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Source: Raylene Alexander, 785-826-2940, raylene@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.salina.k-state.edu/aviation/
Photo available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-2535.
News release prepared by: Heather Wagoner, 785-826-2917, hwagoner@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010

SIDEBAR: K-STATE SALINA AVIATION PROFESSOR LIKES BEING FIRST

MANHATTAN -- Achieving firsts is nothing new for Raylene Alexander.

The assistant professor of aviation at Kansas State University at Salina was hired in 2006 to develop the university's first program in avionics. She's accomplished much more since then.

Under Alexander's leadership, the program was recently accredited for the first time by the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technology. Along the way, Alexander became the first woman to be certified as an Aircraft Electronics Technician. She also has earned endorsements in Dependent Navigation and Radio Communication Systems, and is an accredited Master Aviation Educator.

Alexander said K-State Salina's avionics program offers courses with ample lab time to allow for hands-on and trouble-shooting experience.

"I designed the courses based on what I wished I knew when I first entered this field," she said.

The program's courses are built around new technologies, such as the university's Garmin G-1000 and Garmin GNS 430s and 530s.

Alexander said the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technology accreditation shows that the avionics courses promote integrity, safety and professionalism in the aerospace work force, and provide the advance knowledge base students need to become advanced aerospace technicians.

"The accreditation is important to students because it validates the program as teaching the latest in technology," she said.

The technological support of the industry, including Mid-Continent Instruments and Garmin, has been a major part of the avionics program success, Alexander said.

"I often include industry guests in the classroom to enhance learning," she said. "All of these components have created a successful certificate program that prepares graduates for a career in the industry."