WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – Eight graduates of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University were recognized during two 2016 award ceremonies Friday, April 22.
The awards were presented to alumni who have harnessed the power of their Purdue degrees to positively impact their chosen professions and have changed how today’s technology will improve the world tomorrow. They have enjoyed professional, philanthropic, and personal successes. Distinguished Technology Alumni Award recipients are Mike Dilts, Indianapolis, and Rob McKinney, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
AS in Flight Technology ’89, BS in Aviation and Transportation Technology ’91, MBA ’06 Ellis College
President for Mokulele Airlines
Rob McKinney says he chose Purdue for its top-ranked aviation program. And that decision — along with having the Purdue degree on his resume — has opened countless doors.
“The quality of a Purdue education is world renowned and never questioned,” he says. “While there are many places to learn to fly, the depth and breadth of a Purdue degree has equipped me to better serve every organization of which I have been a part. The opportunity to partner with my alma mater to provide a pathway from university to industry for future graduates is an enormous sense of pride for me.”
McKinney cites Professor Charlie Holliman — who was his instructor for several courses and his academic advisor — as his favorite professor. “Even when I was stressed out and acting like a teenager, Charlie always had a smile on his face,” McKinney says. “He always made me feel like everything was going to be okay.”
Now, as the president of Mokulele Airlines, McKinney finds ways to give back to the University.
“For several years, I was able to come to campus and give talks to current students,” he says. “I find it very fulfilling to give advice and perspective on my experience in this industry.”
McKinney says an extremely important goal for him is to develop a partnership with Purdue to provide a pathway and pipeline from University to industry.
About the Purdue Polytechnic Institute
The Purdue Polytechnic Institute is one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines: aviation, computing, construction management, engineering technology, technology leadership, and technology education. Whether it’s delivering a transformed learning experience to produce industry- ready graduates who have the skills for today’s economy, or conducting use-inspired research to advance the evolution of technology and solve real-world challenges, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute aims to be a global leader. Purdue Polytechnic, formerly the College of Technology, offers 35 majors at the undergraduate level, six master’s degrees with a variety of options, and a Ph.D. in technology.