ATEC Recognizes 2022 Student and Educator of the Year

An instructor at Federal Aerospace Institute and a student from Blue Ridge Community College have been named the 2022 recipients of ATEC's most prestigious awards. The annual awards are made possible through partnership with the Northrop Rice Foundation and, who provide cash prizes as well as registration, travel and accommodations to the ATEC Annual Conference.

FAI educator Brad McDonald was named the Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award for 2022, while BRCC Student Waren Lelewa was named the James Rardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year for 2022.

Waren LelewaLelewa was recognized for being a pioneer among distance learning students during his first year, attending online courses from his home country of Indonesia. Upon obtaining his visa, he was able to join BRCC in person while maintaining a 4.0 GPA across the board.

“His workmanship is of the highest quality and he is never satisfied with anything less than his very best,” said Professor Fred Dyen.  “Outstanding is his minimum criteria for any laboratory based projects and all of the instructors have no problem in assigning Waren to work on any airworthy aircraft or components.”

Nominations for educator of the year recognize AMT instructors who, either through a single event or over the span of a career, have a direct impact on aviation maintenance students.  McDonald is the first educator from Federal Aerospace Institute to receive the award.

Brad McDonald

McDonald is a certified A&P, a certified pilot, and is currently pursuing a business degree. In November of 2020 he turned a dream into a reality when he opened the doors to the first postsecondary FAA certified 147 school. Since then he has created a learning environment that embraces hands-on learning through restoration projects and virtual reality lessons.

“He has earned the respect and reputation as an ambitious, motivated, and passionate instructor and mentor, as well as an integral source of knowledge within the aviation community,” said Marketing Director Marion Rapp. “Mr. McDonald fosters excellence in an energetic environment and embraces the diversities of all students.”

Both Lelewa and McDonald received a cash award and was honored at the ATEC Awards Luncheon on March 21 during the ATEC Annual Conference in Fort Worth.

Award Winners
From left to right: Choose Aerospace President Ryan Goertzen, BRCC Faculty and Student of the Year Nominator Fred Dyen, Student of the Year Waren Lelewa, Educator of the Year Brad McDonald, Federal Aerospace Institute Marketing Director and Educator of the Year Nominator Marion Rapp, ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire