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Date: Dec 22, 2010
Hofstra Creative Writing Professor and Consumer Reports Reporter William McGee Completes Service on National Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, Examining the U.S. Airline IndustryHofstra University, Hempstead, NY … William McGee, adjunct associate professor of English, has completed an appointment that began in May 2010 to serve on the United States Department of Transportation’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee to examine the state of the U.S. airline industry. Professor McGee is an award-winning investigative journalist on airline safety and travel issues for Consumer Reports magazine and also has a travel column on USAToday.com.
The aim of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee was to provide information, advice and recommendations to Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood on ensuring the competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry and its capability to address the evolving transportation needs, challenges and opportunities of the U.S. and global economy. Professor McGee was the only representative on the 19-person committee representing the rights of consumers. The committee convened for the first time on May 25, 2010, in Washington, DC.
Among the panel’s recommendations is a proposal by Consumers Union to enhance efforts to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of flying with young children in their laps, rather than seating them in child restraint systems. The committee is asking DOT to update the economic and safety data around the issue and consider a rulemaking to require adults to purchase seats for children under 2. If this requirement goes into effect, Consumers Union would strongly urge airlines to offer discounts on seats for children under 2.
“As parents we wouldn’t think of putting babies and toddlers in our laps when we ride in cars,” Professor McGee said. “We should always put our children in child restraint systems, whether we’re in a plane or a car. There are real and inherent dangers to flying with ‘lap children.’ The dangers aren’t limited to emergency situations. Common occurrences of turbulence can hurt or even kill children under two when they aren’t in a safety restraint system.”
Additional recommendations include urging DOT to improve airline passengers’ rights, and addressing concerns about oversight of airline maintenance outsourcing, which remains a critical threat to safety.
Professor McGee is a faculty member in Hofstra’s Creative Writing program, which will launch a new M.F.A. program in Creative Writing in 2011. He is also an alumnus of Hofstra’s B.A. program in Creative Writing.
Hofstra’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing will offer a challenging and exciting program of study integrating literary scholarship and focused instruction in writing. Students may concentrate in dramatic writing, fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, exploring the art and craft of writing while grounding themselves in the rich literary traditions that offer exemplary models of these forms. The M.F.A. is considered a terminal degree – appropriate for those who want to pursue specific writing disciplines and/or careers in publishing, teaching, and editing, among others.
For more information on Hofstra’s undergraduate studies in English visit www.hofstra.edu/english, or for details on the University’s M.F.A. visit www.hofstra.edu/gradenglish.