Another First for UND Aviation
NGPA scholarship eases financial burden for LGBTQ+ students.
The UND chapter of the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) will award an NGPA Scholarship to one of its members in April 2024.
UND’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the first college to establish a scholarship specifically for NGPA members.
UND was also the first college to launch an NGPA chapter. Since 2015, the chapter has grown from six members to more than 40, with a mission to build, support and unite the LGBTQ+ aviation community and its allies.
The scholarship will provide an opportunity for students to focus on their academic study and engage in the LGBTQ+ aviation community without having to solely worry about the financial burden of being an aviation student.Jared Herndon, ’08Delta First Officer
Ted Fosselman, ’19, a captain with PSA Airlines, spearheaded the scholarship effort. “I’ve always had the philosophy that you want to leave a place better than you found it,” he said.
Also leading the project is Delta First Officer Jared Herndon, ’08, who knows cost is often “the biggest hurdle” aviation students face. “I want to make sure finances are not the only thing that keeps someone from pursuing this career,” he said.
“It’s common for students from an LGBT background to not receive financial support from their parents solely based on the fact that their sexuality is different from what their family would like,” Jared said.
The scholarship will help students make career connections by developing a strong network between alumni and students in UND’s chapter, Jared added.
Chapter advisor Jeff Maliskey, also UND Pride Center director, said, “The scholarship will provide an opportunity for students to focus on their academic study and engage in the LGBTQ+ aviation community without having to solely worry about the financial burden of being an aviation student.”
The scholarship effort, stalled because of COVID-19, was restarted last spring. Ted and Jared continue seeking others to donate. “We know it will be a process,” Jared said. “But if you don’t start, it’s not going to happen.”