Kent State University professor Isaac Richmond Nettey

Kent State University professor Isaac Richmond Nettey recently became the first African American to receive the University Aviation Associations’s (UAA) prestigious William A. Wheatley Award. Netty received the award on Oct. 10 at the association’s 2014 fall education conference in Daytona Beach, Fla., hosted by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Nettey was recognized as a professional educator who has actively been involved in UAA and, for more than 10 years, has made an invaluable contribution to aerospace education.

“Receiving this award is humbling in a way that also provides a sense of affirmation,” Nettey said in a statement. “I knew I was eligible before, but when they read my credentials and mentioned my name, it was surreal.”

Netty currently serves as associate dean of Kent State University’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology.  He has been a faculty member since 2001.

He is a graduate of the University of Louisiana, the University of Dubuque in Iowa, and the University of Houston.

His profile noted that in 2005, he led Kent State’s Aeronautics Program to become Ohio’s first aviation program which was accredited by the Council on Aviation Accreditation.

To note a few of his other accomplishments, Nettey co-authored a textbook titled, The American Aviation Experience: A History. He has served on the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Aviation System Planning, the editorial journal of Air Transport, and was appointed to serve on the congressionally chartered National Research Council’s on Education and Training for Civil Aviation Careers at the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Kent State’s press release, the award also recognizes Nettey’s work as a former director of the Airway Science Program at Texas Southern University. Nettey also served as the elected treasurer and president of the University Aviation Association.

“I’m excited and honored to be among the very best aviation professors going back to 1955, which is when the award was started,” Nettey noted. “The fact that the nomination came from … a former aviation professor at Auburn University, home of the University Aviation Association for several decades, also makes it quite special.”

As a nonprofit organization representing more than 525 members consisting of aviation practitioners, educators, and students, the University Aviation Association’s mission is to promote and foster excellence in collegiate aviation education. It aims to enhance the quality of education for its members as well as to provide an active network between college aviation education, the aviation industry, and government agencies.