ATEC Lecture Series Resumes on March 22 with Aviation Pioneer

Vernice Armour

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour will speak at UT Dallas on March 22. To buy tickets to the lecture, click here.

The United States’ first African-American female combat pilot will be the featured speaker as the third season of the ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series resumes at The University of Texas at Dallas on Tuesday, March 22.

Known as “Flygirl,” Vernice Armour is a motivational speaker and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who used her experience serving as a police officer and completing two tours in Iraq to create a seven-step process called the Zero to Breakthrough™ Success Plan.

Armour’s talk, “Driving Diversity Deep into the DNA of Your Organization,” reveals how to foster and manage diversity — a challenge she has faced as a former diversity officer for Headquarters Marine Corps and as a liaison to the Pentagon.

The lecture, which will be in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The lecture series is presented by The Dallas Morning News. 

Armour went from serving as a police officer to becoming a combat pilot for the U.S. Marines in three years. Within months of earning her wings in 2001, she was flying over Iraqi deserts in a missile-equipped attack helicopter while supporting her fellow soldiers on the ground. She made the Naval Air Station’s prestigious Commodore’s List, received the Academic Achievement Award and was her class’ top graduate.

After returning home and developing her success plan, Armour also launched VAI Consulting and Training LLC.

She has appeared on a variety of media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show and NPR. Armour also was the first African-American woman on the Nashville Police Department's motorcycle squad, and has received two honorary doctorates and other awards recognizing her as an aviation pioneer.

Arts and Technology Lecture Series logo


Tickets and Parking

For tickets, prices vary between $10 and $20 for lower-level seats in the Edith O’Donnell ATEC Building’s lecture hall. Staff and faculty members can purchase up to four tickets that will be discounted by $5. Emails with a discount code were sent to staff and faculty.

Students with a valid Comet Card can get free balcony tickets at Ticketing Assistance, ATC 1.201, beginning one hour before the lecture. One ticket per student. First come, first served.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

For directions and parking, see this map.


Coming in April

Keith Jenkins

Keith Jenkins

On Thursday, April 28, the series’ third season will conclude with Keith Jenkins, general manager of digital and social media for the National Geographic Society. Jenkins, who oversees the organization's digital experience, products and staff, will discuss photography and multimedia.

Before joining National Geographic, he was the supervising senior producer for multimedia at, a photographer and editor at The Washington Post, and the first photography director at and AOL. Jenkins, who also has held posts at The Boston Globe and graphic designer Dietmar R. Winkler, has won numerous prizes, including an Emmy Award and honors from the Society of Publication Designers, the Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Peabody Awards. Purchase tickets.


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].