Say Hello to Summer

 It’s summer time and the living is easy! 

The end of the semester and the start of summer definitely felt like a whirlwind! The last few days of the spring semester flew by and before I knew it I was sitting in my first classes of the Summer A semester!

Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo, Lakeland, Florida:

This was my first year attending the Sun’ n Fun airshow in Lakeland, Florida and boy was it fun! A large group of my friends and I made the drive down and spent the day surrounded by hundreds of different types of aircraft. My favorite planes to see were definitely the different types of war aircraft that they had displayed. I am a pretty big history buff, so these types of things fascinate me! We also spent time looking and talking to all the different vendors. I learned a lot about different aviation companies and we also sat in on an presentation about an aircraft accident given by AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). My favorite part of the day was definitely watching the Thunderbirds fly in. They were not performing that day but gave us a mini show as they arrived in Lakeland which was exhilarating. I can remember as a little girl going to different airshows on the Navy bases that we were stationed at and nothing beats the sounds of the jets flying by. Now, every time I hear those noises I get chills and it takes me back to some wonderful memories.


Wings and Waves 2

The group of us at Sun ‘n Fun!

Wings and Waves

Loved learning all about the war planes

Great American Mud Race

One of the best things I have done so far this summer was complete the Great American Mud Race!! This was a mud filled run full of obstacles that were certainly challenging.  One of my sorority sisters and I decided to take on the challenge and I must say, I don’t think I have ever been so muddy in my life. This was a great start to summer and I would definitely recommend this type of race for anyone up for getting a little dirty! I have set a goal for myself to complete a racing series throughout the summer and the fall and I thought this would be a fun way to kick off my training! My plan is to run a 10k in June, a 15k in September, and lastly a Half Marathon in mid October!


Mud Run 4

Crawling in the mud under barbed wire!

Mud run 3

Excited as we are about to finish one of the last obstacles

Mud run 2

Why not live life a little muddy?

Mud run 1


To truly wrap up the Spring Semester, It was time for graduation! I had lots of friends graduating this semester so it was lots of fun to go support and congratulate all of them! It’s crazy to think that in just a year or so this will be me! College has really flown by and it feels like so long ago that I was attending my own high school graduation. College has been some of the best years of my life so far; the independence that I have gained has been truly amazing. I have learned so much about myself and definitely pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible.




Sigma 1

Sigmas at Graduation!

I feel like I just finished the Spring semester and summer is already in full swing! Check out my next blog post all about the DOW (Doppler on Wheels) field experiment that I will be participating in chasing storms in Florida!

Until Next Time!



September 2012

Hi everyone, my name is Matthew Colan and I will be one of your student blog writers for this year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Hopefully you will be able to learn about the experiences of the day to day life of a college student at ERAU over the course of the year. But first let me introduce myself to get to know me a little better.

I was born in Port Jefferson, New York and moved to northern Vermont at the age of four. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love for all things aviation. My parents believe it is because the first thing I saw when I was born was an airplane. Even as an infant, they say I would always be looking at an airplane flying across the sky. My first flight on an airplane was at the tender age of three. I remember almost nothing of the flight except it was early in the morning and there was a little bit of rain.

As I got older, my other grandfather began introducing me to model aviation. I always knew he flew model airplanes, but now he was beginning to teach me how to fly. He taught me how to fly Radio Control, and I flew those for a couple of years. In 2005, he introduced me to Control-line, a different form of model airplanes. Once I learned how to fly control-line, I started to compete. We eventually went to the National Championships in Muncie, Indiana in 2011. At that contest I was fortunate enough to place third in the advanced class and second in the senior class. We both went back to Muncie later that year so I could compete at the Team Trials. At that contest, I obtained the junior spot on the United States world team. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the world championships because the event occurred during the same week as Freshman Orientation at Embry-Riddle.

Fast forward to the present day, I just finished up my fourth week of classes. I have been at Embry-Riddle for a month and can’t believe time has gone by so quickly. My major is Aeronautical Science, which is the degree program to become a professional pilot. Currently, I am working on obtaining my Private Pilot license. A lot of class time is spent in the air, and in my opinion is the best classroom in the world! I currently live in Doolittle Hall, one of the four freshman dorms. I also became a member of two clubs on campus and also part of an intramural flag football team. Our first game was earlier this week, and unfortunately we came up a little short in getting the win. Since the team is comprised mostly of freshman, we didn’t know all of the rules to flag football and penalties got the best of us.

The two clubs I am a member of is the Radio Control Airplane Club and the Sport Aviation Club. The Sport Aviation club gives opportunities to go to airshows at almost no cost, and also give you the opportunity to fly some really cool airplanes. Just last weekend, I was able to take a ride in an aerobatic glider and fly in a Pitts S-2B. One of my friends let me use his GoPro camera, and I got the flight on video. I put it up on Youtube here if you would like to watch it.

This weekend, I will be attending an airshow at Cocoa Beach with the Sport Aviation Club. I will talk about it in my next blog entry. I also have a model airplane under construction in my dorm that I hopefully will be able to fly by the next blog entry as well.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. You can also add me as a friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. If you do wish to add me as a friend on Facebook, send me a message to let me know that you read the student blog so that I know it is not spam. If you have a Youtube account, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel. Thank you for reading my story and I hope you will consider Embry-Riddle as your college of choice. You will not be disappointed!

Matthew Colan

September 23, 2008

I realize my first blog was kind of a throw in your face, so I figured I would back track a bit and let you know who that person was telling you what to do. I am Heather Owen, a nearly-graduated senior in the Communications Department with a specialty in International Relations. Following my December graduation, I plan on applying to the State Department to begin work towards becoming a U.S. diplomat.

Wait…did I say Communications? Do they even have that at Riddle? News flash: Riddle isn’t just airplanes. I have been in the program for four and a half years.

I am always asked “why Embry-Riddle for the Communications Department?” Well, I have always loved to write. I love giving speeches. Oh, and I kind of enjoy airplanes. However, though I knew I liked these topics, I didn’t quite know what I “wanted to be when I grew up.” I quickly found the Communications Department had plenty to offer. Along with the typical public relations/marketing/journalism curriculum of any other collegiate communications department, Riddle offers an aviation specialty, a niche with many openings, yet few applicants.

Even though I graduate in seventy-six days (not like I am counting), I am not nervous. Graduates from the program have gone into broadcast journalism, aviation-related journalism, public relations, and even law school. None of which is my career path, but the diversity of our program is what makes me a strong post-graduate applicant.

A diploma from the “Harvard of the Sky” alone will open doors, but it has been the experiences I have had that will get my name on the corner office door. Internships and co-ops are the best and easiest way to gain first-hand knowledge. In addition to Career Services, I found my internships thanks to help within my department. The student-to-faculty ratio in the Communications Department is very small, so I quickly got to know all of my professors. As it turned out, I have had that handful of professors for all four years. It was these same instructors who were instrumental in finding me internships and helping me find my career path.

Because I was still on the fence about careers up until my senior year, I took two internships to better acquaint myself with the communications career field. For my first internship, I spent my 2006 summer working for WESH 2 News, located in Daytona Beach. I was on the call with the reporters, riding shotgun in the news van on the way to fires, robberies and homicides. I sat in on court cases, interviewed city officials and visited such fine institutions such as the Volusia County Jail to interview fine, law-abiding residents. I admit the fast-paced dramatics, and getting to “know all the dirt” truly interested me. However, I wasn’t ready to acquire the stigma of a TV news reporter. My second internship this past spring had me working in the Embry-Riddle Athletics Department with the Sports Information Department. I had been in the Athletics Department for four years as a cheerleader, so I was very appreciative to work with those who also supported the Eagles. As a sports marketing intern, I updated statistics, wrote biographies on the players and taped important games. I enjoyed the press passes to games, setting up early morning track meets, and cheering on the Eagles, but I had one big issue. Although I have been a cheerleader for eleven years, I just don’t like sports. I don’t understand them, like to watch them or even care to talk about them. Despite striking out on potential future careers, I learned a lot from the two internships. I found the positives and negatives about the communications field so when I do land a job, I will know what to look for.

So now my senior year. I was set to graduate with a prominent degree, had two internships, had participated in a few activities here and there and gained a few future job insights. However, I wasn’t content with the content of my resume. So, in an utterly rash move which I thoroughly rejoiced about later, I decided to do study abroad and push off graduation. I spent five weeks of my summer in China, speaking Chinese, learning about Chinese culture and just enjoying a culture shock. I continued my education with another three weeks in Prescott studying Chinese.

From the moment I got back to Daytona, I had a path. I want to travel the world. I want to speak foreign languages. I want to play a part in international relations. I want to know the scoop. Oh, and I want a press pass to a non-sport activity (just one of my job insights). Diplomacy is my answer and the State Department will receive my newly minted resume in December. Along with the study abroad on my resume, I also added that I am a sister in the Theta Omicron chapter of Alpha Xi Delta, sweetheart to the Eta Iota chapter of Sigma Chi, cheered for three and a half years at Riddle and am now a devoted student. I am conversant in German and I like to think my English is decent too. Better than a list of do’s and don’ts from a lowly Communications major, huh?