Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


Home > About JU > CAMPUS NEWS


JU’s Dr. Juan Merkt receives Paul A. Whelan Educator Award for contributions to aviation accreditation

JU Davis Aviation Center Director Dr. Juan Merkt has received a national award for his efforts to improve aviation education and accreditation in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Aviation Accreditation Board International honored Merkt with the prestigious Paul Whelan Educator Award. It is given to an individual who has been highly instrumental in the advancement of AABI, which works to advance quality aviation education globally through accreditation and leadership.merkt aabi whelan awardSMALL.jpg

Merkt was honored in July at the AABI annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo., during the celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary.
“I am very fortunate to serve in this organization and deeply honored to have been selected for this award,” said Merkt. “None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of many colleagues at AABI.”
Merkt, a member of AABI’s board for the last 12 years, has served the organization in a number of capacities, including treasurer, secretary, and chair of the International, Criteria, and Bylaws Committees.
He has also participated in several accreditation visiting teams and has contributed to the organization through a number of key initiatives. As chair of the International Committee, Merkt assisted in the effort to rename the organization (formerly Council on Aviation Accreditation) and adapt the existing standards to accommodate international accreditation. As chair of the Criteria Committee, he helped the organization in its transition to outcomes-based accreditation, and the adoption of new criteria for accreditation of graduate aviation programs.
The award was established in 2008 to honor the late Dr. Paul A. Whelan. Dr. Whelan became the founding chair of AABI (then CAA) in 1988 and led the organization through its first years, overseeing the creation of the organization’s Bylaws and Accreditation Standards.
Jacksonville University’s two aviation degree programs, Aviation Management and Aviation Management & Flight Operations are accredited by AABI. JU is among the first 30 institutions of higher education to have aviation accredited programs in the world. AABI is recognized as an accreditor by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


MORE INFORMATION: Contact Phillip Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, (904) 256-7042,


Back to Campus News...