Aerospace CEO, president shares insights on Native Americans in engineering

Sheila Cummings, president and CEO of Cummings Aerospace in Huntsville, Alabama, visited Campbell University to learn more about the American Indian Leadership Development Program and share her insight on American Indians in the field of engineering. 

Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama with offices in Niceville and Largo, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, Cummings Aerospace is a defense and aerospace systems engineering firm that specializes in systems engineering, modeling and simulation, digital engineering and software development. During her visit, Sheila Cummings met with Dr. Al Bryant, dean of the School of Education & Human Sciences, to discuss the upcoming leadership program, a collaboration with the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and Dean Dr. Kevin O’Mara and the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.

“It was enjoyable to host Sheila on our campus,” Bryant said. She is a unique role model, given she is an American Indian female aerospace engineer, as well as the CEO of her own major company.”

After Cummings toured the School of Engineering with Dean Dr. Jenna Carpenter, Carpenter shared similar remarks: “We were really honored to have the opportunity to show Ms. Cummings Campbell’s unique hands-on, project-based approach to engineering education which produces industry-ready graduates. We are also working on ways to collaborate with Cummings Aerospace moving forward to provide additional opportunities for our students.”

Cummings was able to meet members of the administration throughout the day. President J. Bradley Creed called her support of the leadership program important, saying: “It will help Campbell University fulfill an important aspect of its mission which is to provide opportunities for leadership and community engagement, with a special emphasis on underserved communities. This will provide both encouragement and support to a valued and important community of people who are our neighbors in this region.” 

Dr. John Roberson, executive vice president, added: “Gratefully, Ms. Cummings understands and is affirming the University’s vision of using its educational resources in partnership with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs to meet the unique continuing education needs of tribal leadership by investing in this unique venture to ensure its success.”

Dr. Mark Hammond, vice president of academic affairs and provost, said the school’s new relationship with Cummings Aerospace will provide “an extraordinary opportunity for our School of Engineering through her extensive experience and extraordinary success in the commercial and defense worlds. We are delighted about the partnership to encourage American Indians to explore and embrace engineering at Campbell. Our electrical engineering students may have unprecedented opportunities to explore careers in the aerospace industry.”