has accepted a first officer position upon graduating ERAU with Horizon Air, a regional airline based in Sea-Tac, Washington. Horizon Air and its sister carrier, Alaska Airlines, are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.

Ziomek and MillerSteve Ziomek, Chairman and President of Tbird2, stated, “After spending some time with Douglas during the interview process, it immediately became abundantly clear that he is the perfect choice for a Tbird2 scholarship.”

Rudy R. Miller, Chairman of Tbird2 Advisory Board and Scholarship Committee, remarked, “We have developed a strong working relationship with ERAU and Douglas is an outstanding recipient of this prestigious award. He now is a member of a select group of honorees.” Miller continued, “He is the twelfth aviation scholarship winner over the past 26 months. We anticipate selecting five more excellent candidates from other outstanding Arizona aviation college programs in the next 10 months. Our mission is to help our aviation-related students to achieve their dreams!”

“Douglas Niemela is a true leader among our Bachelors of Science degree in Aeronautical Science students. He is the current Captain of our 13-time National Collegiate Flight Competition Team, known as the “Golden Eagles.” He will lead the Golden Eagles for the 2022 competition and, much to our benefit, transition to flight instructing for the Prescott Campus,” noted Parker Northrup, ERAU College of Aviation Flight Department Chair. “We are grateful he is being recognized by Thunderbird Field II with this generous scholarship.”

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