Faculty and Staff


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Aviation Faculty and Staff

Dr. Bill Hutto

Dr. Bill Hutto

Airport/Aviation Center Director

Dr. Bill Hutto is an Accredited Airport Executive and has been involved in business and professional associations locally and throughout the state. Bill currently serves the community as a member of the Auburn City Board of Education; and he has served as President of the Auburn Rotary Club, Chairman of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, and in other capacities such as with the Boy Scouts of America.  On the state level, he is a Past President of the Aviation Council of Alabama.

Dr. James Birdsong

Dr. James Birdsong

Program Coordinator and Lecturer

A career Air Force officer, Dr. James Birdsong served as a command C-130 pilot, headquarters staff officer, academic instructor, and squadron operations officer.  He has held various positions in finance, operations, safety, systems acquisition, and strategic planning, and has extensive international aviation experience.  James is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Auburn University and has served in higher education for more than 10 years.  As program coordinator, James is responsible for all facets of Auburn Aviation, to include teaching, research, and outreach.  

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Wayne Ceynowa

Chief Instructor Pilot

Additional info forthcoming

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Earle Thompson

UAS Program Manager, Lecturer and Colonel, United States Air Force, Retired

A career Air Force officer with 36 years of service, Colonel Thompson served as a fighter pilot in the A-10, A-37B and the F-16, academic instructor, instructor pilot, assistant operations officer and squadron commander.He has held a number of staff positions at the Wing, Numbered Air Force, Headquarters Air Force, and COCOM levels to include Wing Chief of Training, Inspector General Inspector and instructor pilot, Deputy Director of Air Combat Command’s Directorate of Analysis and L2, Current Air Operations Chief and Joint Operations Center Chief of Operations at USCENTCOM and Executive Director of Air Force Safety at Headquarters Air Force in the Pentagon.  Earle held various positions in operations, safety, systems acquisition, and strategic planning, and has extensive international experience working in Southwest Asia, Europe, and South America.  He currently teaches Air Traffic Control and Aerodynamics in the Aviation Management program in the Harbert College of Business.  Colonel Thompson is the lead for the HCOB in the on-going UAS Center of Excellence efforts with the FAA in the ASSURE coalition of universities.  He was the safety subject matter expert in an Auburn led study of Safety of UASs in the National Airspace funded by an FAA grant.  

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Kurt Reeseman

Assistant Chief Instructor Pilot and Lt Colonel, United States Air Force, Retired

Additional info forthcoming

Dr. Stephen Swartz

Dr. Stephen M. Swartz


Dr. Steve Swartz (PhD, Business Administration, Michigan State University 1994) is a retired military officer (Lt Col USAF) with over 30 years experience in Aviation Maintenance, Transportation, and Logistics.  Starting out as an aircraft mechanic, his military experience includes a variety of leadership positions both on the flight line and in overhaul/heavy maintenance on multi-engine jet aircraft.  He holds a variety of FAA certificates and ratings, and is a practicing flight and ground instructor.

Since earning his doctoral degree, Dr. Swartz has contributed to his discipline through teaching, research, and outreach.  He has developed curricula and courseware at the graduate (Masters' and Doctoral) and undergraduate level.  In addition to curricula committee service, he personally led the development of both new Doctoral (Supply Chain and Logistics) and Undergraduate (BS, Aviation Logistics) Programs for the University of North Texas.  He has authored over 27 peer-reviewed journal articles; half of them in "Elite" or "Category I" level publications.  He has successfully executed several externally funded (State or Federal level) research projects totaling over $500,000.  His current, active research streams focus on Transportation Safety (crew decision making) and the Aviation Economics (general aviation contributions to served communities).

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Carl Thompson

Captain, Delta Airlines, Retired and Lecturer

Captain Thompson, Delta Air Lines, Retired, served in the USAF and Tennessee Air National Guard as an Aircraft Commander on the KC-135A. In the USAF, Captain Thompson was squadron safety officer. At Delta Air Lines, he flew the DC-8, B-727, 737, 757, 767 and L-1011. Captain Thompson spent 9 years in the Delta Flight Training Department and was a senior instructor on the B-737. 

Captain Thompson holds an undergraduate degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University and a graduate degree in Management from Central Michigan University University.

James Cochran

Robert Cochran


Additional Info forthcoming

Last modified: August 16, 2017