The Final Countdown

From late nights in the College of Business computer lab to early mornings in the library, Riddle has become a home away from home. I’ve laughed, cried, and have grown as a person. Friends have become family and clubs have become a day-to-day must. This, and so much more, has made my collegiate experience one worth remembering. Despite it all, I am counting down the days! As of today, I am 113 days away from graduation on May 7th and I couldn’t be more excited.

As I look back at last semester, I have to really take pride in my hard work. I attended the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals 41st Convention in Orlando.

ERAU OBAP members and myself take a picture with our advisor, Dr. Nancy Lawrence, and  fellow alumni.

I also got to present my own research in October at the The Popular Culture Association in the South and the American Culture Association in the South Conference. This was a huge milestone for me personally. I’ve never conducted research before, so to present among others in communication and literature was a huge honor.

PCAS/ACAS was hosted in Savannah, Georgia

I designed my first mission patch as well, through Space Tango for our payloads on SpaceX CRS- 13!

SpaceTango SpaceX CRS-13 took place in December and was the last customer launch of 2017.

I even got to utilize this research later on in Dr. Silverman’s Contemporary Issues in Science (HU 302). The final exam allowed students to communicate in an array of media including papers, videos, and even a painting. I’ve been too busy to paint in my free time, so I eagerly informed Dr. Silverman I would illustrate the findings of my research through a painting.

“Hush, Hair” is the result of a qualitative approach to my research “Hair Talks, but do we Listen?” that consisted of a 7-woman focus group in which participants shared their struggles, origins, and perception of their natural hair dialogues within the workplace.

All-in-all, I spent last semester experiencing new things, networking (as usual), and finding a way to bridge my interests with my work. I think we can find enjoyment in just about anything if we make it so. As this new year starts, I look forward to maintaining the same open mind in my new courses and throughout the infamous grad school/job hunt. Step-by-step, right?

⋆ Dani

Casual Science

I spent the last three years networking. I met everyone I could. Hell, I even looked into fields that had nothing to do with my interest in space. If I could at least develop a connection with a representative, then I would have a source, an ‘in.’ This year, that ‘in’ paid off.

Walking into the Space Tango office was unreal. I'm excited to be taking my first real steps towards accomplishing my goals.

Walking into the Space Tango office was unreal. I’m excited to be taking my first real steps towards accomplishing my goals.

I’m now an intern at Space Tango, Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky. I work reasonable hours for solid pay. The environment is amazing, and my coworkers are helpful. I’m also getting credit hours for this and we all know that’s a great bonus. It’s science, but it’s casual.

As a communication major at an aeronautical university, everyone wonders “how do those even fit together?” Honestly, I asked myself the same thing before I switched my major. Communication is more than writing a few technical reports or manuals. I personally would like to do public relations for an aerospace company. Ha. How often do you hear of that? Well that’s the thing; you don’t hear about it at all. Being the stubborn woman that I am, I made it an option before someone could tell me otherwise.

I knew nothing about pursuing such a career in science, so I found someone that did. The communication department is flooded with individuals that specialize in writing, speech, behavior, etc. Never forget that they were all somewhere before Riddle. My advisor helped shape my classes for my desired career path and another amazing professor shared her experience in the competitive field of public relations. This was just step 1.

Step 2 was maintaining a focus in science. I picked up a major in space studies to expand my understanding of anything aerospace (satellites, orbital paths, rocket history, propulsion, and more) and to keep me up-to-date on current events. From there, it all happened on its own. I attended open lectures, forums, anything that would provide me an opportunity for one-on-one interaction with professionals in the aerospace industry.

This was really my last “planned” step, step 3. Even if they weren’t always successful, I familiarized myself with other fields. I learned from people I didn’t think I would. This is how I met Michelle Lucas, an Embry-Riddle alumna and CEO of Higher Orbits.I made it my mission to have her remember me. I emailed her, and when I didn’t hear from her in two weeks, I emailed her again. She finally responded and the conversation flowed from there. She invited me to be a member on the Higher Orbits advisory board as she developed her nonprofit “Go For Launch” program, but I wasn’t beating myself up that I didn’t get a high end co-op as yet. I was building my resources.

I continued to casually work towards my goals as a COM major. I maintained relationships with people that I met over the last few years (astronauts, professors, research scientists, NASA employees, people those of us at Embry-Riddle dream of meeting). I expanded my extracurricular experience ranging from Greek Life to the Caribbean Students’ Association. I got a couple of on-campus jobs that dabbled in marketing. I gained leadership experience and focused on my studies. This was all while my network was growing on its own in the background. My casual encounters and skills that I continuously developed were being now discussed by aerospace professionals. I was commended for my hard work, for my creativity,and my goals. Just as I was getting a little impatient, an opportunity finally arose.

Michelle Lucas informed my advisor of an internship opportunity with a micro-gravity research company in search of a communication student to handle their marketing and public relations. I underwent an interview process and shared the portfolio of my work that I built from all my extracurricular activities. A couple of weeks later, I was invited to join the Space Tango team for the spring semester.

Twitter is one of the digital mediums I handle on a day-to-day basis. I update followers on experiments and launches.

Twitter is one of the digital mediums I handle on a day-to-day basis. I update followers on experiments and launches.

My networking paid off. I’m spending my spring semester surrounded by engineers, live feeds from the ISS, and constant news and updates on the SpaceX launches. I’m currently working on media coverage for Space Tango’s payload for CRS-10. I not only control their social media, but I develop media alerts and press releases.

My name is Danielle Rosales. I’m a senior communication major with minors in business administration and space studies. I don’t have an outstanding 3.0 GPA, but I’ve held several jobs on campus in marketing, media relations, and graphic design. I’ve developed a reliable network and have been mentored by Embry-Riddle faculty members.

I’m right where I wanted to be doing something people didn’t even think was possible. The best part of it all? Getting here was all so casual.

⋆ Dani