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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Happy June everyone! I am currently blogging from Virginia Beach, VA and I found out I’m going to be a Peer Mentor for University 101 (UNIV 101) for the Fall 2020 semester! University 101 is a class exactly what it sounds like, essentially a “How-To” for the behind the scenes (ie paperwork) side of college navigation, a *sometimes* confusing yet necessary aspect of university life. Most engineering students take this course, while Aeronautical Science, Aviation, and Business students attend a slightly different version of the class catered towards their unique degree paths.
A Peer Mentor for UNIV 101 is a leadership position available to graduate and undergraduate students as a learning coach, student advocate, trusted peer, and source of information about the University and its offerings/resources. I like to see it as an extension of being on Orientation Team as an O Team Ambassador. In this position I will be in the UNIV 101 class sessions (sort of like a Teacher’s Assistant) and help students become familiar with university resources such as ERNIE, Canvas, and Campus Solutions. I will be an additional resource for answering questions like locating advisor information, finding the course catalog, online registration, navigating placement evaluations, and Academic Study Plans!
In Air Force ROTC we make academic study plans mapping out our classes for each semester up until graduation, which is very helpful in ensuring you meet all of your course requirements for a timely graduation and something that the UNIV 101 course immensely facilitates and provides resources to help you plan and communicate with your Academic Advisor.
Recently reflecting, I realized I hold a lot of leadership positions on campus.
I am a Student Blogger (of course),
a Resident Advisor (RA),
an Orientation Team Ambassador (O Team Ambassador),
a Student Government Association (SGA) Student Court Associate Justice where I am the acting Clerk (essentially a spokesperson),
in Air Force ROTC with the leadership position I am assigned as a Professional Officer Course (POC) Cadet for the semester,
and now a Peer Mentor for University 101 as well…. In addition to getting a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Minor in Arabic Studies, and miraculously I still find time to workout!
If anyone has questions on time management or any of the positions/organizations I’m a part of, feel free to reach out on this platform or if you see me around campus! Additionally if I specifically am not a part of a group that you want to join, there is a high chance that I know someone who is and I can put you in contact with them!
My summer classes have officially kicked off and we’re almost halfway through summer which is mind boggling to me. As my third summer participating in Project Global Officer learning Arabic I can say that I definitely prefer in-person learning as compared to online courses. Learning a new language in itself is difficult, but sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day is almost more difficult to me.
I will report back soon on how my language learning is progressing over Zoom, and more information about my current summer class schedule and how my on campus leadership positions impact my time management during the fall. Stay safe everyone!
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.
After having spent about two months back home since returning due to the situation with COVID-19, my body is starting to itch to return to the skies. I never fully understood those bumper stickers and license plate borders that said “I’d rather be flying right now” even as an avid aviator. Flying may be a hobby for some and a career for others but it’s a skill that only gets more refined the more you are in the air. There is a reason for airline pilots being evaluated and trained in simulators every 6-9 months because just like riding a bicycle, your skills get rusty.
I plan on returning to campus near August when the situation with COVID-19 and civil unrest have somewhat settled down, but the country is currently going through one of her toughest times. It breaks my heart to be on the other side of the globe as I see the world suffer in so many different ways. Sometimes I wish I could take off to the skies and briefly take a break from thinking about all the issues that are on the ground.
I have about 170 flight hours since I started my flight training and a good chunk of those hours were spent in the night or by myself without an instructor on board. When you get to fly to different locations in various conditions, you start to appreciate the beauty of flying even more. I would like to share some special moments of my flying career as an appreciation post in the absence of flying.
This was my “Discovery Flight” which was my first time getting to fly in a smaller, General-Aviation aircraft like the Cessna 172 we have at Riddle. After breaking through a thick layer of morning fog and low clouds, we broke out over a coated layer of what seems like a soft, cotton candy floor. The feeling of seeing the sunrise over the cloud layer is something you can’t describe with words.
This was my long cross country flight for my commercial course. It was from Daytona Beach to Dothan, AL, Tallahassee, FL and back to Daytona. It was a whopping 6 hour round-trip in a single Cessna by myself. It was rough getting up early in the morning but once I got to the plane, my mind was as sharp as it ever could be since I was responsible for my life for the next 6 hours. It was a special experience getting to fly for so long without my instructor sitting next to me.
This was one of the bumpiest flights in my flying career. There was a low pressure system around Southern Florida and my instructor and I were trying to get to Vero Beach for our last cross country flight together. It was in no way an attempt to dangerously beat the weather and we were well clear of the actual cold front coming up. However, we often ran into huge layers of clouds and thanks to our IFR flight plan, we were able to fly through them all. There were times when the bumps were so strong it would knock the pen off my kneepad.
Instrument course is probably one of my favorite portions of flight training. You get to fly at night which means you get to enjoy beautiful sunsets like this one and enjoy the stars that will soon paint the sky above you once the sun actually sets. The air traffic becomes less congested and the controllers are more relaxed so it’s a more pleasant flying experience overall.
I have listed some special moments of my flying experience and these are unique to every pilot. The nature of our industry is always evolving and we are forced to work in environments that are constantly changing. I hope the world will soon heal from all the pain it is experiencing at the moment and that more planes and pilots can take off into the brighter future. Blue skies and tailwinds!
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.
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.
Happy June everyone! Recent times have been increasingly trying given the current global and nationwide issues that are being brought to light. Progress is only achieved through change, adapting, and overcoming obstacles through education, activism, action, and solidarity. I am proud that Embry-Riddle has spoken in support of both safe health practices and in support of promoting positive change in our society. There are a lot of emotions coming to surface for many people right now, so I’m here to assure you that during times of uncertainty, change, and progress it’s so important to educate yourself on topics that impact our society, culture, government, and ways of living!
There are so many amazing resources to help with activism, education, and coping for the current situations facing our country. It’s SO important to remember you are not alone! It’s important to educate yourself and others, and stand up for your beliefs.
On top of all the stressors of everyday life, I’m taking Arabic language classes this summer with Project GO through the University of Arizona and I had my second Language Testing Institute Initial Arabic Oral Proficiency Exam yesterday – digitally, which lasted approximately 45 minutes over the phone while connected over Zoom with a testing proctor. Finding a balance between how I can help others while not neglecting the effort I’m putting in working on myself has probably been one of my biggest struggles lately.
I am here to share with you some options I have found that are great tools to help cope during the current socio-political climate in modern day times, if you too are feeling like things are out of your control, the future is uncertain, or if you are angry, frustrated, sad, or feeling any other emotion as a response to the happenings in the world, or in your life, today.
Establish a routine. Even though there are many uncertain events occurring, it’s important to establish at least a small sense of security and routine. Even if your routine is stretching, meditating, or having a coffee when your wake up. I find when I schedule time to work out in my day I feel more accomplished, sleep better, and am overall happier despite current frustrations. Sometimes napping, reading, or eating at a certain time can be beneficial as well. Make your routine personal, and beneficial to you and your well being.
Have time to decompress, center yourself, breathe, or reflect, otherwise known as “you time” or down time. Find something you enjoy that can help you relax and clear your thought process so that your thoughts and actions can become reflections of the change, progress, or version of yourself that you wish to see and share with the world.
Reach out if you need help! There are many people who are struggling and feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to about current situations. Reach out the Counseling Center or to a trusted friend to talk it out. You are not alone and your feelings are valid.
To recharge after a long day, I’ve been finding solace in working out and doing yoga over Zoom with my sister and my friends daily, in addition to getting fresh air. If I’m in the mood to laugh, I have been watching Space Force on Netflix or Ramy on Hulu. If I feel like breathing and centering myself, I’ve been taking bike rides, going for walks, surfing, watching classic Out of the Vault Disney movies on Disney Plus, and having in-depth conversations with my friends in our group chats. Our natural reactions and feelings towards current events are completely valid and we have the choice to express those thoughts and emotions in positive ways that promote change, equality, and principles we stand for and believe in either through love or through fear. I employ you to lead with your heart, choose love, and know that you are not alone, I stand with you. Will report back soon!
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.
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.
Danielle Rosales came to Embry-Riddle prepared to make her dreams come true – and she certainly did! Her current position with Space Tango, a micro gravity research and manufacturing company, allows her to share her passion for space as a Marketing and Sales Associate.
We recently asked Danielle to share her experiences at Embry-Riddle, as well as advice for prospective students. Here’s what she had to say:
When and how did you find yourself interested in space? It all began with a visit to the NASA Goddard Visitor Center. My mom, born and raised in the Caribbean, thought it would be a great trip for my brothers and me, as well as herself. She personally grew up without access to anything space-related. Now living 10 minutes away from this center, Mom wanted to take advantage of every museum within our reach. I think I was maybe 6 or 7 at the time, but from the moment I walked into the center and through the Rocket Garden, I was absolutely amazed. It was then that I learned that the sky is not the limit. I’ve been in love with space since then.
How did you land your job at Space Tango? The Communication and Humanities Department hosted an alumni panel for current students to learn about the flexibility of a Communication degree. I made it a mission to personally connect with panel participant Michelle Lucas, founder and President of Higher Orbits. After a few emails, she offered me a position on her advisory board. It was from there that we kept in contact. A little less than a year later, Michelle informed my advisor, Professor Masters of an internship opportunity in Lexington, Kentucky with a “little start-up.” Finding communication internship opportunities in aerospace was a challenge, so I didn’t hesitate to accept it.
What about Space Tango made the job a good fit for you? Space Tango is a ‘good’ fit because I get to work in the space industry, but it’s also a perfect fit because of its mission. Space Tango aims to utilize space for applications here on Earth. All of the work they do, that I do, is focused on using space research to propel us forward while improving life on Earth.
Why did you choose to attend ERAU? I was living in Japan at the time and didn’t have the opportunity to tour colleges like most students so I relied completely on reviews and the website. Embry-Riddle’s alumni base is what really sealed the deal for me.
Favorite campus memory? My favorite memories are with my CSA (Caribbean Students’ Association) family. I served as the president for a year, but beyond the leadership opportunity, I connected with people that believed in one another and our dreams.
People on campus who supported you? Connections with alumni? Bear with me here because it’s going to feel like a shout-out, but it’s well deserved. I worked for the Dean of Students and I’m still in touch with them. Dean Kollar, Dean Hall, Dean Maddox, Dean Bell, Ms. Kristy, and Ms. Susan – yes all of them – kept me on top of my game at Embry-Riddle. They encouraged me to embrace challenges and to find a reason to smile even during the hardest of times. Numerous professors from the Communication Department truly shaped me into the confident young woman that I am today. They were not only welcoming, but they were direct. They offered guidance and firm criticism that allowed me to advance my skills beyond the coursework. I also have to recognize Dr. Nancy Lawrence and Mr. Hunt, Director of Diversity and Inclusion. The two of them are always the first ones to give back to the community; a trait I’m happy to say I’ve adopted myself.
Cool things you did at ERAU that probably wouldn’t have at other schools? I don’t know what other schools have had NASA’s SOFIA visit their campus but I know that if I didn’t go to Embry-Riddle I may never have seen it for myself!
Advice to current or prospective ERAU students? Don’t be afraid of new interests and opportunities that may come your way, and for the ones you do embrace – give them your all! You never know where it’s going to take you. Whether it’s a class project that turns into research that you can present at a conference or leading a student organization that encourages you to start a non-profit, you will only grow based on the experiences you get lost in.
And she’s only just begun! Danielle earned a master’s degree this spring and is continuing to follow her own advice: Have fun! Be safe! Learn something!
Happy May everyone! I am currently blogging from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Despite mostly having warm and sunny weather, this week we are experiencing Tropical Storm Arthur which means windy, rainy, and cold temperatures… therefore I will not be running outside.
I’ve been spending most of my time post-Spring semester, before summer classes begin, by enjoying this break throughout the month of May with lots of rest and a slower pace of living than I’m used to during the school year. My fitness favorites (rain or shine) have been via Youtube’s Yoga With Adriene and Popsugar Fitness channels, as well as Demi Bagby’s ab workouts and high intensity interval training (HIIT) videos. I have made it a point to do Popsugar Fitness’s 4 min arms video everyday thus far in May and I definitely think its working.
In other news I’ve been missing frequent visits to coffee shops and good vibe study spots, but I’ve managed to make do with creating a chill atmosphere at home with a combination of diffusing essential oils, bird watching (see below) and reading. I have been staying busy by getting outside when I can, but enjoying nature from inside when I’m unable to go outside too. My latests reading endeavors have been the Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran and House to House: An Epic Memoir of War by David Bellavia, quite a contrast but I do feel the balance of the two describe my interests well.
Additionally around the time of final exams I applied for a position on the Student Government Association (SGA). After an interview process, I am officially now an Associate Justice on the Student Court with the job of Clerk, meaning I’m responsible for communication to students regarding hearings and ticket appeal cases. I am very excited and grateful to hold this position and to have an additional platform be able to continue to serve the student body and the positive atmosphere at ERAU!
I have also hopped on the quarantine baking trend! I cheffed it up with some dark chocolate peanut butter brownies and a veggie quiche the other day!
Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe, wash your hands, cover your faces, and I will report back soon!