Brittney

About Brittney

Junior

Computational Mathematics

Minors: Space Studies and Physics Hometown: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania Campus involvement: Micro-G NExT club, Resident Advisor Why I chose Embry-Riddle: It is a prestigious school with a focus in space which is a passion of mine.

The Beach and the Sand

Proper Social Distancing on the Beach

We are officially halfway done with summer B which is only 6 weeks long but it sure does make you have a busy 6 weeks of studies. These first 3 weeks have been so busy going to class every day and cramming 15 weeks of materials into less than half the time. Being halfway done and so close to being in my last semester calls for a well-needed break, so I decided to head to the beach. With current times, it is the most important thing to remain social distancing everywhere and continue to measure the dangers of activities. This means my friends and I struggled a little bit to be able to find a beach that was very uncrowded and without a doubt we found one at Ormond Beach. Everyone was very respectful and we were all at least 12-15 ft apart and there were not many large groups. It was very comforting to see people adhering to the new public etiquette practices and made me feel a lot safer at the beach. It was the perfect afternoon. The sun stayed out for the whole day, the waves were soothing to hear, and water was the perfect temperature. I could not have thought of a better way to relax with a couple of friends. It was a nice and safe way to be off campus for a short period of time and allowed us to get some sun.

The Beautiful Waves

Now that my lovely beach afternoon is done, I am headed back to my studies to finish the semester off strong and prepare myself for my final semester this fall. This summer has been very different, but I am glad to be taking it easy before the hustle of the fall semester. I cannot wait to see what this fall holds for me and my friends here at Embry-Riddle.

Back to School!

Summer B in-person classes have just started, and I have been preparing for this week by getting hand sanitizer, masks with filter, and travel Lysol wipes to bring with me to class. Being in-person for class after the quarantine was different, to say the least, but a good different to ease into the new social norm of wearing face masks and social-distancing.

My supplies for the week

Before I even went to class, I got my mandatory wellness check like I have been all summer. Today, there was someone who checked to make sure I had my wellness check done on my way into the engineering building where my class was being held, and they were ready to take anyone’s temperature who had not already gotten one. The professor came into class and had a clear face shield for us to be able to see his full face. The class went very well, and we all cleaned our computer stations with Lysol wipes before we left the classroom for the day. All of this may seem like a lot, but it is good to have the new cleaning and social standards on campus and to know that both faculty and staff are looking out for each other.

Me social distancing and wearing a mask in class

This past week has been a nice way to prepare to come back in the fall, and see what is expected for when more students are here. I am hopeful that this summer semester will go smoothly, and I am faithful everyone will help each other stay safe and healthy by wearing masks and social distancing. I am excited to see everyone come back for the fall and resume a more normal social and school life than the past few months have provided. Stay safe everyone, and remember to wear a mask, wash your hands often, and social distance!

Looking Forward to the Rest of the Summer

What a unique summer it has been so far here at Embry-Riddle, but as we get closer to the end of June, we are preparing for more students to come live on campus and start in-person instruction again. Some people who have been living and flying here will be leaving for the summer and others will be coming to start their summer instruction. Because of this, housing and residence life has been getting ready by reminding students about moving out and beginning to check rooms to make sure they are ready for incoming students. The school, as well as Florida, has been opening up a little more for us to engage in. The school just opened the gym, with new cleaning and distancing rules to help everyone stay safe and healthy, as well as recreational places outside are now open, like the tennis courts, volleyball courts, and tennis courts, and it surely has been nice to be able to use them again and socialize a bit more.

I am currently taking a math class online, but I am also about to begin an in-person computer programming class. I am excited as well as nervous to begin in-person classes, but the university has put so many precautions and practices into place such as continuing to social distance during class and wearing face masks that make me feel more comfortable to transition back to face-to-face classes, plus it will be a good stepping stone when everybody returns in the fall.

I am very much looking forward to having a little more interaction with new residents, as I had a few on my floor this past term. I hope everyone coming in this summer is also excited to get back to more of a normal school life, and enjoy the rest of the summer while completing milestones for their career goals, and maybe sneak away to the beach every now and then.

The Great SpaceX Launch

On Saturday, May 30th, SpaceX had made history as the first private space company to launch humans into space from the United States. It was the first time humans had been launched into space from American soil since 2011. The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday of the same week, but it got scrubbed due to weather 20 minutes before the launch window.
I had attended the launch with a few friends and my dog at Ponce Inlet along the shore. There were tons of people lined up on the jetty waiting for this monumental moment that will let the U.S. take back their space program. Prior to this flight, NASA was paying Russia around 80 million dollars for a seat on the Soyuz to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS). A SpaceX Falcon 9 with the Dragon capsule that the astronauts use to dock with the ISS only cost about 50 million to launch.
My friends and everyone there were very excited about this moment and did not think it was going to happen because of the weather, again. But… All systems were go, and we all had our phones watching the launch live and waiting for a rocket to appear in the sky. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, and we did not get to see much more than a small stream of exhaust from the Falcon 9 through the clouds. The rocket had successfully launched, and the crew docked to the ISS 18 hours later to join the existing crew.

My dog very confused what all the noise is about

I was so glad I got to be there to witness this history, and it very much reminded me why I came to Embry-Riddle in the first place and what most of us hope to be a part of one day. I cannot wait to take part in the space industry and see what else we can achieve.

Back to Campus!

Summer at Embry-Riddle is always a little bit of a different atmosphere than normal because of the large decrease in the number of students on campus, but I have just moved back to campus and this summer is even a little more different than usual with COVID-19 this year. Social distancing is a must and campus is at a lower density than it normally is in the summer.

My New Daily Look On-Campus

I have moved into New Residence Hall Phase 1, the same hall I was in my freshman year. This is exactly as I remember it with the exception that it is fairly quiet. I have moved back in as a resident advisor and have a few flight students on my floor that I am eager to meet through virtual contact as per new regulations for the school to encourage social distancing.

Even though the atmosphere is a little different than normal, it is nice to see some familiar faces such as other fellow RAs and Supervisors. As far as staying busy, I have just started my research project for the summer where I am exploring the environmental impact that the space industry has on the atmosphere. We had our orientation for the summer research program last Wednesday over zoom where we got to meet other people partaking in the research program this summer. I have begun my background research and the first steps of finding data and numbers to support my conclusions. This and RA work has been a majority of the way I spend my time and soon summer C classes will begin and fill my time a little better! I am looking forward to a calm summer of studies with sunshine at the University and maybe even making my way to the beach to catch a few waves.

Soaring into Summer Plans

The wacky semester of curve balls is finally over, but that still does not mean quarantine and online classes are over. For me, I have an online class this summer as well as an in-person class in summer B. So, I will still soon be busy with the continuing challenges of going to college during the quarantine. I will soon be partaking in online math that hopefully will go smoother by having the opportunity to start and finish the class online, and now that I have already done half a semester of online classes this should be a piece of cake right? We shall see, but I was extremely appreciative of all the professors I had this past semester. And have no doubt my professor this summer will be just as great.


Meanwhile, the calming feeling of having finished the spring semester has allowed me to relax and take care of myself a little. I do have to admit I am a bit bored without my school work, so my dog may not be as appreciative of it as I have been constantly bugging her with random photo-shoots and bugging her with all of my extra built-up energy (I think she is ready for me to have a life outside of the house again).

My dog wandering why I have so much time on my hands
The one picture I took that didn’t annoy her


Soon, I will be busy once again as I am conducting research through the Office of Undergraduate research’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) this summer. I will be researching the space industry’s impact on air pollution and analysis statistics to see how impactful this industry is on our Earth’s environment. I am very excited about this opportunity to some research I am extremely passionate about and get real research experience. I am excited to see what I discover and cannot wait to begin. Until then, I will be making sure to take of myself and not annoy my dog too much. Also, I will be moving back into the dorms as an RA as Embry-Riddle begins phase one of the crawl, walk, run plan to get our school ready for the fall semester in these times. I am excited to go back and be able to stay focused on my studies and research and assist any studies doing the same.

My dog after I put a T-shirt on her

The Finals Clean-up

Everyone has been surviving and hopefully finding some joy in their lives during the quarantine. We have all come so far this semester. I would be lying if I said the transition to online classes was easy or having to time manage moving off campus with school work was a fun time, but through all of these difficult endeavors, we have finally approached the last day of classes.
The day where we take a step back for a couple of hours before we start the study grind and all of our finals. The last time we get to spend time with the people at school before we go our separate ways for the summer. Although this year is a little bit different this time of the semester has reminded me to reach out to friends I have not seen or heard from in a while. Whether they are back in their hometowns or staying close to the school, the quarantine has made it impossible to see everyone. I have enjoyed catching up and reconnecting with them via skype and Houseparty and Snapchat and all the other wonderful social media allowing us to survive through the quarantine.

Got bored so Rory got a haircut

It has given me time to look back at the past year of school on good memories that have been made. From Halloween parties where I am dressed as taco bell hot sauce to beach trips to just last week where I impulsively cut my friend’s hair. There are a lot of memories I am thankful for and cannot wait to make more next fall.

Flash back to the Halloween party we went to this past year

Now it is time for me to wish everyone luck on their finals. We are all so close to being done with the semester and we all have so much to be thankful for. The student and staff of Embry-Riddle have been so helpful throughout this entire crazy situation and I would not want to be surrounded by anyone else right now. To all those graduating, congratulations, you will be missed but I am excited to see the things you accomplish. And for everyone I will see in the summer or the fall, stay safe this summer and make smart decisions. I’ll see you all in the fall. Go crush your finals!

Fresh Air, Self-Care, and School is Where?

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of situations to overcome and conquer. The main situation: online classes. Classes for the rest of the semester are completely online and through virtual meetings. This has been an experience. All of my professors have adapted their classes very well. Some pre-recorded their class lectures and host office hours to allow students to ask questions, some are doing live class sessions over zoom, and some of my classes are very project-based so the professor is there for questions, but otherwise, our projects are all that matter. No matter what my professors have decided to do, they have all been very helpful and understanding during this process of shifting to online learning.

Rory and I getting some fresh air with the pups

Along with the online classes, I had to move off-campus. I am very lucky to have good friends from Embry-Riddle and am now residing with my friend Rory who lives in Florida. His family has invited me to stay with them on several occasions including anything from hurricane Irma that happened my freshman year to holidays I do not have a family to spend with. They are my home away from home and I am very lucky to have them.

Rory and I long boarding again with the dogs(we do this a lot)

While staying at Rory’s, we do our best to balance school work (even though we often get distracted by each other) with making sure we are both staying on top of our classwork. We are also making sure to take care of our bodies and mind. We recognize when it is time to take study breaks, eat a snack, get fresh air, and goof around a little. We have been filling our free time by playing games and long boarding with our furry friends.

Overall, online classes and the entire COVID-19 situation is a little overwhelming, but knowing I have the support of all of my professors, classmates, friends, and family makes the situation a lot more comforting.

I Can Sea Clearly Now

Spring break is finally here, the weather is finally warmer, and it is now the perfect opportunity to relax while getting slightly ahead on a some of the schoolwork for weeks to come. This break has given me the opportunity to get back to a place in Daytona I love so much. The Beach.

The sand beneath my toes. The warmth of the sun on my skin. The feel and smell of the salt in my hair. And the feel of the breeze (unfortunately the water is still too cold to swim in). The beach is my escape and place for relaxation, a home away from home, and this spring break has been amazing weather to be able to enjoy the beach. I believe the beach is a major perk of going to Embry-Riddle’s Daytona campus that isn’t used properly by everyone who goes here. Even though schoolwork is top priority, it is good to prioritize a little bit of fun every once in a while, and the beach is a perfect place to get some sun and be one with the outdoors. It is a great place to focus on yourself and spend time with friends outside. This spring break I have even enjoyed a little sunshine and schoolwork outside which has also improved my mood and making me even more ready to crush the rest of the semester.

Meanwhile, I have also been getting schoolwork done at a productive pace to keep my mind fresh on new topics and prepared for the next round of tests. It is good to know I will go back to classes with a little edge being on some major projects and coding assignments. I am looking forward to starting classes again with a more relaxed feel and ready to conquer the rest of the semester attitude.

A New Experience Awaits

My current home in Phase II

As a resident advisor (RA), this time of year comes with the excitement of receiving our building placements for the fall semester. I have been through interviews and met with multiple supervisors to figure out where the best community is for me to thrive as an RA. I am currently in the brand-new residence building of New Hall Phase II which has been an amazing opportunity and I have had the best residence this year. I have enjoyed the difference in experience from last year where I spent my time in the entertaining, but close-knit Doolittle.

My new home for 20-21 year

But after waiting for weeks, the Housing and Residence Life team finally issued our placements for the 20-21 school year. I am happy to announce, I have the honor of being a resident advisor in Stimpson in our student village, and I am looking forward to the new environment and challenges that come with this residence hall. It will be different from the past two years I have been a resident advisor, and it will be the first time I have upperclassmen as residents. I am greatly looking forward to working with a new supervisor and meeting and working with new people next year. As of right now though, I need to continue to focus on my current residents and make sure they make it through their first year of college. Being a resident advisor has helped me come out of my shell and develop new skills for communicating and helping students at Embry Riddle. It is an experience I would not change for anything as the Housing and Residence Life team has become a second family to me. I am excited to help everyone get through the rest of this semester and even more excited to help students continue living at Embry-Riddle next year.