About Elizabeth

Freshman

Mechanical Engineering

Name: Elizabeth Worsham
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Applied Meteorology
Hometown: Greater Cincinnati Area, Ohio
Career Goals: To obtain a degree in mechanical engineering and do research for a prominent company.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: The variety of opportunities to work on team projects and participate in undergraduate research.
Activities: Robotics Association, Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association, Society of Women Engineers, The Avion Newspaper

Welcome Back!

Welcome back, readers!

I apologize for not writing in a while.  Before I knew it, the semester ramped up and I was swamped (happily) with activities and studying.

This semester I am serving on the executive board for two different organizations.  I am the Parliamentarian for ERRSA (I handle the constitution, bylaws, and order of the meetings), and I am the News Editor for the Avion Newspaper.  These positions are both exciting for me because I am very passionate about both!  There will be more details to come in later journal entries…

For classes, I am moving on with my physics and calculus classes, but I’m taking on a lot of new stuff as well.  Last semester I took EGR120, the class for drafting and CAD, but this semester I am taking EGR115 and learning another fundamental skill: programming in MATLAB.  Although it is a lot of work, programming is actually really fun.

My favorite class this semester, however, is Survey of Meteorology.  I was so excited to be able to start working on my minor in meteorology this semester and I have completely fallen in love with the subject.  Surprisingly, my weather textbook is the first textbook that I can sit down and read cover-to-cover and actually enjoy.

My professors this semester are really cool, especially my PS160 (Physics 2) professor Dr. Sanders.  He uses a lot of demonstrations to teach the information, which is good because, unlike in PS150, which was mostly kinematics and motion equations, PS160 covers topics that are not as easy to visualize, like fluid motion and waves.

Another cool class that I am taking this semester is Technical Report Writing.  I like writing, and although it takes a lot of work to churn out a technical report, we are getting to research topics of our choice, such as mechanical exoskeletons and cloning, which makes for really interesting research.

Over winter break I started applying to more internship opportunities, and I even got an interview with a local company.  I haven’t heard anything yet, but even if I don’t get the position I am glad that I’ve had the experience of going through a real interview.

In my next entries, I will be updating you on all the fun and exciting things I have been doing in my extracurricular activities.  Stay tuned!

The semester is over! We made it!

Well, I’ve survived my first semester in college and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of my grades and the value of my experiences.  For this blog post, I’ve decided to write about my top 10 favorite things about Embry-Riddle.

10. Small class sizes – This is one of the biggest advantages of coming to Embry-Riddle.  You have a much better chance to get to know your classmates and your professors, and you can go to either of the two for help.  You feel much more confident and compelled to ask questions.

9. Einstein’s Bagels – Einstein’s is great because it is open until 1:00 a.m. on weekdays.  The other food options close at 9, so on those days when you’re out studying late or your club meetings run too long, you will never have to go hungry.  Also, it’s perfect for late-night snacking.

8. Academic Advancement Center – I use the AAC for tutoring all the time.  Not only can you go there to get help from the tutors, you can also get help from other people who have your same professor.  In my opinion, it’s much better to study with friends than to struggle with something alone.

7. The weather – December rolled around and I could barely tell!  Other than spontaneous rain showers and humidity, it’s nice for it to be reasonably warm all year ‘round.  You can even visit the beach after your exams are over.

6. Professors – I really liked all the professors that I had this semester.  They care for their students and will help you a lot if you visit them during their office hours.  They’re willing to help you raise your grade if you are struggling, and recognize when you are putting your best effort into the class.

5. Living near Orlando – We know we should be studying, but one or two weekend trips to Orlando won’t hurt.  The temptation of living an hour and a half from Disney World is too strong to resist.  Save up your money and buy a discounted ticket from the school, and you won’t regret your Disney day trip with your friends.

4. ERRSA – The Embry-Riddle Resident Student association is one of the best organizations on campus.  They put on programs for students living in the residence halls, and get input from the students about how housing can change to fit their needs.  Most of all, we are one big family and we get the chance to do fun activities together!

3. The Robotics Association – RAER is one of the most valuable things to get involved in if you are going into a technical career.  The organization offers opportunities for robotics teams, and will also keep you connected in outside robotics activities like FIRST.

2. Studying – As counterintuitive as it may seem, one of my favorite things about college is studying.  Unlike high school, I really feel like what I am learning applies to things that I can and will do.  Also, my study habits have improved since I’ve been in class, and now I don’t even have to study as much because I know how to help myself understand the material.

1. Dorm life – Without a doubt, dorm life is my favorite thing about being in college.  I have made so many friends in the past few months that I know I will have for life.  We can talk about anything, go anywhere, and help each other out on our schoolwork.  It’s such a great feeling to have friends around you whenever you need them.

With that, I sign out and say goodbye for this semester.  Let’s hope the next one will be even better!

December 2012

T-minus 20 days until the end of the semester!

Even though the summer is still pretty far off, I am currently I am in the midst of the long and complicated process of applying for internships.  Although I know I want to be a mechanical engineer, I am still VERY unsure of what job I actually want.  So, I am applying to a variety of different companies in order to get a feel for different projects.

In October, many companies were visiting campus to recruit students for co-ops.  I became interested in Rolls-Royce after they visited our EGR101 class and I talked to the recruiter at the SWE meeting.

Freshman are normally encouraged to go to the career fair just to check it out, but I brought my resume anyway and waited in the long line to turn it in to the Rolls-Royce booth.  I followed all the tips that I had been given by professors and recruiters and…

At the end of my short interview, they handed me an invitation to a “Meet and Greet” that night so that the recruiters could get to know me better.

That night, there were about 30 people there, and I was the only Freshman.  However, I really enjoyed talking to the other students there, some of whom had already graduated and were looking for full time jobs.

It got me so excited to start the job search!  Unfortunately, I haven’t heard any final results from any of my applications yet, but I should be hearing back at any time.

Many of you readers are applying to colleges, and maybe even getting ready to decide, so I have a few tips for you:

Explore all your options: It is important not to rule out your options too soon.  Visit all the school that you are accepted to, as long as you have the resources.  Remember that state college that you visited Sophomore year?  No, you don’t.  Go back and take a look!  You never know when a school at the bottom of your list will change your mind.

  1. Don’t be afraid to go far from home: Some people want to get as far away from their hometown as possible, others would rather be just a few minutes away.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted, and I was hesitant about going to school 1,000 miles from my family.  Yet, I have no regrets now.  ERAU is my second home and I am enjoying the freedom and learning how to live on my own.
  2. Start searching for a pre-college internship: One of the things that benefitted me the most while in high school was spending two summers in internships.  It will give you an edge with future employers, and the skills you learn are priceless!  Just Google “high school internships” to start, or ask around to see if there are high school programs at local companies.
  3. Enjoy yourself:  Don’t let your senior year stress you out too much.  Have fun and get excited for the next chapter of your life!  High school graduation is not the end, it’s the beginning.

November 2012

Hello again!

It’s the time of the semester to register for spring classes, and one of the great perks of being in the Honors Program here is priority registration. Especially since registration is a somewhat complicated process with seeing your advisor, writing your four year plan, and making sure you will pass all your current courses, it feels good to get it all out of the way early. I am excited that next semester I will be starting courses for my Meteorology minor!

The end of the month is always busy because it is normally where the due dates fall for projects and exams. I have been studying away, but there is always time for fun. Recently I’ve caved into a floor-wide fascination with Pokémon. Somehow all of your childhood obsessions that seemed lame in middle school and high school come back to you in college as super cool.

As far as classwork goes however, I’m doing a lot of group work on final projects for several different classes. In our EGR101 class, we are still working on our project for American Home Health care. We made the initial design for our sock device, and now we’ve started our prototypes. That means working in the lab… with power tools! We found out that our group will actually get to present the project to the organization after Thanksgiving break.

I’ve also been working on one of my final projects for Graphic Communications, which is the airplane design project. I am learning so much about CATIA through this project, because the design has to be complicated, but I’m proud of where the final product is going! Even though I’m a mechanical engineer, I still like airplanes, and this school has certainly done a lot to enhance that fascination.

As you’ve probably heard from the news, Hurricane Sandy hit the US in the past couple weeks. Although the northeast got the worst of the storm, the campus was distraught for several days when temperatures dropped down into the upper 40s and 50s. It was normal Ohio fall temperatures for me, but it’s definitely not quite as easy to handle when you’re used to walking outside to 80 degree weather. There were people bundled in winter coats, hats and scarves! Luckily the sun is back out and the weather is back to normal. We’ve actually had clear skies for several days!

In terms of off campus entertainment this week, our RA, Brenna took our wing to Hard Knocks, which is a laser tag arena based on real combat environments. It was really fun, and I liked the change from the stereotypical laser tag arena. We also spent a Saturday afternoon volunteering at the Walk for Autism Speaks.

Getting ready for a mission at Hard Knocks.
Lastly, Halloween was this past week, and although I didn’t get to go trick-or-treating, I did get to dress up to go to my ERRSA meeting. The girls helped me put together a costume we did hair and makeup. I used clothes and things I found around my dorm and ended up as a Queen Bee. Everyone in ERRSA dressed up and we did a costume contest.

ERRSA members dressed for the costume contest.
Only a few weeks until the end of the semester… see ya!

October 2012

Good day, all!

As the midterm comes and goes, I’ve realized how quickly time is passing. Although I arrived on campus almost 10 weeks ago, I feel like the semester just started. It seems unreal that in a few days I will be registering for my spring classes.

As you may have heard, Embry-Riddle recently hosted the Wings and Waves airshow on the beach. I’d been to air shows before, but there was something extra special about sitting on the sand and watching the planes skim the water close to shore. As a member of the Avion, I got the privilege of interviewing two very prominent aviators, Maj. J.R. Williams, Thunderbirds pilot #5 and Cheryl Stearns, champion skydiver and parachute, both ERAU graduates. They were both really interesting to talk to, especially Cheryl Stearns, because she has broken records and gender barriers in aviation.

This is me interviewing Major Williams.

Thunderbirds planes up close.

The Snow Birds at Wings and Waves.

In addition to the exciting things I’ve done on campus lately, I also got to take my first trip to Universal Studios with the other ERRSA members for Halloween Horror nights. I am not a fan of scary movies or haunted houses or ANYTHING scary, but I still had a ton of fun. I got to ride all of the themed coasters from movies that I grew up loving like The Mummy and MIB, and it was a neat experience to see it all come to life. I hope to go again sometime so I can visit the other parks!

Now that midterms are over, I got to relax and go home over the weekend for fall break. It was nice to see my family and friends again after two months of school. However, the best part was the food. Now, the food here at ERAU is pretty good, but it is nothing compared to my family’s home cooking. Also, since I love to bake, it’s been hard not having constant access to a stove or oven here at school. I spent a whole day making two types of cupcakes, apple cinnamon and pumpkin, topped with ginger cream cheese frosting and butterscotch caramel. They were delicious!

I hope that you are all enjoying reading about my experiences. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments you have!

October 2012

Hello again!

Every week I spend here keeps getting busier but better.

I am so happy to be an engineering major! The classes can be tough, but I love learning everything. In my Introduction to Engineering class, we just completed a launch systems project where we designed a rocket to take a payload into space. That was fun, but now we are starting on an even cooler project where we take on a project that solves a problem proposed either by the Daytona Beach International Airport or Americare Home Health. My team will be creating a prototype for a device that will help people with dexterity problems put on socks. I also recently turned in my first college paper and took my first test. I put in a lot of hard work and I was very pleased with the grades.

One of the activities that I’m involved in is the new Robotics Academy through RAER (Robotics Association Embry-Riddle). This is an intensive program for students interested in robotics, so that they can build leadership skills to participate in other sections of RAER. Recently, we designed a small competition for high school students who attended the Volusia Manufacturers Association Expo. In the tournament, we gave the teams of students a LEGO NXT robot built with a basic chassis and pre-programmed for a simple mission. We also provided them with extra LEGO parts and software to alter the program in order to complete the mission. The teams faced off to gather ping-pong balls placed in a 4×8 foot arena, and whoever had the most points at the end of the match was the winner. It was really cool to see everything the teams came up with.

Delta IV launch

Last week I also got the amazing opportunity to go to the Delta IV launch on Oct. 4th to report on it for the Avion. I had never seen a real launch before, and it was incredible. I got to stand on the NASA causeway with all the press, which is about 2.7 miles from the actual rocket. Yesterday I even got to see the recent SpaceX launch from outside the Student Village! Even for being so far away from the Cape, the rocket lit up the whole sky.

This weekend also brought TEDxEmbryRiddle to campus, where distinguished speakers talked about their research and life experiences. The theme was “Powering our Future,” which really intrigued me. I’ve watched TED talks online before, so it was awesome to actually be a part of a conference!

We the Kings performOne of the things that I was really looking forward to as a college student was all the free events. This week is homecoming week, and I am looking forward to all the fun activities. Jim Gaffigan is coming to campus, and Touch-N-Go productions brought in We the Kings for a concert on Sunday evening.

Well, I’m off to more clubs, activities, and of course, studying. Until next time!

September 2012

Hello all!

My name is Elizabeth Worsham, and I am so excited to be a Freshman at ERAU! I have been looking forward to this time of my life for several years now, and I can’t believe that I’m finally getting the chance to live my dreams. Choosing a college is a very difficult and important decision and I hope that my experience can help any prospective students.

As I made the long trek down to Daytona Beach from my hometown of Loveland, OH, I had a lot of time to reflect on why I decided to come to Embry-Riddle, and how I came to this point in my journey.

I had a very hard time choosing where I wanted to go to college. I applied and was accepted to 11 different schools. I didn’t know if I wanted a small school with a more personal atmosphere, or a state school for the “big college” social and academic experience. I had never heard of Embry-Riddle until I started getting emails and pamphlets in the mail. Since I was really interested in NASA, Embry-Riddle’s connections and partnerships to the aerospace industry caught my eye. I thought “why not?” and decided to apply.

As Decision Day came closer and closer, I still had no idea where I wanted to go to school, but my path seemed to keep heading toward Embry-Riddle. I received an invitation to the Honors Program and received a prestigious FIRST Robotics Scholarship but I needed to be sure of my decision before I committed to a school 15 hours away from my home.

I did overnight campus visits at my top 3 schools and that’s when I became aware of the distinct differences between Embry-Riddle and other universities. I was able to see first-hand the way that faculty members interacted with students, and how students interacted with each other. The professors and staff cared about the success of the students, both in the classroom, in professional development, and in extracurricular activities. As for the students, there didn’t seem to be major competition between them but rather they were brought together by common interests and goals. I knew soon enough that Embry-Riddle was the place for me. In fact, the two freshman I roomed with that weekend continue to be my friends.

The first few weeks here have been incredibly exciting, and although I was worried about fitting in, this place has already become my home. I was once told that “everything is better in college,” and it’s true! Classes are harder, homework is tougher and more time consuming, but I enjoy it because each physics and math problem is another step closer to my dream career.

We all know that there is a lack of females on the Embry-Riddle campus, but it leads the girls who are here to become great friends. I’ve grown incredibly close to my roommate, Blair, and suitemates, Clare and Maggie, and we get plenty of girl time with dinners out and pedicures (sometimes the guys even join in). There are so many clubs to be involved with and new people to meet that I am never bored! I have always liked to be involved, so I joined “The Flock” spirit club, volunteer my computer graphics skill to The Avion student newspaper and am a Hall Representative for the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association.

One thing that you should know when coming to Embry-Riddle is that most people don’t walk to their classes. Biking, free line skating, and longboarding are very popular. However, be careful! Blair bought a long board recently and fell off on her way to class. She got a huge scrape on her leg, but luckily we used our first aid skills and it is healing fantastically (That’s another thing to note, ALWAYS have a first aid kit).

Also, most of the time the weather is warm, but beware of pop-up showers in the afternoon! Carry an umbrella on you at all times. Regardless, the cloud patterns are magnificent. I love looking out my window and seeing the lightning and clouds for miles and miles. It only affirms my goal to get a minor in meteorology!

 

On weekends with light homework, my friends and I like to explore the area. We’ve taken trips to the beach and even spent a day at Downtown Disney and ate at the TRex Café.

I have so much to talk about after completing my first month of college. I hope that you have enjoyed reading and stay tuned for more!