Lauren Bitikofer

Title: Professor, Department Chair of Flight Science

E-mail: LaurenBitikofer@letu.edu

Began teaching at LETU in Fall 1977

Background

I was born into a farming community in central Kansas, so I learned to operate farm machinery and take care of livestock at an early age.  I got interested in flying when my dad arranged for a penny-a-pound airplane ride at a local airport when I was 6 or 7 years old.  From that time on, I was fascinated with airplanes.  I started flying model airplanes but abandoned them at age 15 when I started taking flying lessons.  I soloed on my 16th birthday, got my private certificate at 17 and my commercial certificate at 18.

I graduated from Hesston High School in Hesston, Kan. in 1971 and attended LeTourneau College to obtain my A&P mechanics certificate.  I interrupted my LeTourneau education to spend a year at Word of Life Bible Institute.  I did this because I felt God calling me to do something more than just airplanes.  At Word of Life, I met the girl who would become my wife five years later.  I returned to LeTourneau and finished my A&P training.  Then I returned to Kansas to work on a research and development project building small jet airplanes.  After several years, I returned to LeTourneau as in instructor in Aviation Technology.  

Education and Training

  • FAA Inspection Authorization Renewal, March 2005
  • FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner, March 2005
  • M.S. Technology, Vocational Education, University of Texas, 1989
  • B.S. Aviation Technology, LeTourneau University, 1988
  • Hughes Helicopter Training School, June 1980
  • McCauley Propeller Training School, August 1978
  • A.S. Aviation Technology, LeTourneau University, 1975
  • Word of Life Bible Institute, 1973

Awards, Grants, and Certifications

  • FAA Certificated Mechanic, A&P Rating, 1975 (No expiration)
  • FAA Inspection Authorization, 2008
  • FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner, 2007
  • FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate for Single and Multiengine, and Helicopter 2006
  • Minnie Stevens Piper Nominee, 2005
  • FAA Flight Instructor Certificate and Helicopter, 2004
  • FAA Instrument Rating, 2004
  • Teacher of the Year 2003-2004
  • Robert H. Selby Teaching Scholar 2001

Publications

Professional Activities  and Affiliations

Conferences and Meetings Attended

  • International Association of Missionary Aviation, 2004 - 2008
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aero Design Competition, 2004 - 2008
  • Women in Aviation International Conference, 2002, 2005
  • FAA meeting in Oklahoma City, helping rewrite the testing standards for A&P Mechanics
  • FAA Des Renewal Course
  • FAA Certified Flight Instructor Renewal Course

Professional Growth Activities

  • Certified Flight Instructor Renewal Course, 2002 - 2007
  • Designated Mechanic Examiner Renewal Course, 2002 - 2007
  • Inspection Authorization Renewal, 2002 - 2007
  • Added an instrument rating to my flight instructor certificate 2004

Service (Community Involvement)

  • I teach the college Sunday school class at Kilgore Bible Church.
  • I am the academic advisor for the Aero Design team

Personal Statement

First and foremost, I’m at LeTourneau because this is where God has placed me.  I enjoy teaching because I love to see students excel.  It gives me great joy to be able to help students understand new concepts.  I enjoy the challenge of making the material as easy as possible to understand.

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