Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2018
As a little girl, Zoë Wright’s father would take her to the airport café for breakfast before church. And that’s when she began to fall in love with airplanes and aviation.
“In high school, I decided to pursue a career as a pilot,” says Wright, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical management technology from Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “The program’s professional flight concentration was the perfect path for my goal.”
Wright says the Sun Devil spirit was already in her blood. The New American University Scholarship supported her academic studies at her father’s alma mater.
Michael Hampshire, a faculty associate of the aviation programs in The Polytechnic School, was instrumental in Wright’s growth as a student, teaching her about flying and navigating in the world of aviation as a professional aviator.
“As a pilot, you never know who you are taking with you on your flight. You could be taking a businessman to New York to get his big break, a divorced dad to Cleveland to be with his family for Christmas or a serviceman back to his home,” says Wright. “You are touching every person on your flight and helping create their story. I think that slowly changes the world.”
Hampshire also supported Wright in founding the Air Line Pilots Association – Airline Career Education Club, also known as the ALPA ACE Club, at ASU. She served as the vice president of the club for three semesters.
Wright has worked as a flight instructor to less experienced students in the program for about a year. For students on a similar path to her own, she encourages them to persevere.
“Even when it seems like it might not be worth it, it still is,” she says. “Do small things every now and then to remind yourself why you are here, why you’re getting your degree, and why all of those tests, professors and projects are worth it.”
After graduation, Wright will continue flight instructing younger students at ASU until she has the necessary flight hours to work for an airline.
She says, “It’s all up from here.”