About Kaleigh


Aviation Business Administration

**Concentration:** General Management
**Hometown:** Sidney, Illinois
**Career Goals:** To be an officer in the United States Air Force and later on become an airport manager.

May 9, 2010

I’m done with my undergraduate degree! A part of me still can’t believe that I’m already done and I don’t think the reality will hit me until I walk across the stage and accept my diploma! Some of my friends in the past have decorated their graduation caps and I want to decorate mine, but I’m having trouble deciding what message or picture I want to put up there. One thing I do know is that it will be done with rhinestones for the full bling effect! My finals went really well and I know for sure that I got an A in two of my classes. I’m still waiting on my final grades for my master’s classes but I’ve got a feeling that those went well too.

Two weeks ago, I found out my Air Force job and upon entering active duty I will become an Acquisitions Officer. I’m pretty excited about it and I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it’s a very marketable career field outside of the Air Force. You may be wondering what an Acquisitions Officer even does. Well from what I’ve read, I’ll be in charge of a program and making sure that small parts of that program are completed on time, have the proper funding, and fit into the bigger program. I’m not sure where I will be stationed yet, but I did have to submit a list of my top six base choices from a predetermined list. My first choice was Colorado because I have always wanted to live out west. I think I will find out in September where I’m going to end up.

Later today, I will be on a plane headed for home and I’m so excited! I’m looking forward to seeing some of my family and the cornfields. Three years ago when I left home, I never thought I would miss it as much as I do sometimes. I’m looking forward to the road trip back to Florida with my sister! I think it will be an adventure to remember! When I get back to Florida, I will move into my new apartment, go through the graduation ceremony and say goodbye to some of my friends, then start summer classes. My prediction is that this summer will be just as busy as this past semester, but that’s the way I like it!

I’ve enjoyed telling you about my experiences throughout the year here at Embry-Riddle! I hope that I helped answer some of your questions about Embry-Riddle or college life in general. I’m looking forward to spending one more year here before I enter the Air Force. Good luck with all of your endeavors!

Until next time,

April 19, 2010

Happiness,…not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour. -Walt Whitman

This is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me to be happy every moment and, while this isn’t always possible, I wish it were. My birthday was this month and I had a great time celebrating and hope that the year to come is just as wonderful as the last. Some reasons to be happy: I picked up my cap and gown, I’m going home for a few days before graduation, and school is almost over! Of course, this month has had its moments that weren’t the greatest, but that just made me realize how great my family is. Going to college over a thousand miles away from home and everyone I knew hasn’t always been easy, but everyone is just a phone call away!

Graduation is fast approaching! I’m happy that I will be able to fulfill another dream of mine when I walk across the stage! Classes are starting the process of winding down, which means projects are coming due and the last test is approaching. I’ve lucked out and for the first semester since I have been at ERAU I don’t have any finals during finals week because they are all taking place the last week of classes. For this reason, I’m able to fly home for two days and then make the road trip back to Florida with my mom and sister. I know that I won’t be home for long but it will be nice to breathe in the Illinois air for a day or two! There is just something special about the smell of corn and soybeans growing in the fields. Most of my projects that are coming due are group projects and the hard part with those is trying to find a time when everyone can meet. Lately, we have decided to do sort of an open house meeting where some people leave early and some come late. It’s hard to keep everyone up to date, but we have found that it’s the only method that will work for now!

This past weekend I attended Air Force Dining Out, which is basically a dinner and the celebration of another year completed. We all get dressed up in our service dress, eat dinner, watch a video of the year in review, have an award presentation, and then the announcement of next semester’s cadet wing leadership positions. I had a good time and enjoyed spending the evening with some of my friends. The rumor was that I along with others would be finding out our AFSCs (Air Force jobs), but it didn’t happen. So, we are now supposed to find out on Monday…guess I’ll just have to be patient and keep waiting, which is easier said than done! Next journal entry, I’ll be able to let you know what job I will be doing in the future.

Try and be happy as many moments as you can each day, I’m trying to be! Remember they say it only takes seventeen muscles to smile, but forty-three to frown. Therefore, everyone should smile because it’s easier than the alternative!

Until next time,


April 4, 2010

Have you ever seen those shirts that say “I ? NY”? Well, I’ve always wanted one of those but thought I probably shouldn’t get one till I’d actually been there. I’m now the proud owner of one and can’t wait to make my next trip to New York!

As I mentioned before, I went on a three-day trip to New York with six other students sponsored by the Alumni Association. The purpose of our trip was to attend the Wings Club Luncheon. The Wings Club is a group of aviation leaders that come together once a month to discuss issues in the aviation industry. At the luncheon we met lots of people, including their current president and he asked our opinion on how to get young people involved in aviation. He understands the importance of investing in the younger generation and is seeking advice from all students. Also, the speaker at the luncheon was Mr. Bruce Nobles, the President and CEO of Air Jamaica. The luncheon was wonderful and a memorable event.

The night before the luncheon we had dinner with the New York City Alumni Chapter. Surprisingly, one of my friends who graduated last May has an internship in New York at Dassault Falcon Jet and I got to meet up with him at the dinner. I was so glad to see him again! To meet some alumni and hear about what they are doing now was wonderful. It was also interesting to hear their perspective of the industry and most of them are positive that the economy will begin to improve soon.

We did get to do some sightseeing while we were there, including Times Square, Grand Central Station, Staten Island Ferry, and the Statute of Liberty. I couldn’t believe how busy Times Square was and it looked exactly like it does in the movies! We were supposed to get to climb the Statute of Liberty but we missed the last ferry by fifteen minutes. Next time, that will definitely be at the top of my list! I was glad that I finally got to see her! The streets in New York are so crowded and I felt like if you weren’t paying attention that you would get trampled. One night we went to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre and it was wonderful! I couldn’t believe how much detail went into the costumes and the set design. All in all, it was a whirlwind trip, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Only four weeks left of school and the weather is so gorgeous that I don’t want to be inside doing homework!  My birthday is this week and I’m looking forward to opening some birthday presents!

Until next time,


March 22, 2010

Oh my goodness, here we are at the end of Spring Break! Now it’s time to get back to the books and finish out the semester! Spring Break was wonderful and I love when my sister comes to visit me. She likes being down here in Florida with me so much that she has decided to move down here in May. I can’t wait to be roommates with my sister! Originally, we had wanted to go to the same college my freshman year and live together then, but other events occurred that prevented our plan. While she was here over the break, we went apartment hunting and found one that we both fell in love with. We found out the day before she left that we got the apartment and we were relieved to have found a place. Now comes the fun part, planning how we are going to decorate!

After apartment hunting, we spent the rest of our time relaxing and discovering Daytona. The weather still hasn’t warmed up to the original temperatures, so we only spent one day at the beach and we didn’t dare get in the water. I just barely placed my toe in the surf and it felt like an ice cube was touching my toe! We wanted to go parasailing but we decided to wait until May when it’s warmer. One day after discovering that it was too cold to sunbathe at the beach, we decided to take a drive along the Ormond Beach Scenic Highway. In some spots, the water was so high that it almost came up to the edge of the road. I thought the whole drive had gorgeous scenery and think it would be even prettier when there are flowers in bloom and everything is green.

Do you believe in ghosts? My sister and I were looking for something interesting to do and found the Haunts of Daytona Tour. I had never gone on a ghost tour before, but always thought that it would be really fun. We’re hoping to see some ghosts on the tour and we weren’t disappointed. In the pictures are white circles called orbs.

The tour guide asked us at one point if we could hear any noise. I didn’t know what she was talking about at first. Then I heard a  ting-ting noise along the fence around the cemetery.Apparently, they have investigated where the noise could be originating from and there is no logical explanation. There are no trees near the fence or chains to make the clinking noise. The ghost making the noise is a little boy who runs along the fence hitting it. This part of the tour was pretty creepy because the noise wasn’t just in one spot but it could be heard from one end of the fence to the other end. The picture here is of the black fence above the cement wall.

The last picture here is zoomed in to get a closer look at the orb. I would recommend the Haunts of Daytona Tour. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, a lot of history of Daytona Beach and people who have lived there was covered in the tour. The tour lasted about two hours and costs $10. The money goes to preserving and taking care of cemeteries.

Now that Spring Break is over, I’m looking forward to traveling to New York City for three days next week. The Alumni Center at school is taking me along with some other students to have a luncheon with aviation industry leaders. I’m looking forward to the trip because I’ve never been to New York before. I’ll be sure to take my camera and capture lots of pictures to share with you all in my next entry. After that trip, my birthday will be right around the corner and then before I know it—graduation!

Until next time,


March 8, 2010

Spring is right around the corner along with Spring Break! I’m so excited and ready for a mini-break from school. My sister will be arriving later this week and even though we don’t have anything planned, I know we are going to have a good time!

 Yesterday, I filled out my wish list (Form 53) for my job in the Air Force when I commission. I had to select the top six jobs that I would prefer and I’m hoping that they will assign me my first choice—cost analysis officer. Two weeks ago, we found out which cadets got pilot, navigator, and air battle manager slots. I was so excited because many of my friends got to see their dreams come true that day! I’m not sure when I find out my job, but I think it’s towards the end of April.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday I had tests in my graduate classes. I think I did really well on both of them! My Insurance test was more of a final and covered thirteen chapters of information. I thought my head was going to explode with all of the knowledge that I needed to have memorized. The next portion of the class is going to be Law and I think it will be just as interesting as the Insurance Portion. All my classes are going well and I feel like this semester is going by really fast—only 62 days till graduation! Speaking of graduation, I ordered my cap and gown the other day along with my announcements. I’m getting very excited!

 One exciting thing that I got to do this past weekend was travel to Orlando for the Women in Aviation Conference. A College of Business Industry Advisory Board member that works for Air Tran was willing to sponsor two senior students and I was lucky enough to be chosen. I’ve been a member of Women in Aviation for several years, but I had never been to the annual conference. My favorite part of the day was getting to meet and talk to two former WASPs. I feel like after attending, my passion for aviation has been rejuvenated! One piece of advice that I would like to offer future students is join professional organizations because they are a great way to network and stay up to date on what is happening in the industry.

Next entry, I’ll let you know about my adventures over Spring Break and a heads up on what will be happening the rest of the semester! Good luck with school and remember spring is not that far away!

Until next time,

February 22, 2010

Hello, again! I’m pleased to tell you that the weather hit a turning point today and it climbed into the 70s! I took full advantage of the beautiful day and headed outside to work on homework.

Let’s take a look back on the past two weeks: I worked the Daytona 500 and got sunburned, had my first test of the semester, saw a huge spider at work, and got accepted into the MBA program. My job working at the Daytona 500 was to stand at one of the gates and tear tickets. The weather was freezing and I didn’t even think about needing sunscreen; however, the sun was shining and I spent the day looking directly at it. After two years of getting burnt, I will remember the sunscreen next year. My first test was in my Ethics class and I think it went well, but I won’t know for sure until Tuesday. This week I have my first test in Airline Management and I’m thinking it shouldn’t be that bad. The spider at work freaked me out because I hate spiders; thank goodness he’s no longer a problem! I was excited to see the big envelope in my mailbox and when I opened it there was the acceptance letter, so now it’s official that I’m going to do my MBA. Yippee!

The other day while I was working, I met an Embry-Riddle freshman who was just checking out the airport and he asked me what there was to do in the Daytona area. I figured if a new student wants to know what there is to do, then a prospective student probably does too. With that said, I’ve created a list of things to do in and around Daytona whether you are visiting the area or coming to school:

  1. The Beach
    Daytona is home to the World Famous Beach and is a great place to have some fun. You can lounge around, go for a swim, or try surfing—just have a good time!
  2. Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
    The lighthouse is a good place to go for a bird’s eye view of the city! Also, you can learn about the history of the lighthouse and tour some of the other buildings.
  3. Ocean Walk Shoppes
    If you want to see a movie or grab a burger at Johnny Rockets, then the Ocean Walk Shoppes is where you want to head. After the movie, you can get some ice cream from Cold Stone and walk down to the beach.
  4. Putt-putt or Miniature Golf
    There are at least ten putt-putt places in Daytona, so you never run out of options! My favorite is Pirate’s Island because the whole place is a pirate theme and the course winds up a hill and around waterfalls.
  5. The Dairy Bar
    I love ice cream! Back home I work at a place that used to be called the Dairy Bar, so I couldn’t believe it when I found one down here. The ice cream is pretty good and you get to sit and eat it at wooden picnic tables.
  6. Angel and Phelps Chocolate Factory
    They offer free tours of their chocolate factory and at the end of the tour you get a free taste test. Who doesn’t love chocolate?
  7. Daytona Lagoon
    At Daytona Lagoon you can play laser tag, putt-putt, drive go-karts, or go splash around in the water park. If you have a group of people and want to have a few hours of fun, this is the place to go.
  8. Daytona Beach Airport
    Of course you want to come and check out the airport! Behind the Daytona Speedway you can park and watch planes take-off and land.
  9. Daytona Flea Market
    If you ever wanted to see a lot of “treasures” in one place, you have found the spot. I have found some good deals on Daytona Beach apparel here.

There are plenty of things for you to do in Daytona besides go to class! I’m looking forward to Spring Break, so I can go do some fun things besides homework! I hope that wherever you are that it warms up soon and you can have this wonderful Florida weather.

Until next time,


February 13th, 2010

Nothing too exciting has happened in the past two weeks…I’ve mainly been going to class, work, and doing homework. My homework is usually just reading assignments; unfortunately, I sometimes get bored with it and feel myself scanning the words and not really reading them. I hate when I do that because then I have to go back and reread several paragraphs or pages. On another note, I’m looking forward to Spring Break!! I think my sister is planning on coming down and maybe we’ll take a road trip or just hang out at the beach—if it ever gets warm enough! The weather here is actually pretty nice compared to what it’s like back home right now.

My job at the Daytona Beach airport has been going well and I enjoy being an observer to the airport environment. The other day a man came up to me and we started talking about the weather, then he asked me where I was from and it turns out we were both from Illinois. We continued talking and I found out that his son is a teacher at the community college I went to before coming to Embry-Riddle. Just goes to show you what a small world this is! As you can tell from the picture, I have a big TV behind me that shows incoming and outgoing flights along with the weather radar. Many people come over to take a look at it; then they ask me a few questions and I get to tell them about Embry-Riddle. I really enjoy talking to everybody and love finding out why people are coming to or leaving Daytona Beach.

Graduation is fast approaching and the other week I attended a meeting that gave all the details about the ceremony and things you must do before walking across the stage. Only about three more months till the day is here and I’m excited to order my cap and gown! If we want to, we can decorate our cap and I’m trying to decide what I want to put on there. Some people were shocked to find out that I would be graduating too; I love watching people’s reactions when I tell them! Along with the graduation meeting, I went to a MBA information session and learned some more things about the curriculum. In order to finish by next May, I think I will be spending my summer taking classes. I’ve taken summer classes before and I sort of like them better because you are done in six weeks instead of fourteen.

I did go on a “field trip” with Air Force ROTC this past Saturday. We went down to Orlando to a place called Rebounderz where you get to jump on a trampoline indoors. There are even trampolines on the sides, so you can jump off the walls! We played a game of dodge ball and being able to jump in the air to dodge the ball adds a whole new dimension to the game. I had a lot of fun and wouldn’t mind going back again!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Until next time,


January 25, 2010

Lions, tigers, and bears…Oh my! This past weekend I went to the Jacksonville Zoo with some of my friends and we saw lots of animals. I hadn’t been to a zoo for awhile, so I was excited to see some animals and leave Daytona for the day. The zoo was surprisingly large and was divided into sections—South America, Africa, and Asia. I got to see a giraffe up close and watch them being fed; they sure have long tongues. There were plenty of birds at the zoo! You could walk into a caged area and they would fly around you or land on your shoulder. I enjoyed the trip and seeing all the animals!

We are heading into the third week of school and I think I have gotten back into the groove of going to school, work, and studying. My classes are going well and I think it’s going to be a good semester. For undergrad classes, I have Airline Management, Social Responsibility and Ethics, and an Air Force class. Airline Management is going to be interesting, I think, because we get to learn about how the airlines make their schedules. We are still going over an introduction to the material, so we haven’t covered a specific topic in-depth, yet. In my Ethics class, we have to come up with a sustainability project that will have an impact on Embry-Riddle and my group is considering something to do with paper consumption. My two graduate classes are: Aviation Law and Insurance and Global Information and Technology. The Aviation Law and Insurance class is like the insurance class I took last semester, but I’m enjoying it more so this time. The class is divided into parts and we cover insurance with one professor in the beginning and then we cover law with another professor. I’m looking forward to the law part! Global Information and Technology is going to be the harder one of the two because technology confuses me most of the time. I had a similar class my sophomore year; however, I’m hoping that this time the material will be more understandable with a different book and professor. All in all, I’m enjoying each class and hope that this semester I won’t procrastinate so much (this always seems to be my goal)!

The weather has been up and down for the past week. Most days, the sun comes out and we have blue skies. However, we did have a big storm roll through the area and it brought a cold front along, which caused tornado warnings. I looked out my window and the rain was just pouring from the sky—thank goodness it didn’t last for too long! The other day it was warm enough for shorts and the next day I needed a sweatshirt…I hope it decides to get warm soon and just stay warm! My favorite place to go study when it is warm and sunny is the dock my apartment has over the lake. The view of the water just makes it feel so peaceful.

Daytona is starting to gear up for all the races at the racetrack and every time I turn on the radio I hear about a chance to win tickets to one race or another. I can’t get over how many people come to the area to watch the races! I’ve heard the airport has begun having meetings to discuss how they are going to deal with the increase in traffic. It’s interesting to see how businesses prepare for the influx of customers and it makes you realize how volatile the tourist industry is from year to year. I’m looking forward to the Daytona 500 because Tim McGraw is performing! Maybe, I’ll be lucky enough to work the infield and get to catch a glimpse of him. Well, time to go study and I think I’ll head out to the dock!

Until next time,


January 13, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! A little late, but it’s always the thought that counts. I’m back in Daytona and even though it’s in the low 50s it feels like a heat wave. My plane arrived yesterday afternoon, so I’m still trying to get unpacked and ready for the semester. Today is the first day of classes, but my first class (Aviation Insurance and Law) isn’t until 5:30 p.m.; however, it does last for three hours. I will be sure to let you know all about my first graduate class in my next entry.

Look out grad school because here I come! The GMAT wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and I didn’t have to stay for four hours. First, you have to write two essays after being given a prompt and that took about an hour. After that I took a break to clear my head and give my eyes a break from staring at a computer. Then, I did the math portion and then the qualitative portion. I think from start to finish it took about three hours. I was so happy when I answered the last question and got to leave! Overall, I did a pretty good job and I’m satisfied with my scores. My application has been submitted and I’m just waiting for my recommendation letters to be turned in, then the application packet will be complete.

Five days before I left home we had a snowstorm; it left about eight inches and thirty-five mile per hour winds that created some big drifts. This picture is of a storm we had just a few days before the big one. Very dreary skies and unbelievably cold! It was too cold to go cross-country skiing, but I did get to shovel our driveway several times. I love watching the snow fall and turn everything white, but I don’t like having to shovel it! I just hope that the Air Force doesn’t station me in North Dakota or South Dakota; if they do I’m definitely investing in a snow blower. Maybe next Christmas I will get to try cross-country skiing again.

One last thing I did over my break was remodel my mom’s bathroom with my aunt. We had a good time! My mom didn’t know that we were going to do it, so she was pleasantly surprised. The bathroom is really small and at some points I thought I was going to end up painting my aunt! After painting the walls, we tackled the floor and laid new tile. I learned all about the placement and cutting of tile, which might come in handy one day. Overall, I think it turned out really well!

Well, off to my first class! I think everything is going to start picking up in the next few weeks but for now I’m relaxing and still in vacation mode. In the next entry, I’ll let you know how this semester’s classes are shaping up.

Until next time,


December 28, 2009

Yesterday it snowed a few inches, which was enough to cover the grass and allow me to try cross-country skiing for the first time!  I think I was down in the snow more than I was on the skis, but I had a great time!  My aunt bought the skis last year but we didn’t get a chance to use them because it never snowed again.  When I saw the snow start to fall, my sister and I both hoped it would be enough to let us try out the skis. The only thing I wish I could have changed was how cold it was—in the low 20s with crazy winds.  We couldn’t be outside for long because even with two pairs of gloves my fingers would start to freeze!  I can’t wait to try it again!

By the time I write my next journal entry, I will have taken the long awaited GMAT.  I’m scheduled to take it on January 6th and from what some of my friends have told me that it’s going to take about four hours .  I’ll be glad to have it done and over with!  I have to put the finishing touches on my essay for the graduate application and then I’ll just have to submit it and wait to hear back.

Over break, I’ve started working on a scrapbook for myself that begins when I was a freshman three years ago.  I’ve enjoyed looking back at the pictures and seeing how much things have changed (the new College of Business building) and how some of them have stayed the same (the Wright Flyer is still outside the Library).  I’m hoping to be caught up to the present by the time I go back to school.  I have two weeks left of my break, so I think it can be done!

Sometime this week or next week, I’m going to go shopping online for the textbooks that I’ll need next semester.  Then, I’ll have them shipped to Florida and they will be there in time for classes.  The weather forecast is saying that there is more snow to come later in the week…Yippee, another chance to hone my cross-country skiing skills!

Until next time,