September 30, 2004

Warm greetings to all of you with mind and spirit ready to consider the challenge and excitement of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

My name is David Kowzan Zivnuska and am currently enrolled as an Aeronautical Science major. I come from a strong Polish heritage, although born and raised in Lakewood, Colorado. Prior schooling includes successful completion of the International Baccalaureate Programme, advanced studies in Political Science at the University of Northern Colorado, and having filled summer teaching and conference speaker positions at the Universitas Studiorum Polona Vilnensis in Vilnius, Lithuania. For the past two years. I currently take part in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit on campus, the unit’s color guard team and am in fierce competition for the program’s scholarship. Though an AS major with minimal flight time, I will not intentionally fly for a least the first semester, if not the year , because of financial constraints.

Through these posts, I will attempt to provide some picture of what opportunities, resources and experiences may be available to you, should you choose to study at Embry-Riddle. Considering most of the other journal writers will delve into their personal lives and emotions, I shall endeavor to maintain a more experientially informational account, since most of you might not feel things the same as I. If more personal matters do interest you, my email is open to questions of any nature, and I will attempt to review the discussion boards at least once per week and respond appropriately.

Where initial thoughts are concerned, overall I have been pleased with the services and considerations provided to me as a transfer student. The application and orientation stages passed quite smoothly; even an alternate section in Orientation was devoted to transfer students. NROTC provided a five-day orientation session that proved incredibly beneficial to all prospective midshipmen in respect to gaining an understanding of what is involved and required of aspiring candidates. Orientation for the school itself primarily focused on paperwork, etc. for incoming students, most of which can be completed during the ERAU Open House and other events on campus beforehand. Having participated in all the preliminary days, I found Orientation to be more free time than productive, although some elements were useful (i.e. group meetings, etc.). I highly recommend visiting the campus and meeting with the various directors, deans, and/or professors who are related to your major or areas of interest and inquiry. Whether or not their feedback is immediately beneficial, you will get a good understanding of the school and what you will be dealing with in the future.

The first three days of classes this semester consisted of the usual introductions and summaries of class plans. Each professor has their own particular strengths and weaknesses that become evident early on, either through classroom contact or reading works that they have authored. For specific issues relating to professors, I would recommend visiting where you will be able to read student reviews of each instructor. This proves very useful in class scheduling as you may be inclined to learn more successfully under a certain instructional style. Use this and pre-registration to your advantage. Also in regards to scheduling, be mindful of available class times and schedule your days as efficiently as possible. In my case, where I PT (Physical Training) with the Navy every morning at 0600, I found it very advantageous to schedule all my classes in close succession there after, granting me all afternoons from 1130 onward to be class-free time. Since the afternoon is when most communities are active, I am unhindered in any extra activities I choose. Many of you might be partial to a late-starting day, and if you are one of these, I would advise considering what you intend to involve yourself with and see if you can afford not having a free afternoon/early evening. Mornings are usually spent sleeping by those who follow this type of schedule.

As many of you may be aware, on the afternoon of the third day of class, Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus began evacuation procedures for the upcoming hurricane Frances. Watching the University’s fleet of aircraft evacuate at once not only awed many of us watching the planes file out at 40-second intervals, but also stood as testament to the level of the University’s preparedness for emergency situations. I agree with the College of Aviation’s Dean, Dr. Tim Brady, that all staff should be commended in how well the situation was handled. Even with nearly three weeks gone without any class time, the professors and faculty have arranged to maintain graduation and end-of-semester dates. Classes are now more compacted, and some classes have required extra sessions, but overall this is preferential to the possible alternatives.

Before departing, I would like to cordially invite you to pose any and all questions you may have about the college experience, Embry-Riddle itself, the ROTC programs, and so forth in any way that most comfortably suits your needs. For the time being, the discussion boards are the most opportune locations. Should more direct or personal communications become necessary, you may contact me at, though I strongly request that you post on the discussion board so that a single message thread can answer the questions of many all at once.

To you, the next generation of collegiate students, be you an ERAU applicant or no, I wish the best of luck and success on your journey. Take fullest advantage of the resources presented to you, and perhaps one day your dreams will take flight with the Eagles. Onward + Upward, David

Comments are closed.