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Tuesday, September 13, 2005
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Aviation department hires J. Anthony Sharp as new chair

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 13, 2005) -- J. Anthony Sharp has been named department chair of the Ohio University Department of Aviation, part of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, effective Oct. 3. Sharp has more than 20 years of experience in both higher education and aviation.

He was previously program manager for Flight Safety International, Inc. The company is the world's largest provider of aviation services and trains more than 75,000 aviation professionals annually. Most of those trained are involved with commercial and military aviation.

"We are very fortunate to have been able to recruit Dr. Sharp," said Dennis Irwin, Russ College dean. "In addition to having teaching experience at one of the premier flight training programs in the United States, he has extensive academic and industrial management experience and is an accomplished pilot with almost 9,000 hours of flight time. He is the perfect choice to help our flight school continue its position as one of the nation's top aviation programs."

Sharp says that throughout his experience in aviation education, he has been aware of the Ohio University aviation program.

"I am thrilled to no end to become a part of an aviation program that has such a long and storied history of educating and training pilots and other employees for the aviation industry throughout the world," Sharp said. "Our new fleet of training aircraft -- the glass cockpit Piper Warrior -- is the envy of collegiate aviation programs everywhere. This is an exciting time for our aviation program and the university, and I am pleased to be a part of it all."

Sharp hopes to grow research activities for students and staff, expand career opportunities for students and maintain close ties with aviation alumni.

He replaces Juan Merkt, who is now director of aeronautics at Jacksonville University.

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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