TSU Aviation Science Management program hosting students from around the country for seven-week residential training

Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2022

TSU plane

Student prepares to fly TSU plane from Ellington Field as part of seven-week residential pilot training program at TSU

This summer, Texas Southern University’s Aviation Science Management program, is hosting a residential program for aspiring military pilots. The students are cadets in Air Force JROTC and ROTC.

Marjorie Baumbach is a high school senior from Madison, Alabama.

“I want to go to the Air Force Academy, preferably, and then fly in the Air Force,” she said.

Kendell Flowers is entering his senior year at the United States Air Force Academy.  

“I want to be an Air Force pilot,” he said. “So we’ll find out our jobs next semester, whether I got picked up to do that.”

The Aviation Science Management program hosts this seven-week intensive residential program as part of a contract with the United States military.

“A couple of years ago, Texas Southern applied to be one of the sponsor schools for the United Air Force and the United States Navy,” said Director of Aviation Dr. Terence Fontaine. “We wanted to be a sponsor institution to have high school, in particular, come to TSU over the summer to achieve their private pilot license.”

Students were selected based on grades, physical fitness, and an application exam. Once selected to be part of the program, the students listed their top host universities, and those universities selected them. During their time at Texas Southern students receive instruction from TSU aviation instructors, prepare for licensing exams, practice flights in a Redbird simulator and fly TSU’s planes at Ellington Field.

“I’m really hoping it helps me with applications for the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, and ROTC scholarships as well,” Baumbach said. “It definitely gives me a leg up. It also gives me an opportunity to teach my unit back home more about aerospace because I’m really passionate about sharing that with them.”

Flowers has accumulated more than 30 hours of flight experience, and that number increases each week.

“Coming from no flight experience and not even knowing how to turn a plane on has been quite a journey,” he said.

“It provides an opportunity for kids from all over the country to come to Texas Southern, to live in our dormitories, eat in our cafeteria, and of course fly our airplanes down at Ellington Field,” Dr. Fontaine said. “We’re very happy to have the contract with the United States Air Force and we’re going to do TSU proud. We’re showing our colors and we’re doing well.”

To see this program in action, this story is available at


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Last updated: 07/19/2022