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UCM’s reputation for an outstanding aviation program has been built over the years through the dedication of faculty members like Ernest D. Stokesberry. He has retired as instructor emeritus of aviation after joining the university full time in 1984.
During his tenure at Central Missouri, Stokesberry helped prepare students to become aircraft maintenance technicians and earn their Airframe and Powerplant Certificates through the Federal Aviation Administration. He taught a variety of courses dealing with aircraft systems. Among them were Basic Airframe Maintenance, Aircraft Hydraulic Systems, Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines, Aircraft Engine Testing, Complex Aircraft Systems, Propellers and Components, Aircraft Air Conditioning and Pressurization, and Metal Airframe/Composite Structures.
After earning his Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics License in 1975 in North Kansas City, Stokesberry completed an Associate in Applied Science degree in aviation maintenance in 1977 at Kansas City Kansas Community College. He furthered his education at Missouri State University in Springfield, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1982, then came to UCM to finish a Master of Science in Industrial Vocational Technical Education degree in 1985.
While he was studying at UCM, he has a double graduate assistantship teaching two classes per term in the former Department of Power and Transportation. This led to full-time employment in the department following his graduation.
Earlier in his career, Stokesberry served as an aircraft mechanics instructor at the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK. He also has professional experiences as a Bell and Boeing helicopter mechanic, and as a U.S. Army aircraft mechanic.