Vena Symonette-Johnson

Assistant Professor of Aviation & Safety; Florida Memorial University

Mrs. Symonette-Johnson is a former Interim Chair of the Department of Aviation and Safety at Florida Memorial University. For Two years prior, she served as Assistant Professor of Aviation and Safety at the university teaching subjects like: Private Pilot Ground, Instrument Pilot Ground, Aviation History, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Engines, Flight Safety, Flight Physiology, Aviation Weather, Introduction to Air Traffic Control, Senior Project in Aviation, and more. Ms. Symonette-Johnson has been in and round the aviation industry for the past 31 years.

Prior to returning to Florida Memorial University, Mrs. Symonette-Johnson was employed at Lockheed Martin as a Flight Service Specialist. Her duties there included, Flight data, pre-flight, and, in-flight specialist. Pilot weather briefer; provided weather information to pilots before flight to ensure safety of flight, or if flight was possible for the route or time planned. During flight, as necessary for safety. Opened flight plans, closed flight plans upon completion of flights. Ensure Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) were properly formatted, coordinated and disseminated; met all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements and acted as a liaison between pilots and facility air traffic controllers to relay and obtain clearances for instrument flight pilots. Performed search and rescue for lost aircraft.

 Av-Ed Flight School

Ms. Symonette-Johnson functioned simultaneously as a Ground Instructor, Flight Instructor, and Operations Manager, working in both client-facing and back-office roles to ensure customer satisfaction and smooth business operations. She teaches theory of flight as well as the practical aspects of learning how to fly an aircraft to students pursuing a pilot’s license. In addition to hands-on instruction covering all aspects of flying and manage all aspects of the school’s day-to-day operations.

 Professor Aeronautical Science

Florida Memorial University (FMU)

 Ms. Symonette-Johnson joined historic Florida Memorial University (FMU) in January 2009 as a Professor of Aeronautical Science. She was charged with development and instruction of the full gamut of aerospace and aeronautical course subject matter. She has been a valued assistant to the Director of the Department of Aviation and Safety at FMU in a capacity which fosters innovation and creativity in support of student recruitment and retention.  She was also honored with “Instructor of the Year Award for the Aviation Division” for 2009-2010, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

 Ms. Symonette-Johnson is extremely proud to have served on the planning committee for the launch and ultimate success of “Inspiration I”. This vision culminated in the epic and historic voyage of the youngest pilot and first African-American (Captain Barrington Irving) to fly solo while circumnavigating the globe.

 Ms. Symonette-Johnson is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Business Management at Atlantic International University and is a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is a holder of a Double Master of Aerospace Aviation – Master of Aeronautical Science with specialties in Safety Management Systems and Operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science graduating Magna cum Laude from Florida Memorial University. She is also an Advanced Ground Instructor / Instrument; Commercial Rated Pilot holding an Instrument, Single and Multi-Engine Land rating. She holds a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency as an Environmental Specialist.

 Ms. Symonette-Johnson received OBAP’s South East Chapter President’s Golden Eagle Award in 2019 for her service in the aviation community and particularly to youth in aviation in the community. Her greatest love is service to others in the community; and to that end she has been active in her place of worship in Women’s and Children’s Ministry. She proudly serves in member capacity with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), Miami Chapter of Tuskegee Airman (MITAI), Women in Aviation, and Advisor to FMU, Alpha Eta Rho.

 She considers it an honor to have written a paper on Human Factors in the Design of Aviation Simulators; and be able to present this paper to a body of Aviation Professionals and have it published by the Canadian Aviation Safety Institution.

 Ms. Symonette-Johnson, is a licensed Real Estate Sales Agent in the state of Florida and assist clients in the sale and purchase of home, land and commercial real estate. She is always most proud each time she helps a first time home buyer obtain the keys to their own property.