Dan Hargrove, director of aviation, 406.657.1060,

RMC Media Team, 406.657.1105,

RMC students work together serendipitously at a thriving international airport

Aviation at Rocky Mountain CollegeBILLINGS, May 16, 2014 – Marissa Jones-Flaget (’15) should not have been surprised that a manager at her Florida summer internship is a recent Rocky Mountain College graduate. Ian McKay (’12) is a project coordinator who happened to meet the RMC intern at Southwest Florida International Airport.

I still can't believe there is a Rocky grad working there; when everyone else in the office figured out we attended the same school, they were pretty shocked as well,” Jones-Flaget wrote to her advisor, Director of Aviation Dan Hargrove. However, his aviation students congregate in useful placements.

Jones-Flaget, a senior from Eureka, Mont., is majoring in both aviation management and managerial accounting, with a minor in aeronautical science.

For her first two weeks of work, Jones-Flaget was revising an 80+-page document for her jobsite’s Planning and Development Division, summing up airport accomplishments and current sustainability efforts. She will cycle through the divisions of airport operations this summer.

From Whitefish, Mont., McKay received his pilot's license junior year of high school and then earned a bachelor of science in aviation management with minors in aeronautical science and business management. As an RMC student, he interned for a summer at his hometown airport, Glacier Park International. Since graduation, he worked in operations and planning at Centennial Airport in Colorado and managed many facets of airport operations at Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana.

In his newest position as project coordinator with development and planning at the Lee County Port Authority airport in South Fort Myers, Fla., which has 83,000 airport operations a year, McKay is helping to coordinate planning of $454 million of improvements such as a 9100’ parallel runway, control tower relocation, and a new Skyplex terminal. The airport was rated #2 by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction among U.S. airports with less than 10 million annual passengers.

Hargrove said, “Marissa is doing a cool internship.” RMC interns do professional-level work using skills of their academic majors, under the mentorship of working professionals.