Springing into the Semester & Meet Maddie!

Happy spring semester all!

I would like to begin my first blog by introducing myself! I am from Castle Rock, Colorado (in-between Denver and Colorado Springs) and a sophomore studying Aviation Business here at Riddle! My passion in life is traveling, hence why this is the perfect school for me! On campus I am in the Honors program, an RA (Resident Advisor) in the New Residence Hall for the Honors Living and Learning Community, Associate Justice on the Student Government Student Court, secretary for Women in Aviation, ambassador for Women Ambassadors, a Business Eagles member, student assistant in the Office of Development, ambassador for the Orientation Team, a sister in the sorority Theta Phi Alpha, and now, a student blogger! Needless to say, I keep busy on campus!

With all this involvement comes a lot of time management practice. This time of year we are all rebooting since our schedules have changed so much! The past few weekends I have spent in training or at retreats. I love that the activities you partake in during college are mainly student-run. All organizations must have an advisor, but the students run the show! During RA training all meals are catered, so a lot of good food (even though you have to come back a week early from break)! Since RAs are meant to be a resource for students, we do a fall and spring training to keep the most up-to-date and as reliable as possible. The Student Government Association and my sorority also held retreats. Good food is provided here too, of course!

One of my favorite things about being on campus is all the activities that we have! Clubs range from skydiving — to the Microgravity Club that is currently working on a project with NASA! There is truly an activity for everyone to get involved with. Not only does this help your resume, but it’s a great way to make friends and take a break from school. Not sure what clubs to join? There is an Activities Fair in both the fall and spring where the campus is teeming with students checking out what all clubs have to offer!

While the activities are fun and all, classes have also begun. It is always a little nerve-racking to start again, but our professors are so interesting! One of my professors is an attorney and another was in airline marketing before changing over to teaching! I have learned lots about long-haul low-cost airlines and alliance codeshares in the past week. Learning things like this make going to my 8 am a lot easier!

I hope everyone is starting their semesters off strong!

– Maddie

Theta Phi Alpha

Women Ambassador

Orientation Team

Business Eagles at a Southwest Camp

Women in Aviation Tour

Women in Aviation Conference

 

 

 

Why Riddle is More Lit than I Thought

I’ve been hearing about going to college my whole life – talk about freaking out my senior year in high school, everybody was freaking out. Will there be really hard classes and tons of homework? I hate trying to fit in when I don’t know anybody. I’ve been told this is what I’m supposed to do since elementary school. Really? And then, it is the end of August. I am so not ready for this.

Embry-Riddle is near my home and my dad works there. Ugggg! Guess where I am going… Everybody knows its rep as nerd school central. You know, pilots, engineers, science geeks and pocket protectors. Students all so laser-focused that they have already decided what they are doing after they graduate. Professors and Resident Assistants all uptight and straight-laced. Fun dies here, right?

Guess what? It is not like that at all! The people I have met know how to let loose and have fun. They are smart, funny, and interesting. Yes, you have to study, but it is not all cooped up in a dorm room and staring at a computer. It is way more Lit than I thought.

Orientation week eased all us nervous freshman into the process. O-Week was cool. No upperclassmen! This made the first few days of settling in, wandering around, meeting new people and finding the best places to eat much less scary. With the O-Team, everything felt like a judgment-free zone. Everybody started making friends right away.

sarah-doolittle-top-shaft-1

What a fantastic October it has been! Between my birthday, many Halloween movie marathons, Stetson’s Opera Showcase, fall break at Halloween Horror Nights, the Tri Sigma fashion show, Jessica Lynn speaking, Screamageddon, Kennedy Space Center and the biggest (and most spooktacular) party of the year! Now all that’s left is to decorate the house, carve some pumpkins and celebrate my favorite holiday!

O-Week evening events helped me meet even more people as everyone has to know each other. It started feeling like home, meeting people in your dorm–Doolittle Upper Shaft Rules!–and leaving your door open and playing music to let everyone know to come by and visit. All of a sudden, you have the chance to learn about so many different cultures and customs because everyone at Riddle is from somewhere else.

O-week was like summer camp–a familiar and fun place for any kid away from home for the first time. The week kept going–O-team meetings, pep rallies, information sessions and campus tours. At night, they had all sorts of fun stuff for us to do. We created memories with the people we had met that day. I made awesome friendships.

When O-Week is over and the upperclassmen start arriving, Embry-Riddle still worked hard to keep us entertained and occupied. The activities fair had so many different clubs and organizations. I signed up for SCUBA club, Touch N’ Go Productions, and P.R.I.D.E. Then Rush Week lets you check out Greek life. There are Thursday movie nights, intramural sports teams (I signed up for volleyball), comedy shows, pool parties, cookouts, paint rave, speakers series, and astronomy open houses. The Eagles men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams have games at night. These are all great ways to mingle and get to know new people. Do I have to go to class?
sarah-spirit-rock-1

Speaking of… classes are so different in college, everyone is much more engaged and the professors have a passion for what they are teaching that you never see in high school. My major is communications because I’ve always loved English and Psych, but I also might major in Meteorology. Homework is a lot less stressful than I expected, though studying for tests is way more important. However, you can study with a group of friends–which is so different from high school – and keep each other focused and help with questions.

Enough of that. I’m off to the Kennedy Space Center with friends this weekend. I was at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios last week with a freshman friend I know from Portland, and nighttime on the beach with a full moon and new friends is… well, it’s all way more Lit than I thought.
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sarah-at-ksc-with-rocket

Two Week Recap

These past two weeks have been pretty crazy around Embry-Riddle. Last week was Finals Week, which means all of us students were studying, not sleeping, and trying to pack up our belongings, all at the same time.

Finals run from Saturday through Wednesday (excluding Sunday). Luckily, I only had to take three exams, instead of five! I had Business Law, Marketing, and Business Quantitative Methods exams. None of them were on the same day, which was nice. Last year I had two exams on the same day, and that was not fun at all. I managed to earn all A’s on my final exams, which was such an awesome end to the semester!

Unlike last year, I also did not have to be out of my dorm room after my last exam, so I wasn’t rushing to pack my room, either. I chose to stay a bit longer in Daytona, which allowed me to pack up my room at my leisure. It also allowed me to focus on checking out my residents, for whom I am an Resident Assistant, or RA. It’s taken me about four days to get everything packed up and moved into storage. I really did not realize just how much stuff I had until I had to move it all. Word of advice: do not bring anything unnecessary to school with you!!

I stayed an extra week in Daytona so that I could help out with Summer A Orientation. It started today, and ends tomorrow. I am working with the O-Team to make sure the new students feel welcome at ERAU. I love working doing this because I get to be that first impression of ERAU for a student. I like to help other students, and the perfect way to do that is by greeting them at Orientation. Although Summer Orientation is nowhere near as crazy and hype as Fall Orientation, it is still a lot of fun getting to bond with everyone.

On my couple days off, I was working at my on-campus job, as well as taking in the last few days I had in Florida. I work at the University Development Office, so I was helping them get some projects finished up during the mornings. In the evenings, I went out to try restaurants I had always wanted to go to. I also spent one day at the beach, since I need to get some color on my skin before I go back to Washington for the summer! Of course, I also had to take in my last weekend at Disney for awhile. I spent Saturday and Sunday at Disney World. It was the perfect time to go, since there weren’t large crowds and it wasn’t too hot. It was nice to have one last mini vacation before I return home for the summer to work at my internship.

Enjoying a Dole Whip at Disney World

The next update will be from Washington, since I am leaving Florida tomorrow! I’ll keep you updated on how quickly I get acclimated to Washington, again. Let’s hope it’s not too chilly up there!

Until next time,

Lindsey

 

Senior Year Adventures!

“There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work and persistence.” – Colin Powell

Through all my years of school, experiences, hardships, and opportunities, I have found that there is nothing more true than these words from Colin Powell. I have worked hard my entire life, keeping the main goal in focus, in order to one day reach my dream of becoming an engineer for a NASCAR team. And you know what? It has absolutely paid off!

This is what I love about Embry-Riddle.

Being involved at Embry-Riddle and being a part of the Mechanical Engineering department has given me more opportunities than I could ever imagine. Because of my successes at ERAU, I have recently taken on a position that I have dreamed of my entire life! I am happy to announce that I am now the Crew Chief for Elaine Larsen’s Miller Welding Jet Racing team for the 2015 season. I will be traveling with the team again for the 2015 IHRA Nitro Jam Racing Series and will be a part of the first all-female jet racing team! This position will be perfect for me as I look to improve upon my hands-on skills and continue to learn about the maintenance done on these jet dragsters. Check out the press release below:

 Larsen Motorsports Fiery Female Debut for 2015

Crew Chief Elaine and Paige

 

Besides taking on this new role, school has been extremely busy for me, like always! I am working on my Senior Design Project for the Formula SAE team. In previous years, Embry-Riddle has participated in the Formula Hybrid competition, but this year, we have switched to the Formula SAE competition because it coincides more with our Mechanical Engineering curriculum under the High Performance Vehicle track. I am currently on the Suspension team and the Vehicle Integration lead. My responsibilities include the design of the a-arms, tie rods and push rods, spindle, and upright, as well as ensuring that each subsystem in the vehicle works well in the overall design. Not only do we get to design the entire vehicle as a team, but we get to build and test it next semester in order to prepare for competition in May.

Formula Hybrid Vehicle

Formula Hybrid Vehicle at competition last year


Along with Senior Design, I have been learning Computational Fluid Dynamics in my Vehicle Aero class. This is an extremely tedious class, but I have been learning industry software in order to analyze the aerodynamics on a vehicle. This has by far been my busiest semester because of all of the long projects I’ve had to complete, but I have learned so much this semester with all of the engineering software I am learning and design work that I have done.

trex 3D grid shot

Screenshot of the grid used to analyze the aerodynamics of a vehicle

This semester hasn’t been all work. I’ve remained actively involved in my organizations, including Orientation Team and Sigma Sigma Sigma. I helped organize a philanthropy night at a Women’s Volleyball game called the “Volley Against Domestic Violence” in order to raise awareness for Tri Sigma’s local philanthropy, the Domestic Abuse Council. We sold t-shirts for the event, held a food drive, and raised almost $900 to donate to the DAC.

Tri Sigma at the Volley Against Domestic Violence

Tri Sigma at the Volley Against Domestic Violence

I participated in my last Orientation as an O-team ambassador and it was such a blast. O-team has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college careers and I will definitely miss it. I am proud to represent the university and am proud that I am able to have such a huge impact on the new students and families. O-team has been a second family for me and has been such an amazing support system throughout my time here at ERAU.

Fall 2014 Orientation!

Fall 2014 Orientation!

My O-family!

Well, I will leave you with a couple pictures of my adventures this semester! Next weekend I have my first jet dragster race as a crew chief in training! (: I’ll keep you posted!

Tri Sigma Hippie Themed Recruitment Week!

Tri Sigma Hippie Themed Recruitment Week!

Welcomed 9 amazing women to our sorority!

Welcomed 9 amazing women to our sorority!

Participated in the Domestic Abuse Council's Purple Parade

Participated in the Domestic Abuse Council’s Purple Parade

Hanging out with the Deans!

Hanging out with the Deans!

Hanging out down Beale Street for the IHRA Nitro Jam World Finals in Memphis!

Hanging out down Beale Street for the IHRA Nitro Jam World Finals in Memphis!

Elaine Larsen lighting up the skies at the IHRA Nitro Jam World FInals

Elaine Larsen lighting up the skies at the IHRA Nitro Jam World FInals

 

 

 

August 2009

I continued my flight training throughout the summer and planned to complete everything by early August. However, I ran into delays due to weather, illness and scheduling. Nevertheless, I completed everything in the Part 141 syllabus, literally two days prior to the move. I was rushing to finish up training in order to arrive at ERAU with my certificate. Because of this, I wasn’t able to fully grasp every topic to the fullest that was required. In the end, I was signed off to take my FAA check-ride, but failed it. As a result, I learned a valuable lesson; flying should be something you enjoy doing and should not be considered at any time a “crash course”. In addition, stress and emotion should be taken into account any time one goes flying. The ‘IM SAFE’ checklist is a good way to determine if you are fit for flight:

  • Illness – Am I too sick to fly today?
  • Medication – Are my medications approved by the FAA?
  • Stress – Am I too stressed out to go flying today?
  • Alcohol – Is my judgment impaired for any reason?
  • Fatigue – Am I too tired to go flying?
  • Eating – Is my body well-nourished for today’s flight?

We had packed the cars the night before, so on moving day I only had to pack final items, such as toiletries, alarm clocks, etc. During our travel to Daytona Beach, my family and I took the Auto-Train from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL. This cut down on the driving and gave us all a more relaxed and more comfortable experience. We had driven to Florida one time prior and it was enjoyable, but I don’t plan to do it again for a long time. The Auto-Train provided us with breakfast, dinner, a reclinable chair each, a lounge car, movies and the most legroom you could ask for. It was the cheapest way to transport a car down south, aside from driving it. I think it’s the greatest option, because you’re constantly moving, getting served, and they don’t nickel and dime you for luggage like at the airport because you just shove everything in your car. Upon arrival in Sanford, Florida, we waited a half-hour for our cars to arrive at the lot, which is typical wait time. It took less than an hour to arrive in Daytona, and according to my mom, I drove right up to the place, like I had already been there before. Upon “de-car-ing” we were greeted by two upperclassmen ready to assist us with unloading our stuff. Which at the time seemed overwhelming, but as time progressed, I purchased more and more stuff for the room.

Orientation week was really great, we had so many shows and lots of activities to choose from. There were shows such as Survey Says, For Men Only, a Hypnotist, and a comedian to name a few. Activities were all across the board from BBQs, to pool parties, to “play fair.” It was really the most fun that I’ve had in a while. Unfortunately I was unable to make “play fair” because we took an unexpected tour of the beach. During which I drove off the path and got my car stuck in the sand. We waited an hour for beach patrol to come with the truck to pull us out. It was a lot of fun regardless, but I had definitely learned a lesson there.

During my first week of classes I learned a lot about how to manage my time. I learned when and where to do my homework. It was the same back home, but I definitely need to take it more seriously now that I’m in college. While in college, each student is provided with a course schedule/syllabus which describes what will be covered each class and what homework is due for the next. This helps a great deal, especially when your professor verbally assigns homework and you’re not sure if you wrote down the correct task. Emailing and getting to know your professors is the key to success in college. You’ll get a better experience because your professors will get to know your learning abilities or disabilities and will work with you should any issues arise. College isn’t like high school, you are the person who needs to make the initial step of explaining to your professor if you’re not understanding something.

Constantly you will hear people talking about time management. It becomes very important, when you realize mom and dad aren’t there to help you with the chores. Laundry, cleaning and eating well are now your responsibility. You have to make time yourself to go partying or hang out with friends. You won’t be asking your parents if it’s alright anymore, because you’re the boss now. You won’t fully realize it until maybe the third day on campus.

Daytona Beach is definitely a great college town. Nearby are Stetson University, Daytona State College, UCF Daytona Campus, Keiser University and Bethune-Cookman College. The town is split into two main parts; Speedway and Beachside. Speedway is all shopping centers and chain restaurants and of course the NASCAR speedway. Beachside is where the beach hotels, thrift shops and clubs are located. Both parts of town are busy, however the beach is definitely the place to go on the weekends.

I’m glad I’ve finally made it to college. I’m still wondering whether or not I want to continue with my Aeronautical Science Major. It all depends on how my first semester here goes. I’d also like to mention that everybody is different with managing their time, regardless you learn different skills to better manage your time in the University 101 course.

Over and Out.

And so it begins….

After completing my second and final day of orientation, I cannot help but to sit here and think about all the possibilities that lay ahead of me this summer. As an intern with American Airlines, I will be based at the American Airlines Flight Academy in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas this summer. Working on projects and issues that arise throughout the summer, I will also be traveling throughout the United States and some of the islands in the Caribbean. This summer is sure to be filled with much hard work as well as many unforgettable memories. Seeing how I just got started here in Dallas and I’m still learning the ropes, I will use this week to let you know how I got here in case you ever want to do an internship at this level.

Securing and internship, especially with a large company like American Airlines, takes a lot of time, preparation, and persistence. I began looking for internships the end of the fall 2007 semester, and was unsuccessful in my attempt to secure a Spring 2008 internship with the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. As disappointed as I was, I made sure to remain positive and continue my search in the spring.

In early January I began to compile a list of potential companies. After talking with Career Services and creating an account on Eagle Hire, I realized the vast potential that lay ahead of me. To narrow the playing field, I looked for companies I felt would be a good fit for me and also companies that advertised paid internship positions (let’s be honest, all college kids could use a little extra cash.) With my goal to become a corporate pilot, naturally all the big corporate names made it on to my list, including Proctor and Gamble and Coca-Cola. However, being raised to always have a back up, and not knowing how difficult it would be to get a position, I included other companies such as Duke Energy, Hendrick Motorsports and Day Jet to my list of possibilities. Out of shear random luck I also included American Airlines to my list, because they had a few paid positions available, something that had been rather difficult to find among airline internships.

Beginning the application process, I then had letters of recommendation and cover letters drafted up and my resume perfected. Some companies also required an official transcript and driving record, both of which take several days to receive. It is important to look at the application deadline and give yourself some time in order to get your paperwork together.

With my bait in the water it became a waiting game to see what would bite. After a couple weeks of silence we learned that the Proctor and Gamble internship had been withdrawn for the summer. A few days later, things began to happen. One day I received an e-mail from American, requesting a face-to-face interview. Then, the next day, I received a call from Duke Energy requesting a phone interview. The Duke phone interview was completely HR based and led to a face-to-face interview, which was over an hour and a half technical interview, one of the most intense experiences of my life. The American Interview was very straightforward, a couple HR questions and a few technical questions.

Within a week I had been declined from Duke and accepted by American for the summer. With Embry-Riddle policy being that once an internship is accepted no other offers may be accepted, I thought about the other potential opportunities that were still on the table. With such an opportunity with American Airlines, I thought it foolish to decline the invitation and so I accepted it. Looking back, this was a great choice for many reasons. As it turned out Coca-Cola pulled out and Hendricks still hadn’t made a decision by the time the semester was over, all of these instances are great examples of the need to have backups in life.

So here I am sitting in my airline pilot “crash pad” (a residence that will be the topic of a future journal entry I assure you) in Dallas, Texas as a paid intern with American Airlines. The road getting to this point was a little bit bumpy and had you told me that I would be in this position back in January I most likely would have laughed at you. However, right now I know that this was the best opportunity there was for me this summer, it just sort of fits and it’s funny how it works out that way sometimes.

This summer I will be working in the Flight Communications department of the Flight Academy. At this point I’m still not exactly sure what my job will entail but as I learn more, I will share with you what is going on here. If you have any questions throughout my internship please feel free to send me an e-mail at velkyba8@erau.edu and if I get the opportunity I will do my best to get back to you with an answer or share the question on my next entry.

Cheers,

Jacob Velky