Suzanne Kearns, an associate professor of aviation in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, will be receiving an Elsie award in the education category from the Northern Lights Aero Foundation. The awards are selected by a judging panel comprised of aviation and aerospace industry experts and veterans. This September, Kearns will be honoured at the Elsie Awards Gala in Toronto.
Looking at Kearns’ experience, this award comes as no surprise. From the age of 15, she began her flight training, flew solo on her 16th birthday, and had her private fixed and rotary-wing licenses by 17.
She went on to earn her commercial multi-engine instrument pilot licenses (fixed- and rotary-wing), a college diploma in helicopter flight training from Canadore College, a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical science and a master’s degree in human factors and systems engineering both from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She began working full-time as a professor at the age of 24 and simultaneously began studying for her PhD in education, which she earned in 2007.