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The Reno Air Racing Foundation presents the next Pathways to Aviation educational speaker series highlighting aviation and aeronautics



Event to feature former U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Taco Gilbert III

The Reno Air Racing Foundation will host their next installment of Pathways to Aviation with Brigadier General Taco Gilbert III and Paul McFarlane as they speak with community members and students about the world of aviation and aeronautics. A member of the U.S. Air Force for more than 31 years, Gilbert will share his experiences and discuss his current position at the Sparks-based, $1.5 billion defense corporation, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). McFarlane will discuss his role as lead flight director for the Challenger Learning Center. The event takes place on Wednesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno.

“Educating our youth about aviation and aeronautics is critical and we are grateful to be able to provide Pathways to Aviation as an additional source of education,” said Steve Carrick, Chairman for the Reno Air Racing Foundation. “Our seminars further engage students and aviation enthusiasts into the fields of aeronautics and aviation by providing them with the opportunity to learn from pastime pilots and educators such as Taco Gilbert and Paul McFarlane.”

As vice president for business development for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance business unit of the SNC, Gilbert, has focused on encouraging personal and technological advancement through higher education. Before he joined SNC, he served for 31 years in the U.S. Air Force. During that time he held positions such as the director of strategic planning, programming and requirements for air mobility command. Gilbert also holds an Air Force Academy Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering, three Master’s Degrees, served two years as an Olmsted scholar in the People’s Republic of China and served as Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Academy as well as an instructor, examiner and command pilot.

The lead flight director for the Challenger Learning Center, Paul McFarlane has helped students experience aviation and aeronautics through his diverse training course.  McFarlane has taught K-12 and post-secondary students for nearly 20 years and was recently selected as Outstanding Teacher and Senior Scholar for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno.  He is also a recipient of the Herz Gold Medal and Best of Education award from the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The Reno Air Racing Foundation, in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno, launched a program, “Pathways to Aviation” to engage and connect young students and the community with the aeronautics and the aviation industry. The program is made possible by a grant awarded to the Reno Air Racing Foundation from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

The seminar, sponsored by the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, will be held in the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno on Wednesday, April 13. The Ozmen Foundation will provide refreshments at 6 p.m. and the program will start at 7 p.m.  Admission is free and open to the public.  While walk-ins are welcome, RSVPs are recommended.  To reserve a spot, please reply no later than Wednesday, April 6 to Audrey Goodnight at 682-6002 or [email protected].

About the Reno Air Racing Foundation

The Reno Air Racing Foundation was established to educate the public, especially young people, about the world of aviation, emphasizing the role that air racing has had on the evolution of the aviation industry.  The Foundation has worked extensively with the local school district to integrate aviation-related skills such as piloting, meteorology, engineering and communications into existing literacy, math, science and history programs.

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