Kent State Aeronautics Names Top Hawk Plane Nikki

Kent State Aeronautics Unveils 2016 Top hawk Plane

Kent, Ohio – At 12:30 p.m., Feb. 23, Nikki the Top Hawk Cessna aircraft will be revealed at the Kent State University Airport, to the media, alumni and friends of the KSU aeronautics program.

 Kent State University 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 States’ 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 flight instructors and students,
  • Provide exploration flights for each of the Aeronautics Program’s summer aviation education camps and
  • Will be featured at the 2016 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.

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 KSU aeronautics student who was instrumental in establishing the Women in Aeronautics Club, was an exemplary student and served as an inspiration to those who knew her. Nikki passed away after receiving a leukemia diagnosis during her junior year at KSU. A 3-day, girl’s aeronautics camp takes place annually in Nikki’s honor showing her continued, positive influence in aeronautics.

Top Hawk:

About KSU Aeronautics:

Kent State University (KSU) has 41,000 students enrolled in its eight-campus system, to include students from all 50 states and those representing more than 110 countries. It offers more than 280 bachelor’s degrees and 150 graduate and certificate programs and is ranked in the first Tier by U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Universities. Students in the Aeronautics Program can pursue major studies in six distinct areas, including aerospace engineering and the foundational flight training program, which is strongly situated to support the career goals of the world’s future professional pilots at its university owned and operated airport located three miles from the main campus. Students can expand their academic credentials through one of the program’s five minors, to include its Part 65 aircraft dispatcher program. Whatever role is chosen to pursue in the field of aeronautics, KSU University has the facilities, faculty and staff to make dreams come true.

Contact Info:

Jessica Tremayne-Farkas,
Marketing, PR & Communications,
College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability & Technology
330.672.1498 or
POSTED: Friday, February 19, 2016 - 8:35am
UPDATED: Monday, July 3, 2017 - 3:17pm