About Isabella


Engineering Physics

Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
Campus Involvement: Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Project Manager/VP of Women's Baja SAE Team, FAA-related Research Job, College of Arts & Sciences Student Council Chair of Engineering Physics
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: There are two big things that really pushed me to apply/attend to ERAU. One was the tremendous amount of hands-on experience that I could get just by asking to be a part of projects, teams, and research. The other was the numerous program-specific, non-gen-ed classes that started as early as freshman and sophomore year which made me excited to learn and apply concepts as soon as possible.

On-Campus Concert!

There are a bunch of events on campus ranging from mini carnivals and farmers markets to free snacks and concerts! Recently, I attended an Honors Series event that was a concert by Julie Fowlis who is a Scottish artist. She is commonly known for songs in the soundtrack for Brave, but her Gaelic folk music is also so beautiful. It was a really relaxing break from work during midterms while earning seminar credits towards the honors program. Overall, I highly recommend attending some events on campus if you can, or at least keeping an eye out for some gems like this!

Notes & Studying & Exams! Oh my!

I came into ERAU with a less common background. I was in virtual school from 4th through 12th grade. This trained me to prefer a certain type of learning: throw a textbook at me and tell me to learn it by myself. I did and still do really well with this approach. As I attended more and more lectures at ERAU, I survived but noticed that I did not feel 100% comfortable with their type of learning experience. Thus, for any new virtual schooled students or just new students in general, now as a senior, I wanted to share some of the techniques I have developed over the years.

MOST classes here at ERAU, at least the ones in my experience as an EP student, have a distinct system. You attend lectures, do homework, and take exams. I have a certain note-taking/studying system that has worked very well.
I use OneNote to do all of this because I like being able to see everything at a glance. I keep one large notebook; each semester has its own section group. Then, there is a section for each class. Each page is for a day of lecture, homework, or type of note.

  • Attend class to take lecture notes
    • Focus on writing down what is on the board & any other important things the professor says
    • Don’t be afraid to ask “will this be on the exam”
    • Ask if you are confused!
    • If not already specified by the professor, ask for what part of the textbook things correspond to & what extra practice problems you can do
  • Study at home!!
    • Take notes on the textbook
      • Create another notes page for textbook notes
      • I know it can feel wrong to do sometimes, but mark up your textbook!! Highlight definitions in yellow and important facts in blue. And then write notes in the margins or do extra math next to the examples.
    • Take notes on any PowerPoint slides or supplemental material on Canvas
    • Start homework early to fully understand the problem
      • In my opinion, it is okay to use an answer key (if given/permitted by your professor of course) as long as you understand how to get there. In fact, this process can make learning easier sometimes!
    • Do any extra practice problems that you can
      • If you are confused (or even if you aren’t), take these by the professor’s office hours or email it to them for feedback and extra tips!
  • Exam time
    • Glance through notes, especially for around 15 minutes leading up to the exam. Your short term memory is a powerful tool.
    • Redo all of your homework and practice problems on a big whiteboard for a day or so before the exam and see how fast you can get through them. Timing is key in some of these classes!
    • Study with your classmates. Even if you feel like you understand the material fully, someone else may have a perspective that will make you go WOAH

Study Locations

You need a place to study in between classes and meetings. Sometimes the main floor of the Student Union is a bit noisy or there are just no seats left or you really really need a change of scenery. Here are some of my favorite spots on campus and a bit about them!

  • NR3 Study Room: The New Residence Hall 3 building has a great study room in the lobby. It can get busy in evenings during exam weeks, but other than that it is fairly quiet. The tables are whiteboards, and there are rolling whiteboard in there too. It is a really great place to meet a study group for exam cram sessions. I do recommend bringing your own markers though; they go missing around there.
  • Honors Center: If you are an honors student, the honors center in the first floor of NR3 has a library with tables & beanbags, computer lab, and some other study rooms further back in the hallways.
  • College Lobbies: A super underrated place to go study in place is the lobby of many class buildings. COAS has a little nook with a couch by the back door. COAS also has a very nice study area on the 5th floor which overlooks the runway and Micaplex with a quiet environment, nearby restrooms, and tons of room in general. On COAS 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors there are some couches by the windows right next to the elevators which are also wonderful study spaces if you can claim a spot! Lehman has many seating choices including booths and comfy chairs by the 1st floor elevators; there are also nooks with booth and chair seating and tables by the vending machines on the 2nd and 3rd floors. If you like outdoor spots, there are some tables outside by the labs on the 3rd floor of Lehman. The M Building in back of Lehman also has a little sitting area with vending machines right when you walk in, but there are outlets only on one wall. The lobbies of IC, COB, and COA are also very nice with various seating choices.
  • Student Union Balcony: When the weather gets nice, the balcony by Starbucks is a PRIME seating choice for studying. You can even watch the planes take off and grab a coffee!
  • Physics Lounge: If you are a Physics student, we now have our own study space/lounge in COAS 315 with computers, whiteboards, whiteboard tables, markers, comfy couches, and more! Great place to do homework and talk to classmates.

Organization is Key

As a student, you need to keep track of a lot of things. These things can include (but are definitely not limited to) classes, work, research, clubs, projects, and just general life things. There are many ways in which you can do this such as planner books, bullet journals, notes apps, and checklists. I am going to share how I personally keep track of well….life!

I have experimented with quite a few methods, definitely everything listed above plus a handful of productivity apps. They all have their pros and cons. Planner books are very fun to use, useful, satisfying to write things in, and pretty, but if you have many last-minute meetings come up or just numerous things back-to-back in one day, your space per day in that book can be fairly limited. There is also an app out there called Notion which many people swear by; I have a few friends who use this, and it looks great! However, its device compatibility is limited and the full list of features I want requires a paid subscription. Over the years, I have solidly settled on using two main methods: Google Calendar & Todoist.

I am a HUGE advocate of Todoist. I find the platform super simple, easy to navigate/use, and free! Honestly, my friends have remarked probably three times per month that they really need to put me on their payroll with how much I talk about the application hahaha. You can use the website on your computer and/or app version on your phone. In the free version, you can make five “projects” like mine is set up:

Within each project, you can create different sections like how my Homework project looks:

From what I can tell, the sections per project is unlimited. I use one for each class and then put tasks under them. Each task allows you to add due dates, priority rankings, labels, descriptions, comments, subtasks, and even assignees! Yes, you can make collaborative boards too!! With the free version, you can put up to five people on one project. This is really useful for clubs or even just class projects. The mobile app has all of the capabilities of the website, so if you need to rely on that during the day while you are running around you definitely can. Even better, you can sync your Google Calendar and Todoist.

To more easily view exactly what I need to do and where I need to be, I have a Google Calendar widget on the home screen of my phone. Then, my synced Todoist shows all of my tasks as differently-colored events for that day. On top of that, I highly recommend color-coding your Google Calendar. I include locations of my meetings/classes, and then I color code for each thing to make quick glances way easier. For example, classes are dark green, gym trips are light green, SI sessions are red, fun things are yellow, club meetings are light blue, and the list continues. I also enjoy having everything on Google Calendar because then I can enter other people’s Gmails as guests to my “event” which syncs the event on all of our calendars.

ANYWAYS, that was a big rant on my organizational system for day-to-day life, and I do really enjoy perfecting this stuff so maybe it will change again as I go through life. But for now, this system has helped me for almost my entire time at college to be organized, less overwhelmed, and have an all-around feeling that I am managing my time efficiently.

Summer Shenanigans

It was an eventful Summer!

Summer is the time for internships, travelling, and living life!
This Summer, I returned to SpaceX for a third time. I was working as a Starship Vehicle Engineering intern based out of Hawthorne, California (near LA) and travelling back and forth a good amount to Starbase, Texas (Southernmost tip of Texas). My job involves a lot of overall-vehicle work for the Ship portion of Starship; more details on what I have been doing can be found on my LinkedIn.

There are some cool pictures at the end of this post.
But first, I feel like something that often gets overlooked is having a work-life balance as an intern at any company. Internships are great opportunities to learn different subjects, gain hands-on experience, network, and maybe even secure a fulltime position if you are really passionate about the company. However, keep in mind that this is also YOUR time to get a feel for if you like the company in different aspects. Are you passionate about the thing you are working on? Could you see yourself working on your team every day? If you work at this pace/hours/frequency, how do you emotionally, mentally, and physically feel? Does this work/position fulfill you? Do you need more or less time to touch grass? Thus, I highly recommend treating your internship like a trial run for how your life would be like in a full time position. Do you want to travel frequently? Do you want to be adamant about going home at 5pm on Fridays? What are some personal boundaries that you need to draw for your happiness? Do you love that 8am-8pm grind? Do you like the area that you would be living in? There are no wrong answers! Only discoveries about what would make you happiest in life and a fulltime career.

Now to cue the photoreal 🙂

SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California
View of Downtown LA from Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory at Sunrise (Photo 1)
Griffith Observatory at Sunrise (Photo 2)
The Starship Shrine

The “in-between” Time

When you have an internship in the Summer, it usually starts soon after your Spring semester classes end. However, the time in between these things is often forgotten even though, at least in my opinion from my own experiences, it is very important.

This year I took about 2.5 weeks “off” between these things. Many things happened during this time including packing up my dorm, moving out of my dorm, putting boxes at home, unpacking some, repacking suitcases for the Summer, remotely finishing up some research work, and then visiting some family for 10 days in Hawaii and California.

During previous Summers, my “in-between” time consisted of around 24-48 hours to pack, unpack, and move around before work. Not only was this a bit stressful, but I also found it incredibly useful to take a break between school and internship work. As a ‘rocket nerd,’ I love my school work and internship work but quickly figured out that lack of breaks (even tiny ones) can lead up to a larger feeling of burnout at a later point. Having the time to move out, pack/unpack things, and spend time with friends/family can give a certain part of your brain a relaxing time to focus on different types of things which will actually help you better function at work and look forward to the next semester even more. It is also nice to have at least a day or two when you move into your internship home to get settled in, organize, buy groceries, and more so that after work you can work on other things, call family/friends, participate in hobbies, socialize, or even just relax after a productive day.

Overall, this “in-between” time, although often overlooked, is essential to success in your life and career. It should be cherished and planned out well. This Summer is the first one in which I truly did this, and I can already see how much it has helped. I’ll leave you all with some pretty pictures from my family travels during my own “in-between” time and next time start to go into more about my internship! Happy Summer and safe travels!!

One picture taken while driving around Oahu.
Another picture taken while driving around Oahu.
I found a stick fishing pole among the fancy ones!

End of Junior Year!

The Spring 2023 semester and my junior year has officially ended! A lot happened this semester, so I thought that I would summarize it here.

I took a few different classes this semester:
CEC 315: Signals & Systems
EP 391/391L: Microcomputers & Electronic Instrumentation Class/Lab
EP 394: Space Systems Engineering
ME 200: Machine Shop Laboratory
SYS 560: Introduction to Systems Engineering Management

Compared to previous semesters, this one was pretty light class-wise.
CEC 315 was a great class with very useful topics and a great professor. The class had no deliverables other than two midterms. The second exam/midterm was not technically a final exam, so it did not happen during ‘finals week’ which really helps to spread the load out for many people. The professor is also very reasonable with exam questions, grades, and lecture material in general, so the midterms were not too stressful.
EP 391/391L was definitely more of a challenging class, but the final project was a great way for students to combine things learned during the semester. There were some exams towards the beginning of the semester, but no final exam. The final project was only given during the last approximately two weeks, so there was definitely a ‘crunch time’ there. However, the product was great. My team designed a device that would basically use serial communication, a stepper motor, and LabVIEW amongst other tools to follow a light source and output live graphs with information such as temperature, battery voltage, and device angle.
EP 394 is mostly a project class. We still had weekly lectures on topics ranging from control systems and class mechanics to spaceflight dynamics and orbits with mini quizzes, but our main grade stemmed from our project. We had free reign to choose our space-related project topic and our group, and then any resources we needed were provided by the Physics department and lab. This class also took into account that many of our projects were large endeavors and could only get a certain amount done within a semester. Overall, lots of work, but it was super rewarding, fun, and the grading scale was very reasonable. My team was designing a floatable platform that would use a camera for vision processing and microthrusters to control and test and vehicle with a control system that could be used for satellite attitude control in space. We received a very good grade for our progress including simulations, CAD models, vision processing code, communication systems, and pneumatic systems among a few things.
ME 200 was very fun. Grades were purely attendance-based, and this was something I never wanted to miss. It was once a week for about 2-3 hours and consisted of learning then doing all sorts of things like riveting, drilling, band saw usage, and more.
SYS 560 was a good class. I was taking this one to count towards my masters degree. No big exams were given, just about one homework per week, some in-class activities, and a final project. The final project was not too large, and it combined what we learned fairly well. We basically had to draw out a schedule plan for eight different programs with overlapping resources to be finished as efficiently and quickly as possible.

EP 391 Final Project
CAD Model of EP 394 Final Project
Setup for a ME 200 Project

Overall, it was a good semester! I am writing this from a location (TBA in the next post) where I am visiting family before my internship begins. A few days ago, I also finished up my research job remotely and plan to find out what my next research project (for next semester) will be over the Summer.
For now, I’ll end this here and save my next blog post to tell more about what I have been doing since the semester has ended and things to expect this Summer!


Hi, everyone! I thought I would begin by introducing myself! My name is Isabella DeLorenzo, and I am currently finishing up my junior year as an Engineering Physics major here at ERAU with a concentration in Spacecraft Instrumentation. I have two minors in Applied Mathematics and Electrical & Computer Engineering. I also am participating in the accelerated masters program for my M.S. in Systems Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management. That means I can begin work on my master’s before I finish my undergrad degree!

I do a few things around campus. For starters, I will start to blog here regularly! You can expect some updates on class projects that I am working on, my life over the Summer as I intern at SpaceX, elaborations on different things I’m involved in around campus, and more! (Definitely open to suggestions on topics if anyone would like to know about anything in particular.) I am also a member of our SWE Chapter and the Project Manager/VP for our Women’s Baja SAE team. I have another student job on campus as a researcher for the Systems Engineering department working on FAA-related projects. In addition to these, I have recently accepted a position as the COAS Student Council Chair of Engineering Physics.

Me in our Baja car during the Activities Fair in Fall 2022
Me with our Baja Treasurer/Ergonomics Lead, Annabelle, during an RSO dinner at President Butler’s home in Fall 2022
Me in Starbase, Texas at my job in front of older iterations of Starship in Summer 2022

I am originally from St. Augustine, FL; born and raised not too far from the Embry-Riddle campus. I have always had a fascination with space. I feel like part of what keeps me going every day is a drive to learn as much as possible about the universe we live in (and the multiverses beyond that if you subscribe that theory). It’s hard for me to say when that curiosity started because it was so early to be honest. It originally manifested as me setting alarms to wake my dad up in the middle of the night to watch meteor showers that I would map out months in advance. Then, I wanted to be astronomer. THEN, one day, I discovered electronics and engineering and the possibility that there HAD to be people designing the rockets I started to see launching more often. To me, as a kid, those rockets were miraculous wonders that held the possibility to learn about literal out-of-this-world concepts, improve life on Earth, and expand humanity beyond our planet. So, I determined that I would be a “rocket engineer” and do everything in my power to dedicate my life to pushing the space exploration industry as far as I could. During this journey, I found other passions like sharing my excitement for STEM with children, teaching others, production management, programming, designing electrical systems, space law, and much more. I also found Embry-Riddle, where I am now, and I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you all!