Thanksgiving 1,354 miles from home

Happy Holidays! Since Thanksgiving just past, and more holidays are quickly approaching, I thought I would talk about spending my second Thanksgiving 1,354 miles from home. Let me start-off by saying it is not as bad as you might think. Some people go home, some go to friends houses, and other stay out with friends, but a lot of people decide to stay in town because the break is short.

Last year for Thanksgiving, some of my friends who stayed in Prescott and I went to my grandparents in Tucson. This year my friends who stayed in town and I had a Friendsgiving. At Friendsgiving, we made dinner, played some games, laid on the floor, and fought like siblings. Just like any normal Thanksgiving. Eight of my closest friends gathered into a house and tried our hands at a family Thanksgiving (secret… it is harder than you think; thank your parents…ALOT!).

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The day started with people in the kitchen while others watched the parade, then progressed into games around the appetizers, then dinner which made everyone so full they laid on the floor in a food coma, then we did dishes and had dessert.

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Although it was not like Thanksgiving at home, it was one for the books. Our first Thanksgiving dinner made by ourselves, surrounded by people who love you, is one of the biggest blessings. So, if you are considering moving far away from home and know you won’t be able to go home for Thanksgiving, or other holidays, just know that you will not be alone. Other people will be in your boat and you will have friends to celebrate with. It makes a classic family holiday new again with a new family to celebrate with, many blessings to be thankful for, and possibly a new tradition formed.

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College is what you make it, so make the most of it

College looks different for everyone. Some people are at big schools others are at small, some are engineers while others are GSIS students, but we are all trying to optimize the time that we have in college. Whether we like it or not our undergraduate career is generally eight semesters, sometimes ten, but that is it, it basically boils down to 4-5 years. On the outside looking in, it seems like a long time, a lot of tests, and studying, and it is, but it is also so much more. College is a time to be yourself, grow, find out what you want to do with your life, and make it your own. School will always come first but college is much more than the lessons you learn in a fifty-minute class or on a homework assignment. It’s about the roommate conflicts, the late night coffee runs, and the spontaneous adventures to the dells at one in the morning. The long talks with new friends and letting go of old ones, learning to do your own laundry and time management, and everything in-between. But that is the beauty of it.

For me college is…

Friends who will always study with me

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School spirit

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Giving back

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Adventure

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Late night Walmart adventures

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Early morning coffee runs

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Longing to see friends back home while creating lifelong relationships hereimg2097055872-1

Exploring the glorious world, we live in

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And finding out what truly makes me happy

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… What does college mean to you? And how are you/ will you make the most out of the short time you have here?

Study Places Anyone?

Can you believe week six of school is already coming to a close? It seems like just yesterday freshman were moving in and it was syllabus week. Currently we are in the middle of mid-terms and it is a stressful time on campus. People are rushing about from class to class, studying, and working on those projects that are due in the coming weeks. But that is okay, there is only a week left in mid-term season and life on campus will be back to normal.

All the hours studying this semester have made me think about my three favorite places to study on campus, and I thought I would share them with you!

  • The Library study carols. You can find these on the bottom floor of the library in the very back. Usually you will find upperclassmen focusing on homework away from the world. This hidden gem has been relatively unfound by most of the campus, which adds to the beauty of it. PS. It’s the quietest place to study (don’t bring a friend or group to work with)

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  • Upstairs in the Library: I am a person who does not like studying in my room, and the upstairs of the library is filled with desks and computers (even white board desks that have been a lifesaver while studying Mandarin this year). You will always find friends up there, which is fun. It has a tendency of getting loud and a tad distracting, but it has a great view of campus, which is a plus. PS. Bring headphones

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  • GSIS Building: There is a lounge in the GSIS building with couches and tables for students to relax and study at. It is one of the newer buildings on campus and is normally pretty quit during the day (except when classes are transitioning). Perfect if you want to be left alone to study or do homework.20161007_125249

Everyone I have talked to has different places they prefer to study but these are my top picks. Hope these help you find your quiet place to study, and ace your mid-terms. I wish everyone brains as they continue through mid-term season, it will be over soon!

My Internship at McCarran International Airport

by guest blogger Gleb A. Liashedko, Sophomore (class of 2019)
Aviation Business Administration (minor in Industrial Organizational Psychology)

gleb-carThis summer I interned at McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, Nevada. LAS is the 8th busiest airport in the nation and is the hub into Las Vegas. I was hired on as a “Management Intern” for the airport. My supervisor was the Assistant Director of Aviation for Airside Operations.

This experience has been an incredible look into the “behind the scenes of an airport.” Throughout the summer, I had a unique opportunity to shadow most of airport divisions. Every week was a different department and a different shift. My favorite divisions were: Airport Operations Coordinators, the Airport Control Center as well as LAS Ramp Control.

gleb-flight-deckIn addition to shadowing airport divisions, I also did a few projects for the airport:
• Holding Pads Refurbishment Project – I connected the resources together to come up with a plan on how the airport plans to replace asphalt holding pads to concrete. In the end made a presentation and timeline for the FAA, Airport Operations Coordinators, Airfield Maintenance as well as the contractors involved.
• Everbridge presentation to the airport director – Researched a new program that the Airport Control Center wants to utilize for their mass notification communication and created a presentation that was presented to the airport director.
• Assisted in the implementation of the airport-wide survey for nearly 1,400 employees. Also participated in physically conducing the survey.
• Conducted a Ramp Control Efficiency Study for the airport which provided written recommendations for the FAA as well as LAS Ramp Control to improve operations. Provided statistical data of the ramp control efficiency. Conducted this study with my Intern counterpart Adin Herzog.

How did I get selected?
I heard about the opportunity from Dr. Greenman from the Business Department. After I submitted my application, LAS immediately reached out to me to schedule an interview. I reached out to the Career Services (Judy Segner) who critiqued my resume and gave me great advice for the interview. The interview was conducted via Facetime. Interview went very well especially because two Embry-Riddle alumni were on the interview committee.

Did I apply any learning from ERAU?
There were a few moments during the summer where I thought to myself “Oh, I wish I would have paid more attention to this particular topic in class.” Every single class that I took my freshmen year had been applicable to the work that I did—especially excel. If I can recommend something for future interns,k it’s pay attention in your excel class, you’re going to use it one way or another.

I was able to apply my research skills on a few projects throughout the semester. The biggest project of the summer had been the McCarran International Airport Ramp Control Efficiency Study. I conducted the study with my intern counter-part Adin Herzog. I had the ability to interview personnel, collect data and provide recommendations to the airport from the conclusion of the report.

gleb-doorWhat was the best part?
Having the ability to shadow every division of the airport and get real hands on experience. From driving on the runway during rush hour at nation’s 8th busiest airport to painting taxiway lines at 4am in the morning to giving aircraft pushback and taxi instructions from Ramp Control Tower.

What surprised me?
There were a lot of things that surprised me during my experience. Seeing behind, the scenes of an airport is a very rare opportunity. What surprised me the most is the airport culture. It’s like one big family. Everyone takes care of each other. A good example of this was on my birthday this summer. The supervisors/managers of the division I was with (Airside Operations) had called an important afternoon meeting. Because of the urgency that was emphasized, I hurried to the meeting with my notepad and pen. As I walk into the meeting, the entire room starts singing the Happy Birthday song to me. I was really happily shocked by this. After they were done singing, the Airfield Manager said: “Gleb, our only agenda item for today is your birthday and the ice cream cake!” This was really touching moment. How the people that I’ve known for such a short time went out of their way to get me a custom cake and arrange this little meeting just for me.

How does having an internship enhance my college experience?
Since coming back to school, I am now paying attention more to what my professors are teaching. If the professor says that you will use the learning obtained in class in the industry, I guarantee you will! I can also relate many of the things I learned back into the classroom. Time management, deadlines as well as peer interactions are some of the things which are important both in school and in the workplace. You must be able to work in a team while taking an initiative to go above and beyond with your work. Meeting deadlines is huge, especially when time is money.

gleb-funAs I start my sophomore year of college I can appreciate the learning in the classroom. I know that at some point in my career, the things that I will learn in the classroom (event little things) will be applicable to what happens in the workplace.

This has truly been an incredible experience. I would choose this over summer fun in a heartbeat. Definitely one of the best summers yet.

Internship at Garmin

ryan-airplaneby guest blogger Ryan Bishop, Senior in Engineering

“Hardware eventually breaks. Software eventually works.”

Many analogies can be drawn from the above quote, but I would like to describe what it means to me. I have spent seven out of the last thirteen years trying to improve my software before the hardware broke. A blue-collar worker sells his physical body a little at a time, while a white-collar engineer sells his knowledge. Having knowledge and experience in both fields now, I have a new respect for engineers and a new drive for my future. I have learned that engineering is much more about how you think than anything learned in the classroom.
ryan-equipmentryan-desk       As of the beginning of this internship at Garmin, it was my objective to understand the certification process, and the internal processes and programs used at Garmin AT. While the process to certify a product for aviation use is rather simple, the act of gaining the data to support certification claims is a complex process that necessitates a department of 40+ engineers to gain and maintain certification. This is an internal process up to the point of FAA demonstration that requires many tools to remain organized. To track the revision of documents, I had to learn and utilize StarTeam, then do the same with Requiem, as Garmin changed programs during my stay. ryan-cable Issues found during testing were logged in Aviation JIRA, a network-based program that allows for categorization, assignment, and tracking of workflow. In an effort to share the tribal knowledge among its employees, Garmin uses a wiki page, Confluence. Meetings occur on a regular basis to discuss, categorize, and assign tasks, at both high and low levels.
ryan-garmin        The culture and community is unlike any company I’ve worked for. It is very apparent that Garmin values its employees for much more than just their productivity. Office life is very lax, but also considerate and respectful. There is little daily oversight or feedback, but rather a quiet expectation to accomplish tasks efficiently and in harmony with those you work with for a given project. Although I was an hourly employee, ryan-awesomemy schedule was up to me. I was not expected to work any number of hours, as long as my work was completed on time. I did have bi-weekly meetings with my mentor to monitor progress and ensure that I was getting the most of my internship.
Beyond the technical knowledge and skills I gained at Garmin, I also learned many things about myself and my place in the engineering workplace. As an aircraft mechanic, I was not very involved in avionics and I never became a pilot. I felt so very out of place working at an avionics giant. Although we all love airplanes, we speak in different terms. From this I’ve learned that specialization is key. We also speak at much different volumes. I am loud, in more ways than one and I know this. From this I’ve learned that if you’re going to be loud, try to do so outside of the visual and audible spectrum, or at least make it of pleasant tone and color. It was a very valuable experience for me and I have a direction for my future.

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Study Abroad – Seven GSIS Credits in the United Kingdom

img_2829Marquette Davis
ERAU Summer Abroad 2016
England/United Kingdom

Classes:
Interview Techniques and Tactics
Investigative Methodology and Forensic Science

My name is Marquette Davis and I studied abroad in the United Kingdom for one month in the summer of 2016. Although this program is called a study abroad in England, I say the United Kingdom because in the month that we were there, we were not just in England. We had the opportunity to explore the entire United Kingdom. Many of the locals we met told us, upon hearing our travel plans for the month, we would get to see more of England and more of the UK than they had ever seen and they had lived there their entire lives. Traveling to the big city of London and the small seaside towns of Northern England and Scotland and the historic cities Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Bath, and the scenic towns of Wales, we took part in an awesome adventure all over the United Kingdom. And the greatest part about it was that we could personalize it because we were in our own van. And the second greatest part about it was that we probably walked as many miles as we drove, which made for some incredible and unusual sightseeing.

img_2935Aside from the wonder of all the travel and the cultural experiences we got to partake in, the different foods we tried and the various people we met, it was an intellectually stimulating experience. Completing seven credit hours in one month, every day was busy with classes and homework. Classroom and lab times were never boring and the small class setting made each penny per credit worthwhile. Be warned, however, that the work load was not for the faint of heart. One of the greatest lessons I learned while in England was how to seize the day and make the most of my experiences, meanwhile completing a semester’s worth of school work in four weeks. Sleep became a secondary need. I made the most of my time there and maintained a pleasing grade and still did not have any regrets about any missed opportunities. Even as we traveled, we lived and breathed what we had learned in our classes, making them all the more worthwhile and exciting.
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In addition, we were in the United Kingdom at the time of the mass shooting in Orlando and at the time of the Brexit vote by which the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union. With these events occurring, we were able to experience how a massive tragedy in the U.S. is globally affective. Walking the streets of London, we even came across a banner that read, “We Stand with Orlando.” And we were able to see firsthand the reaction of the UK people to a major national event. Needless to say, with these events taking place and our presidential election upon us, the English people were eager to know our political stances on several issues, including gun laws, nationalism, and Trump/Bernie/Hilary, and they were eager to share their opinions on their own national issues. I had the pleasure, for example, escaping the rain one evening in Bath, to talk to the manager of a shoe store for a brief time who excitedly conversed with me over British and American politics.

This brings me to my next point. Of all the amazing history and incredible places we saw, it was the people that I will remember most and hold most dear to my heart. Granted I came across more rude people than I had ever encountered, but the good outweighed the bad. I will always remember the three locals we shared jokes with at the smallest pub in the UK; the friendly Chinese couple I listened to one of our students practice her Chinese with during high tea on the Thames River; the kind French girl who led our horseback ride along the beach in Inverary, Scotland; the professors at our host university; all our friendly waiters and waitresses; the pub owner who helped us struggle through the Welsh word “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” for extra credit; the employees of Dunollie Castle who allowed us to conduct a crime scene investigation in the middle of their work day and even participated as witnesses and interviewees; and all others who took our pictures, gave us directions, or made friendly conversation with us on the buses, trains, and planes along the way. I am particularly grateful and would like to give a shout out to the employees of United who were so helpful to me in the airport when I had issues with my flights and had to find my way home. And lastly, in the month I was in England, together in good times and in bad, I developed a relationship with my fellow students and with our professor that I will always cherish. Above all the experiences and sights, it is these people that I will hold dear when I remember my study abroad.

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From my study abroad experience, I gained seven credits toward my degree, friendships I will always be able to turn to with my fellow students, and a mentor that I truly respect in my professor. In addition, as a GSIS student, I achieved my first international experience that I believe has opened the door to many more international travels and potential career opportunities. I discovered the path I want to take in my degree program by taking Interviewing Techniques and Forensic Science and finding out what I really enjoyed to do. I grew as a person, figuring out my way through a foreign country and culture with a group of people that were mostly strangers to me before the study abroad, and was exposed to the diversity that exists just between two English speaking western cultures, really opening my eyes to the incredible diversity that exists globally.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to study in England in the summer of 2016. I will never forget my time there and will eternally appreciate all the incredible experiences.

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Making Graphene Composites Thanks to URI

Trupti I’m Trupti Mahendrakar from Bangalore, India. Exploring and innovating is my passion. I joined Riddle in Fall 2015. Since then till now, I was encouraged and motivated to do what I like. Professor’s here are so helpful. The entire institution makes me feel at home. My first semester here, I came up with an idea of making Graphene based composites. Later, I got to know that the University encourages and funds student researches through Ignite or Undergraduate Research Institute (URI). All I had to do was to find a Professor who can help me with my project and find a group of people who are interested. Thus, I started Alternate Composite Team (ACT).

Here’s a little information about Graphene. It is a new material discovered in 2004. It is known for its extraordinary chemical and physical properties. Also, it is an allotrope of carbon. Embry-Riddle made is possible for me to work on this amazing material and pursue my goal in making graphene based composites for aircrafts and rockets. To know more about my project, feel free to email me at mahendrt@my.erau.edu

Here are some pictures of me and my team working. It may not look fun but remember “Appearance can be deceptive.” So come on over and try it yourself.

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Engineering skills!

Final product of the first part of ACT

Final product of the first part of ACT

 

 

So Long!!!!

I am officially signing off for good. It has been an awesome four years blogging for all of our readers out there but, its time to go!! I am happy to say that I have a job now, in the “real world” as the professors at ERAU like to call it.

As some of you know from my previous blogs I got my job through AFROTC, which I was involved in over the last 4 years at Riddle. It is a great program and if you are willing to give it a shot you can learn a lot about yourself while securing a future position in the Air Force. Not everyone makes it through but, boy does it feel good if you are one of the lucky ones who does!

With that said, Thanks again to everyone who read my blog, and to the amazing staff who help us bloggers post our stuff online! Now I get to go somewhere cool to do something fun!!!!! Bye 🙂 🙂

My Summer

Summer is a great time where free time is not scarce. However if you don’t plan it well it can become really boring after a couple of weeks.

My summer started in May right after I finished my hardest test, Themes and Humanities. An English class can be quite challenging. That day I came straight home and I fell sleep for about 12 hours until the next day. Some people go out dinner, others go out to party, others start driving back home, I just wanted to sleep. I was exhausted.

There were no classes, wrestling training ended, and no more waking up at 6 am almost every day! The release of pressure felt weird the first week, it felt almost like when buying a new pair of shoes. Soon, I realized that I didn’t know what to do with all the free time I had so, I called my parents looking for advice (I didn’t ask but I implied). “So, mom,” I said. “What are you and my dad going to do this Sunday?”  She replied, “I don’t know son but we are going to find something to do that we love.”  Wooo, it was mind blowing. Apparently, because I was so focused at school I had lost track of what I love to do. (It was kinda scary when it was hard to remember what I love to do)…

The following week I started getting back on what I love to do. For the first 4 weeks of summer I spent all my time reading, fishing, hiking, sleeping, going to the movies, morning runs, coming back to friends…

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I was busy to hanging out, going to the lake to do nothing other than lay down at the shore, and I started playing chess again at the Prescott Public Library (By the way, those elder men know how play chess, I didn’t win one single game.) —-The remaining 2 months is a story for another time.

Carlos  Carlos chess

I realize that having fun and doing what you love is as important as getting good grades. I started thinking “How I could stop doing what I love to do?” I came to conclusion that there has to be a balance between college and time for yourself and this year as a sophomore, I am going to find this balance.Carlos Sedona

Carlos hike

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Move In Day = The First Step

And just like that it is August, school starts in a little over a week, and freshman move in tomorrow! I remember move in day last year. Getting up before sunrise, flying down to Prescott, enduring a nerve wracking car ride from Phoenix, and being completely surprised when I was welcomed to campus with open arms from admissions, housing, and my suite-mates. This is an exciting time of year with so much change ahead and many firsts. Your first time moving away from home, your first time being responsible for yourself, and your first time living with roommates (that are not related to you). All these first can be overwhelming, exhilarating, and growing. I am pleased to say that your first, first starts tomorrow. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new adventure and I am so happy for you all.

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With your adventure starting and your first, first in less than twenty-four hours I have some advice being a returning student who is excited for my second year of new experiences.

  1. Everyone is nervous
  • We all start out knowing pretty much no one. Everyone is looking for someone to eat dinner with, hang out with, and walk to the Activity Center with. So step out of your comfort zone and start a conversation with a stranger, who knows that person might end up being your best friends
  1. Breathe
  • Between all the people around, the excitement, and your long to do list, move in day can be stressful. However, enjoy the day. Spend time with your family before they leave. Get things that you know you will need like shampoo and conditioner, and really set up your life. Because once orientation starts you will be hitting the ground running with activities and classes soon to followSnapchat-9416572372340808
  1. Go to the orientation events
  • Some orientation events are mandatory while some are optional, but seriously go. One, it gets you out of your room, and two, you start talking to your classmates and get to know the campus. We are all a family here at Riddle and the people you meet at orientation you will see around campus and it’s fun to see a friendly face on the first day of class. And most of all they are funny bonding experiences!
  1. If you have any questions ask your RA
  • Your RA (resident assistant) is here to help you. This year I will be an RA in Mingus (Hall 3 Floor 3, come say hi!) and I, as well as the other RAs on campus, truly want to be able to help the incoming students with any questions they might have. Whether that is “where is the dining hall,” “can I get my bed 20150903_070213 lowered,” or “am I allowed to have this.” It is much better to ask questions now then be confused for the time to come. There are no stupid questions!
  1. Enjoy the day!
  • This one relates to point 2. You only have one freshman move in. So enjoy the little things. Enjoy the people jumping up to help you move your boxes up the stairs, how your parents want to make your room all nice, and how there is a buzz of excitement in the air. Move in day is like no other, and it is an experience you will remember forever.

 

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I am very excited for you all to have your first, first as a college freshman. This year is going to be a wild ride, so hold on tight, run full steam ahead, and embrace everything that comes at you!