BYU Marriott Aerospace Studies Program Manager Erin Ricks Receives Air Force, University Awards
PROVO, Utah – Apr 26, 2021 – Erin Ricks, BYU Marriott’s Department of Aerospace Studies program manager at the BYU Marriott School of Business, recently received three Air Force and BYU awards recognizing her for her efforts and dedication to leadership in helping to improve and uplift the BYU US Air Force and Army ROTC programs. Since joining the program, Ricks has accomplished several firsts for the BYU ROTC programs as a nonmilitary program director.
The Air Force awarded Ricks the Air Force ROTC and Northwest Region 3rd Quarter University Employee Award as well as the Northwest Region Annual University Employee Award. Both awards recognize Ricks for completing a comprehensive plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that benefitted both the BYU Army and Air Force ROTC programs.
The Air Force recognized Ricks for also being the first nonmilitary university employee to receive military access and training in order to help BYU’s military programs. She was the first nonmilitary employee to receive an access card to receive resources for the programs, and she was the first to participate in a training course at the Alabama Maxwell Air Force Base.
Because she was the first to accomplish either of these things as a nonmilitary university employee at BYU, Colonel Frederick Thaden, aerospace studies department chair, believes that Ricks was able to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the different parts of ROTC. “She's a pioneer in ROTC because she was the first to do those two things. She's a highly deserving, positive, energetic person. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she's been a great value and force multiplier in our program,” said Thaden.
In addition to the Air Force recognition, BYU awarded Ricks the 2020 Staff and Administrative Employee Recognition Award among all BYU staff and administrative employees.
Colonel Thaden nominated Ricks for the BYU Staff and Administrative Employee Recognition Award because of her outstanding teamwork and ability to grow the program as a whole. “Since she started in the program three years ago, she has been a force multiplier as far as enrollment of cadets, financial resources, and opportunities for the cadets,” said Thaden. “She's been a great advocate for ROTC and for the Air Force, and her work is highly deserving of recognition, not only by the university but also by the Air Force.”
She was recognized for hosting the National Security Advisor (NSA) visit in Provo in January 2020. At this event in Provo, BYU ROTC cadets spoke with Robert O’Brien, national security advisor to then-President Donald Trump, and were able to tour Air Force One.
Along with the NSA visit, Ricks planned and facilitated various staff rides, or military trainings. In 2020, she took twenty-eight cadets to Washington, DC, for a short trip to meet with high-ranking military officials at the Pentagon and the United States Capitol. Additionally, since joining the BYU Air Force ROTC staff, Ricks oversaw $58,000 worth of renovations for the ROTC buildings and offices. One of these renovations included displays commemorating of several alumni and military officers’ accomplishments and awards. She hopes these can inspire her students and remind them of the legacy of BYU service.
Ricks feels honored to have been nominated and recognized for her work by both BYU and the Air Force ROTC. “I love working for this university, and the support I receive from BYU Marriott has been tremendous,” Ricks said. “I am so grateful for the unique opportunity I have to work alongside the men and women who serve our county. Working with the United States Air Force has given me amazing opportunities to grow and develop my skills in a way I would not be able to if I were not in this position.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Emily Atwood