Seven engineering students receive Vertical Flight Foundation scholarships


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- American Helicopter Society (AHS) International recently awarded Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) scholarships to seven Penn State aerospace engineering students.

Bachelor’s degree recipients include Bryce Connelly, the Henrich Focke Scholarship; and Jason Cornelius, the Eugene K. Liberatore Scholarship.

Master's degree recipients are Miguel Alvarez, the Joseph P. Cribbins Scholarship; Edward Rocco, the Samuel T. Crews V Scholarship; and Belen Veras-Alba, the Ray Kvatnerik Scholarship.

Doctorate degree recipients include Ethan Corle, the Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Scholarship, and Jared Soltis, the John J. Schneider Scholarship.

"We are very proud of our students and delighted that they are receiving such outstanding recognition,” said Ed Smith, professor of aerospace engineering. “They are the future of vertical flight!"

The awardees were recognized at the Grand Awards Banquet at the 72nd Annual AHS Forum and Technology Display in May, in Palm Beach, Florida. Nineteen scholarships totaling $45,000 were awarded this year.

Founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, AHS International is the world's premier vertical flight technical society. It provides global leadership for scientific, technical, educational and legislative initiatives that advance the state-of-the-art of vertical flight.

The VFF was established in 1967 as the philanthropic arm of the society. Since 1977, the merit-based program has awarded more than 460 scholarships.


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Chris Spallino



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

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