U of Memphis Aviation Students Learn Resiliency from 9/11’s Aviation Heroes – Explore Lessons at Workshop at MEM

Today’s aviation students will be tomorrow’s aviation leaders – no doubt they will face challenges in an ever-evolving world.

The Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University is partnering with Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), University Aviation Association and the Memphis Student Aviation Association at University of Memphis, a member of UAA, to offer an expansion of the “Reclaiming the Sky Resiliency Project” to students. The project will give students in aviation programs an opportunity to learn resiliency strengths from the example of 9/11’s aviation heroes, then convene on April 3 for a workshop at Memphis International Airport to explore the lessons.

The program is sponsored by SSP America, a division of SSP Group, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, with other companies that will be joining to provide support for the next generation of aviation leaders.

At the workshop, the students will discuss and explore innovative ways students can apply the lessons as resiliency “tools” to meet challenges in their personal lives and in their budding aviation careers.

As part of their class work, students will have a chance to read the stories of airport and airline employees who came to work in New York, Boston and Washington, DC on the morning of 9/11 expecting a normal day, only to find that “just doing my job” was to become the creed of heroes. The stories of the heroes are chronicled in a book, “Reclaiming the Sky,” by Tom Murphy, an aviation consultant who saw first-hand how his aviation colleagues were responding with courage, selfless and resiliency to the attacks on 9/11 to rebuild their lives and reclaim hope.

The book is being offered as part of an aviation management class by University of Memphis professor Peter Reddan, an Air Force veteran. He is working with Murphy and the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham to create a module that management professors at UAA’s other 128 member colleges and aviation schools will be able to offer for their students following implementation at University of Memphis.

The “student” category in the project combines with a module for Reclaiming the Sky and this resiliency project that was introduced in 2023 for Young Professionals working at ACI-NA member airports and will be expanded in 2024. In that module, Young Professionals – aviation employees under forty years of age at ACI-NA member airports – gain an opportunity to learn from the example of 9/11’s aviation heroes and explore how to apply the lessons to their aviation careers.

The key ingredient for business success is productivity. Resiliency is key to being productive. Reclaiming the Sky with its focus on developing resiliency strengths gives Young Professionals, and now aviation students, a chance to apply the lessons of the 9/11 heroes to enhance their productivity and achieve success in their careers and lives.

For more information about the “Reclaiming the Sky” Resiliency Project contact Tom Murphy, Director of the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University at Tom@TomMurphy.org.