Kent State Aeronautics Names 2016 Top Hawk Plane Nikki to Honor Student Who Died From Leukemia | Kent State University

Kent State Aeronautics Names 2016 Top Hawk Plane Nikki to Honor Student Who Died From Leukemia

Photo of Nikki the Top HawkNikki, the Top Hawk Cessna aircraft, will be revealed on Feb. 23 at 12:30 p.m. at the Kent State University Airport to the media, alumni and friends of Kent State University’s Aeronautics Program.

Kent State was named a 2016 Top Hawk university, one of only four universities nationwide to receive the honor. Each school was awarded a Cessna Sky Hawk to use for one year.  

In addition to supporting typical flight training operations, the Top Hawk aircraft will:

  • Be flown by three of Kent State’s female pilots as they participate in the 2016 Air Race Classic
  • Will be used in the conduct of outreach events in at least 15 states represented by Kent State flight instructors and students 
  • Provide exploration flights for each of the Aeronautics Program’s summer aviation education camps
  • Will be featured at the 2016 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Photo of Nikki Kukwa

Follow #NikkiTheTopHawk on Twitter as she travels the country in 2016 promoting careers in aeronautics.

The aircraft has been named Nikki in celebration of the life of Nicole “Nikki” Kukwa, a Kent State aeronautics student from North Royalton, Ohio, who was instrumental in establishing the Women in Aeronautics Club, was an exemplary student and served as an inspiration to those who knew her. Kukwa died on Oct. 23, 2006, after receiving a leukemia diagnosis during her junior year at Kent State. A three-day, girl’s aeronautics camp takes place annually in Kukwa’s honor showing her continued, positive influence in aeronautics.

For more information about Cessna’s Top Hawk program, visit http://cessna.txtav.com/tophawk

For more information about Kent State’s Aeronautics Program, visit www.kent.edu/cae/aeronautics

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Photo Captions:
Nikki the Top Hawk:

Nikki, the Top Hawk Cessna aircraft, will be revealed on Feb. 23 at the Kent State University Airport. The new plane was awarded to Kent State, one of four universities nationwide, from Cessna through its 2016 Top Hawk program.

Photo of Nikki Kukwa:
Kent State’s new aircraft is named Nikki in celebration of the life of Nicole “Nikki” Kukwa, a Kent State aeronautics student from North Royalton, Ohio, who died from leukemia in her junior year.

Media Contacts:
Jessica Tremayne-Farkas, jtremayn@kent.edu, 330-672-1498
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595