Spring to Life!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all are having a fantastic spring break! My spring break has been eventful so far! For the first weekend of spring break, my family and I went camping to Salt Springs in Ocala for the weekend. Salt Springs is one of Ocala’s jewels. The spring was named due to the fact that there are potassium, sodium and magnesium deposits making the water saline. We had four tents set up, so we all pretty much had our own tents, except for, of course, my parents who shared a tent!

Partial view of our campsite

Full view of our campsite

Photo of our tents ft mum & bro

Another campsite photo

Relaxing photo ft Brent

There are plenty of activities to do in the area. When we camped there for 2 nights, we all went for a little hike and even biked around the recreation area. There is a beautiful lake named Lake Kerr, where campers can enjoy plenty of water activities. It was way too cold to go for a swim, but we did bike around the area. We had our bonfire going on pretty much our entire stay due to how cold it was!

Lake Kerr

Lake Kerr

Me gooning around on my bike

My dad acting cool with his bike skills

Brent & I next to a tree that is more than 200 years old

Lake Kerr

Me posing in general

Our massive bonfire

After camping, Brent and I headed back to Daytona due to my Women’s Ambassador Program (WAP) travel. I traveled with the Admissions Department to Cincinnati and Detroit on March 12th-14th representing WAP. We hosted Accepted Student Receptions in both states, where we got to talk to all our future eagles that will be joining us in Fall! I talked to a lot of students there and below are some of the photos with the girls I talked to! In Cincinnati, I met Sophie and Sydney. I met Lauren in Detroit, who will be joining us in Fall too! All of them are such amazing and bright women, and I am super excited for them to be joining our Riddle family!

Sophie and I in Cincinnati

Sydney and I in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Accepted Students Reception

Detroit Accepted Students Reception

Lauren and I in Detroit

After my WAP travel, my boyfriend picked me up from KDAB and we headed straight to my house in Bradenton. We all went for a dinner to Chilis, which was super fun!

My family <3

My brother Savio

Spring Break is not over yet! We have a fishing trip planned for this Saturday and then we head back to Daytona! I will be traveling next week with WAP again to Texas so stay tuned for my travel updates!

Until next time,


Throwing it back…

Today I am home in Castle Rock, Colorado for spring break. While I’m cruising through these old, familiar streets, I have been quite nostalgic of the times leading up to college. I remember being so excited after being accepted since Embry-Riddle was my first pick. I know many of you are going through similar experiences now, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about the last bit of time before college.

I have said this before, but if you are torn on which college to choose, go visit! Each college has its own personality and you’ll get a feeling once you’re standing there on whether or not you can see yourself there. I understand traveling can be expensive so take the online virtual tours and read blogs like these to understand student life! If you’ve visited both schools and are still unsure, do more research!

This time of year for seniors is pretty calm. Most know where they will be attending or at the very least, where they are accepted. The pressure of applications is off and all that is left to worry about is graduation and possibly some AP exams. The good news is… it only gets better from here!

Most colleges have an orientation or preview day. We have both here at Riddle! Preview Day is April 7th so be sure to RSVP for that! It is only for accepted students. Orientation is in fall before classes begin. At our Preview Day, you can sit in on classes, make tuition and housing deposits, take tours of the campus and dorms, get your eagle ID, and register for classes. You can also talk to financial aid if you have any questions or problems! I know many people who made friends and even found roommates during this day! Many campus organizations will be out and talking about their clubs so accepted students can get to know more about them. Girls can meet with their woman ambassador too – I know I am meeting with some of mine! I’m adding some very cheesy photos from my Preview Day in 2016 (I feel old) *cringe*!

Got my eagle ID!

Here I am getting help registering for classes. They provide a sheet of recommendations.

I met up with a girl from my town who was a senior at Riddle. Our mom’s worked together.

Meeting with my woman ambassador, Jackie! We still talk even though she has graduated.

Taking a housing tour and making friends! I still say hi to these guys when I see them on campus!

In the days leading up to graduation, cherish the moments. Don’t get too caught up in all the unimportant details like what shoes to wear or planning the perfect party. Enjoy your family who came to celebrate with you, thank your teachers for their support, and spend time with your friends before everyone goes to either side of the country! Get pictures before the graduation so you have better chances of getting non-crowded, and your first pick of backgrounds.

After graduation, enjoy your summer because the next ones will be filled with internships, flights, or summer classes. I worked the whole summer before coming to college and I am thankful I did. When the family plans a vacation, join them! (note: I have an older sister who is always super busy during the summer, so my parents learned from her that we need vacations now)!

You will also begin packing and preparing for school now! Soon I will be posting a thorough packing list. Until then, start getting necessities like bedding (for an XL twin bed) and other obvious items. (Note: I recommend Target, Macy’s, or PB Teen for bedding!)

One more thing about Preview Day, you get to tour Daytona when you have free time. While there is a lot to do, there is no strict schedule. My mom and I went to the flea market, beach, and Disney!

At Daytona Beach!

At the flea market!

Disney World with my mom!

Your Embry-Riddle gear gets you into cockpits! I was welcomed up on my flight back home!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions! I’d be happy to help!

– Maddie Dietrich

Visiting Delta HQ with ISASI

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re well and had a nice long relaxing weekend! I spent my President’s Day weekend in Altanta and got to visit Delta headquarters with one of the organizations at Riddle, ISASI (International Society of Air Safety Investigators). It was great seeing everyone again and so glad they all remembered me from my internship during Spring 2017!!!

The day started with all of us checking in and getting our visitors pass. We all then broke into groups to do three rotational activities- SIM, Flight Attendant Training and then Operations Control Center (OCC) Tour. We all got an opportunity to fly the 747 sim at Delta. It was a lot of fun to take off and land the simulated aircraft!


We all got to see how flight attendants are trained to handle situations, especially during an emergency. They all go through rigorous training to help passengers if the plane crashes in water.

After seeing how the flight attendants are trained to handle dangerous situations, we all headed to OCC. This is where the meteorology lab is located, and Delta employees keep track of the weather and alert pilots of any bad weather. After the tours, we all headed back and had an opportunity to learn about Delta’s PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and everything in it. We also got to try on the suits and boots. 

After the PPE session, we toured the Delta Flight Museum. They have a Boeing 747 that is now a part of the museum as well. The last Delta flight scheduled with paying passengers on a 747 was on December 19th 2017 in Detroit. It was really cool to see the “Queen of Skies” parked near the Flight Museum.


This was a truly rewarding experience, and the Delta employees took good care of us for the day!

Until next time,





President’s Day Weekend!

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend – I sure did!

For my President’s Day weekend, I went to San Francisco! I left on Thursday evening after class (I had to miss my one Friday class but my professor was very flexible) and returned Tuesday morning. During my trip I stayed at a friend’s house. That’s one awesome thing about college – you meet people from all over and build cool connections, like being able to stay at their place!

The reason I went to San Francisco is because my boyfriend, Chris, is in the Air Force and  goes to school in Monterey, California. Note: for those who are curious about long distance relationships, trust me when I say they are completely possible (I’ve been doing it for two years)! We loved the city so much!

Here is what we did –

Arrival at night: Chris came to the airport to come get me. He took a shuttle from the DLI (Defense Language Institute) to SFO and then we Ubered to In-N-Out!

Day 1: On our first day we went to Pier 39 and to the famous Boudin’s bread. We then took the ferry to Alcatraz and spent Chinese New Year in China Town! People were launching fireworks in the streets to celebrate.

Day 2: We woke up, got breakfast – which consisted of us putting our name on a list at one restaurant, then going to get a smoothie, avocado toast, and coffee all while waiting. You get a blanket when you eat some places too, which was a first for me! We then took a scenic route and walked to the Mission to get tacos and also saw Lombard Street (a super curvy road).


Day 3: I went to Union Square and the Westfield Mall. Chris and I love to eat. We travel by eating our way around the city! Every morning we try a new restaurant and coffee shop! We also had Pressed Juice and it was so good! Then I tried a charcoal latte, iced foam cappuccino, and a “make your own” tea blend machine! I also had super great toast with mascarpone and fruit – you’ve got to try it! We try to eat local and try recommendations from the people we meet or use Yelp. To get around, we use Uber Pool. This is a fun way to meet interesting people and it’s very inexpensive as long as you’re not in a hurry! It took about 20 minutes to get across the city but only cost about $5!


Day 4: Chris and I found a very cool breakfast sandwich place, got butter coffee (it’s actually really good), and then biked across the Golden Gate Bridge! On the other side of the bridge, we visited the tiny town of Sausalito. We toured the cute town and had really good Mexican food! Then we had to say goodbye and it was sad, but these trips are definitely worth it!

This weekend I went to Savannah, Georgia with Women in Aviation to tour Gulfstream! It was all paid for by the club and orchestrated by the school. Alumni gave the tours and bought our lunch! These opportunities are so amazing and unique to our university!

I encourage you to take any chance in college to take a break and explore! The nature of Riddle is that everyone is either at the beach, space station, or traveling on the weekends! Before you say college is too serious for trips, the week before my trip to San Francisco I had five tests, two quizzes, a paper, and a presentation. I was able to get A’s in all, so carpe diem!

From Dress Shirt to Concert

I posted this on Instagram and got over 200 likes!

Resumes were hot off the printer and my suit was pressed smooth. I was career expo ready! Thanks to CareerFair plus, I was able to map out my day. I’ve gone to just about every career fair since my time at Riddle, and it has always proven to be a beneficial event. Whether I’m job hunting or just networking, I learn a little more about the industry and myself each time.

The only difference this year? I’m on the lookout for full-time opportunities. That’s right – a big girl job. It was kind of intimidating going into this year, but the school definitely had me prepared. Elevator speeches, resume reviews, and info sessions all contribute to developing a well-rounded understanding and approach to getting the most out of the event.

I spoke to several amazing companies including The Spaceship Company, Orbital ATK, and Jet Support Services, Inc, among many others. I also had to opportunity to see a few alumni return and do recruiting themselves. I also competed in the Career Fair Instagram challenge and earned second place for the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.

With all the career fair preparation, it was great to relax the following Friday at WIKD’s Spring Block Party featuring Bas! Not only was Bas the first rap artist to perform at Embry-Riddle, but he’s signed under J-Cole’s Dreamville Records.

The concert took place on the west lawn after a series of smaller activities like kettle corn and inflatable obstacles. WIKD is the campus radio station and they even gave out t-shirts and bandannas. The best part? IT WAS FREE. WIKD really came through with this one for the campus and I look forward to seeing what else they coordinate in the future.

The crowd was ecstatic and Bas definitely enjoyed himself. He even ran off stage and one point to be with the student body. His DJ was amazing, too! All-in-all, the music was energetic. It was “pure vibes” as my friends and I like to say. It was a great end to a busy and eventful week.

⋆ Dani

Things I Wish I Could Tell My Senior-Self

Happy February!

In this post, I wanted to do some reflecting and share some wisdom I have gained since coming to college… And I know, I know, what wisdom can a 20-year-old have? Well, going to college is like speed reading a “Discover Who You Really Are for Dummies” book where half the chapters are missing and even when you follow the book exactly, things still don’t always go as planned. After two years and three semesters, I feel like a pro. But watch, tomorrow I will accidentally go to the wrong room or pull a complete amateur move because let’s be real, even the wisest people aren’t that wise during an 8 am class.

Now, while I’m still getting the hang of this whole college thing, I can confidently give advice on things I wish I could tell my senior-self. This idea came when I was applying for internships – I know, scary – and needed my high school transcript. When I went to pull up my old high school’s website, I saw a new “alumni” tab. And that’s when it hit me… I’m an alum! Working in the Office of Development for Embry-Riddle, I always knew I wanted to give back when I became an alum of the university. It had never occurred to me I was already an alum, but of my high school! Long story short, I began to reflect on my high school days and realized I thought I knew it all but boy was I wrong!

To begin, I was a good high school student. It’s not like I ditched class and I’m reflecting on how that was a bad idea. I had a GPA above a 4.0, took college classes, was the president of the National Honor Society and DECA, volunteered, and played a sport. Meanwhile, I worked two jobs and flew at the local airport. Life was busy but very fun. I always knew I wanted to go to Embry-Riddle. It had been my dream school since the 7th grade and my school counselor didn’t even try convincing me otherwise. Sounds like a pretty good time, right? It was! But, there are still things I wish I would have done or known and here they are:

  1. Take as many AP and dual-enrollment classes as possible: When you are paying thousands of dollars to learn basic biology, you will understand what I mean. College, especially ours, has so many interesting courses so try to knock out as many of the basic ones in high school.
  2. Do an internship: My high school offered an internship program and I really wish I had done it! Once you begin applying for internships, you realize that companies want experience and high school is a great time to begin.
  3. Find a mentor: Mentors are super important and I wish I saw this in high school. Always be on the lookout for networking opportunities. My sister’s friend’s mom (convoluted I know, sorry!) went to Embry-Riddle and works for Frontier now! It was nice to have her introduce me to people, write letters of recommendations, invite me to the Women in Aviation Conference as a senior in high school, and then be a great name to drop as an “in” when I attend Frontier events.
  4. Apply for scholarships: You’ve heard it a million times and I’m sorry but… It’s so important to apply, even when you are in college. Since many scholarships have similar essay topics, keep a folder with your essays and use those to quickly write more for other scholarships. Free money is free money and definitely worth 30 minutes of your time. My advice to high schoolers – look local. Even in my tiny town of Castle Rock, Colorado we had many scholarships being handed out by the local library and community organizations.
  5. Tour your top three:  As I mentioned, I knew I wanted to attend Embry-Riddle since 7th grade, so anytime I toured another school, I fell more in love with our unique university. The line was always, “But Riddle has…” If you are unsure where to go, choose your top three schools to tour. Touring a university gives you a great understanding of what your life would be like there. Try to see if you can sit in on a class or if you are touring Embry-Riddle – a flight! Just like you would test drive a car before buying it, tour the campuses of the universities you are most interested in. I say three because if you need to travel it adds up! The investment is definitely worth it! Once you see a campus, you can also begin planning your transition, like what items you need to start buying!
  6. Choose friends wisely: Once you leave high school, your life moves on. While you will see your friends during breaks, and social media allows us to always be connected, make sure your focus is on you and your future. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most. I remember it was so easy to get caught up in drama but once you leave those high school doors for the last time, everything else shifts up in importance. Don’t waste your time and energy now on bad friendships. That being said, keep your closest friends close and if you end up on either side of the country (like me and my best friend), dedicate one day of the week for catching up over FaceTime!
  7. Begin dorm shopping ASAP: Packing for college is exciting and stressful. It can be hard to know exactly what you need but even harder to find certain items in the summer once everyone is shopping for their dorms too. Think ahead and get big ideas, like a mattress topper and steamer now and keep them in your closet. No matter where you go, whichever dorm you end up in, you will appreciate the early access but also the spread of costs since moving can add up.
  8. Join your college’s accepted student social media page: Embry-Riddle and many colleges offer social media connections. Think of it as a mini social media site just for your new incoming class. I know many people met their roommates using this app, made friend groups who met up during orientation, or were able to obtain answers to a lot of their questions this way. There is also an admissions adviser who helps answer questions quickly, so be sure to utilize this app and make friends now!
  9. Enjoy home: Once you are away at college and there are no more home cooked meals, you have to do your own laundry, and no one checks in on you, you quickly miss home. There are many times when I come back from a long day and miss my mom having a meal made for me and being able to do homework with my family in the living room with me. Cherish these moments because you will definitely miss them no matter how close you are to your family.
  10. Use your resources: I recommend talking to your high school counselor and college counselor often. Do not be shy when it comes to college. Finances and academics are confusing as you make your transition over, but remember tons of people do it and so can you. Your counselors have helped many others before you and are there to help now! Be smart and utilize your resources. If you are too nervous, try to find a current student to reach out to. For women coming to Embry-Riddle, you have a Women’s Ambassador. On top of that, my mom’s friend’s daughter also attended school here, so I was able to meet with her during summer and have my questions answered! It’s a small world, you never know who you may know that could be useful! (P.S. Do you FASFA earlier rather than later! It was the most stressful part of starting college for me.)

I hope these tips serve you well! The biggest takeaway: it all works out in the end! These are just tips to be a little extra wise!

– Maddie Dietrich

Falcon Heavy Launch Viewing

Attending university in Florida is my escape from the cold. Attending Embry-Riddle, well that’s me running towards opportunity. Riddle has a lot to offer, and with about an hour drive from Kennedy Space Center you’re bound to witness a few launches.

We got to our launch viewing site 6 hours early just to find parking. It was packed minutes after we parked.

People were scattered across the bridge, down by the banks of water…

On February 6th, SpaceX successfully launched what is now the world’s most powerful operational rocket – the Falcon Heavy. As a writer, and sometimes journalist, there is nothing better than a good story. I find that the best stories are the one’s we witness.

To watch history be made and, in a very indirect way, be a part of that history is an opportunity we should never deny. The launch was on a Tuesday and I may have had classes… For the record, I in no way condone skipping classes! I made sure to get any work done ahead of time and got notes from friends. I also willingly accepted any penalties. It’s also my senior year, so I decided to treat myself with some rocket fuel, but I digress.

The Falcon Heavy was originally scheduled for 1:30 PM EST in Cape Canaveral with an available launch window until 4:00 PM, but due to upper level winds the launch time was changed several times. The last available launch time was scheduled at 3:45 PM. With only a 15 minute launch window, not accounting for the time needed to load propellant and liquid oxygen prior to the launch time, my friends and I were accompanied by an equally anxious launch audience of over 400 people (that was in our viewing area alone). On the dot at 3:45 PM, jaws dropped and everyone was in awe at the huge plumes of exhaust and smoke that trailed behind the Falcon Heavy.

… and even in their boats! It was exciting to see how many people came out to watch the launch.

Its 27 engines carried the Tesla roadster, and many other interesting payloads, beyond what our naked eyes could see as we desperately snapped whatever pictures we could of our own.

Leftover smoke plume from the Falcon Heavy launch.

We were a good 15 miles from the actual launch site, but we could still feel the heavy winds left behind followed by that endearing ‘boom’ you can only enjoy from a rocket launch. This one was better, though. It’s only my second rocket launch, but definitely not my last!

Space development and research is exciting for those that follow it, but SpaceX popularized it with the Falcon Heavy launch. There are people who find it controversial, but it’s nearly irrefutable that the launch reminded us that space exploration is amazing. It’s fun, exciting, and it certainly deserves our attention beyond February 6th. I could be a little biased though…

My friends and I post launch!

⋆ Dani

Career Expo = Career Development

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re doing well! I hope that you all received great information about the different companies that attended the Career Expo. The Expo is a hiring event where recruiters talk to students who express interest in their companies. A lot of students attend info sessions to prepare themselves and expand their knowledge about the companies before they attend the actual Expo. I talked to a lot of companies for potential employment. Some of the big ones were United Airlines, Naval Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Kellstroom Aerospace, and GA. I even ended up getting a few interviews so I am very hopeful to get a job once I graduate. I also got a great opportunity to take a professional photo during the expo.

I think it is very important to talk to all these different employers during the Expo. But a lot of students forget to send them a “thank-you” email after the event. If you haven’t done so yet, I would highly suggest emailing the employers you got a chance to talk to, by the end of this week. It shows employers of that company that you are very interested in working for them, and helps establish a great relationship. I would also suggest following them on Linked-In and establishing that professional network with them. If you need any help with writing up a “thank-you” email, please feel free to stop by Career Services and they will be more than willing to help you!


Until next time,


Ocala Half Mile Shootout 2018

Wanna Go Fast Ocala 2018, held at the Jumbolair Airport (www.jumbolair.com) located in Ocala, Florida, nestled in the Horse Capital of the World. Participants were given a chance to take their vehicles top speed down Jumbolair’s private 7550 ft runway and race door-to-door against the competitor of their choice. Within this same event a project car challenge was going on between 10+ notable Youtube stars. More info on this challenge can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-KXPjBwbeA

Day to Day

Hello everyone!

I wanted to discuss a bit about what the average day looks like on campus. I know for me,  before coming to school I was very curious about what college is really like. So I decided I would speak a little on my schedule to help out those other curious people like me.

At Riddle we have an alternating schedule of fifty minute Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and one-and-half hour Tuesday/Thursday classes. Every once in a while a class, typically a lab, will be offered in a three hour time block on one day of the week. For example, I had my airport management class from 5:15-8:00 pm every Thursday.

I normally schedule my classes back to back and earlier in the day. This means I get up and get classes done. Others prefer breaks so they can do homework, socialize, or get lunch in between. And one of the best parts of college is being able to choose classes that start later – sleeping in is truly the best! I also prefer the shorter classes, but I now choose to only have two on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and three on Tuesday/Thursday. This just seems to make the weeks go by faster in my opinion!

In class I usually bring a snack and a drink. I live off caffeine so the baristas at Starbucks and I are on very good terms. I also take notes on my laptop, but it’s all up to your professor. Some classes you’re in a lab with a computer provided and other times you have a professor who prefers no electronics. To me, classes feel very similar to high school. The sizes are small and the professors truly get to know you!

After class I head to work or to grab lunch. I usually find myself back in my room studying or in a lounge in the dorms. Resident Advisers (RAs) do contact hours where we are required to be available to our residents. I do mine after class. Also for this job, I have duty Wednesday nights. Duty is when RAs sit at the dorm’s front desk and walk around the building periodically. We are here to solve any problems in the dorms and be of help to all! On Monday and Wednesday I work as a Student Assistant in the Office of Development, which is basically fundraising for the university.

Homework-wise, because I know everyone is wondering, it seems as an Aviation Business major I have about a couple hours each night. This of course varies. I try to get a lot done on the weekends because after a day of classes, work, then clubs… I’m exhausted! There are jobs on campus where you can do homework during your shift and RA is definitely one. Some nights I will have nothing but others I feel very busy. It’s all about time management. The best advice I ever heard for college was to treat it like a 9-5 job. That means if you get out of class at 1 pm, sit and knock out your homework until 5 pm. When you get caught up in Netflix bingeing, it gets hard to get motivated again. It’s better to take that focus you had during class and burn through it in one sitting. Again, the amount of homework all just depends on your major, class, and professor.

Around 5:00 pm is when all the clubs get started. The campus is still bustling with involved students this late in the evening! I do have clubs that meet at 9:00 pm but those meeting are typically an hour. That was the weirdest part of transitioning from high school to college, seeing everyone out late studying and going to meetings! I love coming back to my room after a busy day and relaxing or even being super productive and cranking out homework. I live in the new dorms and they are very nice and a quick walk to and from classes!

Overall this is a rough outline of my schedule:

(Notice: your schedule will change every week and no day will be the same but you will always have time to relax and have fun!)

Weekends are genuinely open for me to do homework or spend time with friends. While campus is a little emptier on the weekends, there is still a lot going on. Many times I am invited to volunteer opportunities or events with the clubs I am involved in!

Curious about how this schedule actually plays out? Preview Day is coming soon and is a day where you get to experience college classes and learn about the clubs and activities on campus! Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.!

Maybe see you then?!

– Maddie