District Five Students Pursue Careers in Aerospace at Aeronautics Career Signing Day

Irmo, SC – Four exceptional students from the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) in Lexington-Richland School District Five took a significant step towards their future careers in aerospace during the Aeronautics Career Signing Day held at the Jim Hamilton – LB Owens Airport.

Sponsored by the South Carolina Aviation Association (SCAA), this event celebrated the achievements of young engineers and highlighted the diverse career opportunities within the aerospace sector.

Emily Mulalley, VanshKumar Patel, Ryan Riddle, and Jason Wu, who have either attended or completed the Aerospace Engineering class at The Center, were recognized among their peers from Richland School District One and Lexington-Richland School District Five. Dr. Joy Obidike and Dr. Martin Cwiakala commended the accomplishments of BLAST (Building Lasting Aerospace STEAM Trajectories) Magnet Academies students and the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Aerospace Engineering program participants from The Center.

Gary Siegfried, Executive Director of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, emphasized the burgeoning aerospace industry in South Carolina and the pivotal role these students play in its future. “These students represent the next generation of aerospace professionals, contributing to the continued growth and innovation of our state’s aerospace sector,” Siegfried stated.

Emily Mulalley aspires to become a mechanical engineer in aerospace, while VanshKumar Patel is pursuing Aerospace Engineering. Ryan Riddle will attend the University of Huntsville in Alabama, and Jason Wu aims to work for industry giants like Airbus or Boeing.

Held in the restoration hangar of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation, the event provided students with hands-on experience, including engagement with the restoration of the iconic B-25 bomber, enriching their educational journey.

Dr. Martin Cwiakala expressed pride in his students’ achievements and their commitment to the aerospace field. “It’s truly gratifying to see our students embrace their future in aerospace. Their dedication and passion are commendable.”

Brayden Berner, also from The Center, was acknowledged for his commitment to studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kentucky.

The Center caters to grades 9-12 and offers a diverse range of specialized courses in 18 Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, including Aerospace Engineering, Automotive Technology, Biomedical Science, Cyber Security, and more.


Photo Credit: L to R – Dr. Martin Cwiakala, Ryan Riddle, Emily Mulalley, Jason Wu, and VanshKumar Patel. Photo by Louis F. Dessau with permission.

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