One Delta State University aviation student is literally soaring to new heights this spring break.

Malik Sinegal, a junior commercial aviation major and Biloxi native, is currently flying around the world in an ambassador role for Republic Airline. And joining him for the trip — the mini Fighting Okra doll available at the university bookstore.

For 16 days of fun and adventure, Sinegal will be flying aboard Republic flights as an ambassador. Fulfilling a lifelong goal, he will completely span the globe, with stops in Egypt and its pyramids, the mammoth skyscrapers of Dubai, the iconic Sydney Opera House in Australia, the busy streets of Tokyo, and more.

Sinegal is dedicating the trip to his grandmother, who had always dreamed of traveling the world before passing away in 2017.

“I thought that it would put my heart finally at rest if I did this for her,” he said.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Republic Airline employs 5,500 talented professionals to support its operations in partnership with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. The company operates 950 daily departures to over 100 U.S. cities, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.

Thanks to Sinegal’s private pilot certificate, instrument rating, RJet Cadet training, and education through Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation, he was a perfect fit for the ambassador position. Sinegal will serve in this capacity for about a year and a half, after which, he aims to stay with Republic as a first officer.

“My role as an ambassador is to recruit the best people for our award-winning environment — flight attendants, pilots and business majors,” said Sinegal. “At Republic, we want people who use our company’s motto to strive for excellence in their everyday lives.”

And Sinegal’s effort has already paid off for his fellow Delta State aviation peers. A couple of his classmates recently passed their cadet interviews with Republic.

“It’s always fun to come back to school and tell fellow students about the trips that I’ve been on,” Sinegal said. “Many students think that school will be for the rest of their lives, and they tend to get distracted and lazy. However, what they don’t realize is that their dream jobs are just around the corner.”

Sinegal added that he was prepared to work with Republic thanks to the quality instruction at Delta State.

“They have blessed me,” he said. “We have the best teachers and instructors. Dr. Speakes, Sam Washington, Chip Cooper, Rogel Campbell and Brett Oleis definitely need more credit for their hard work on campus.”

Dr. Julie Speakes, chair of the department, said Sinegal is a prime example of an aviation student making the most of his training.

“What an exciting opportunity Malik has to see the world and promote DSU Aviation,” said Speakes. “There are many unique prospects in the aviation sector, and our students are linked with some of the best opportunities at the university level.”

With his loyal mini Fighting Okra by his side, Sinegal continues to rack up miles in the sky, setting the foundation for a lengthy aviation career ahead of him.

“I have been blessed enough to see all of the amazing opportunities that this world is ready to offer us,” he said. “What you do today will set you in the right path for the rest of your life.”

Learn more about Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation.

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