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Planning Student Gets Externship with Aviation Expert

The Florida State University Career Center has partnered with Woodie Woodward, the former associate administrator of airports for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to provide an externship experience to a current FSU student.

Jackson Harris, a second-year graduate student in the urban and regional planning program, was selected by Woodward for this inaugural externship, lasting from January to December 2015. Jackson has previously completed two internships in airport management and hopes to build his career in Florida’s aviation and airport management industry.

"As someone who has been interested in airport administration and planning for much of my life, this experience has by far been the greatest for both practical knowledge and advancement in the professional field. I look forward to what I will learn across the aspects of getting to work with such an influential figure in the industry and am grateful for such a fantastic opportunity," Jackson said.

Woodward’s externship opportunity is highly specialized. She and her extern will conduct a current trend analysis and will debate how the trend impacts aviation management. Dr. Woodward will facilitate Harris in conducting informational interviews with air transport professionals from the Florida Airports Council, and she will sponsor Harris’s attendance at two aviation-related conferences – one domestic and one international. She will also serve as his mentor through The Career Center’s ProfessioNole program.

Woodward earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She began working for the FAA in 1987 under President Ronald Reagan and served in her post during the tenures of four presidents and during such crucial times as Sept. 11, 2001. After retiring from the FAA, Woodward opened her own consulting company to work with airports and aviation executives around the world.

FSU Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Mary Coburn added, “When alumni like Dr. Woodie Woodward invest in the professional development of our students, it is win-win for everyone. The students learn valuable lessons about being a professional, the alumni gain better prepared future employees, and the university benefits when students are more successful and represent FSU well.”