Meet One of the First Black Women to Make History as an Air Traffic Controller
Atlanta, GA — Veteran Air Traffic Controller Priscilla Russell’s shocking and thought-provoking story will bring a new narrative to Black women’s fictional literature. Her book, In Control: On a Wing and a Prayer, is the first of a two-part series. In the book, her character begins her journey to becoming the first African-American woman, in the history of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), to be selected as a Front-line Manager. The book is loosely based on her life story and the struggles and pains of progressing in a male dominated industry.
“I have worked radar positions at the busiest Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in the world, Atlanta ARTCC in Hampton, Ga. I was the first African-American woman in the history of Atlanta ARTCC to be selected as a Front-Line Manager in 1994. It’s hard to believe there are still ‘first’ happenings for Black women in America as I write this in 2018,” says Russell.
Her goal is to bring attention to the air traffic control industry, as it pertains to women of color. She is driven by her purpose to bring awareness of aviation career opportunities to young women. Her mission is to show women, by example, that anything is possible if you want it bad enough.
A forthcoming book launch and reading event is currently being planned to commemorate this release. Interested parties can follow Priscilla Russell on social media for date and location updates.
In Control: On a Wing and a Prayer is a fictional manuscript that is based on true events. It is a testimony to overcoming obstacles, and to resilience and perseverance. It is the first of a two-part series. The story follows Patricia Kershaw who sets out on her journey to become an air traffic controller. She is as ill-equipped and unprepared as they come until she finds herself at a crossroad. Will she stay on the right course or follow the road to destruction? As she navigates through the obstacles of young adulthood and her new-found career path, she will have to face her insecurities and demons head on. Fortunately, she is not on this journey alone. Through struggles, disappointments, and defeats she wills victory in her life.
Priscilla Russell is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and, most importantly, a child of God. She loves to travel and spend time with family. At 55 years of age, she is a recently retired Air Traffic Controller who worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for over 32 years. Priscilla worked radar positions at the busiest Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in the world, Atlanta ARTCC in Hampton, Georgia.
She was the first African-American female in the history of Atlanta ARTCC to be selected as a Front-Line Manager (FLM) in 1994. Priscilla has worked in various FAA staff positions and was an FAA academy instructor. Priscilla has a Master of Science degree in Space and Aviation Technology from Oklahoma State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama. It is her prayer that the reader comes along for the journey and finds the experience rewarding and fulfilling.