ASU Student Receives Aviation Scholarship from Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.

December 1, 2021 – Scottsdale, AZ

  • Tbird-Logo
  • Arizona State University

Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. (“TB2″) announced it awarded the TB2 Aviation Scholarship to Arizona State University (“ASU”), Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, student Olivia Sparks. TB2 is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, honoring all military veterans, supporting Dogs4Vets, a service organization dedicated to enabling disabled veterans to live a more productive life through the use of service animals, and creating unique educational opportunities for Arizona students studying all aspects of aviation.


Ms. Sparks is majoring in Air Transportation Management, minoring in Business, and pursuing an international business certificate. With the downturn within the aviation industry during Covid, Olivia added a minor in Business to acquire additional skills to be used within aviation management. Along with her studies and maintaining a strong GPA, she also works two jobs.

Marc O’Brien, Program Chair of Aeronautical Management Technology, Chief Ground Instructor, and Senior Lecturer, ASU, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, said, “The ASU Aviation Program is proud to announce that Olivia Sparks is the 2021 recipient of the Thunderbird Memorial Scholarship. Olivia is in her junior year at ASU pursuing a concentration in Air Transportation Management with a minor in Business. Olivia is an excellent student who balances full-time classes with a work schedule that supports her education. She is a member of ASU’s Women In Aviation club and participates in a variety of volunteer activities.”

Steve Ziomek, Chairman and President of TB2, stated, “By definition, Olivia is a perfect recipient of the TB2 scholarship. Her ability to maintain a 3.4 GPA in the Air Transportation Management curriculum, while working several jobs and being involved in more than one internship is unmatched. We are proud to provide this scholarship to a well-deserved student and all-around good person.”

Rudy R. Miller, Chairman of TB2’s Advisory Board and Scholarship Committee, commented, “It is with great pleasure I welcome Olivia to join our selective and growing group of TB2 scholarship recipients. I was extremely impressed with my recent interview with her. She shared that she spent this past summer (3 months) as a full-time Flight Crew Scheduler employee for a regional airline which gave her important hands-on insight regarding airline operations.” Miller continued, “Olivia is currently looking to blend her aviation education and business skills which give her broader career opportunities from airlines to municipal airports. As a former airline CEO with a business background, I’m sure she will have multiple opportunities for employment!”

About Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.

Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2014 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. During World War II, an airfield named Thunderbird Field II was built for the sole purpose of training U.S. Army Air Corps pilots in 1942. Thunderbird Field II graduated over 5,500 men and women pilots of whom many saw military action in Europe and the Pacific. The field and school were deactivated on October 16, 1944, sold to Arizona State Teachers College (ASU), then to the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and finally to the City of Scottsdale in 1966 and is now known as Scottsdale Airport (KSDL).

The Aviation Scholarship Program provides scholarships to veteran and non-veteran Arizona resident students who meet specific criteria and are attending Arizona State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Cochise College, Pima Community College or Yavapai College. TB2 has a permanent memorial at the entrance of the Scottsdale Airport and a historical display inside the facilities honoring the service of men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as POW-MIAs. For more information, please visit

Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial Inc. Contacts:

Steve Ziomek
Chairman & President
[email protected]

Rudy R. Miller
Chairman, Advisory Board & Scholarship Committee
[email protected]

Arizona State University Contact:

Jennifer Williams
Development Coordinator, Development Office
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
[email protected]