Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference – First Impressions and Lessons

by student and guest blogger Sophia Schwalbe, Space Physics

It’s day two of the Girls in Tech conference in Phoenix, AZ, an all – or mostly all – female conference for women in the technology field. It is heavily populated by women from Silicon Valley and low-down start-ups trying to make it big. It’s awesome to see so many women in the workforce that are trying to start a business or become a part of a business that is mostly dominated by men. But as I say that, it is interesting to note how the emphasis at the beginning of the conference was on standing up for oneself and on gender bias. I say interesting because I know I have encountered it, but I have never been outright hindered by it like many of our speakers have. GIT SophiaThat being said, that is not the only topic; there are a lot of talks that are trying to give inspiration to women. One that particularly spoke to me was by one of the top lawyers in the U.S. who is actually the President of one of the largest law firms in San Francisco. She began by talking about being the good girl, always striving to reach those “As” until she made partner, and then she hit a wall, because she had gotten that last “A” as a lawyer and now she did not know what to do. So she had to ask herself what she wanted in life. And that really spoke to me: anyone that knows me knows I am a good girl, doing what I am supposed to, not pushing boundaries or standing up for my own wants and desires. It was a relief to know that I am not alone, and that it is possible – nigh, encouraged – for me to ask for what I want in life and not have to settle or strive for what is expected of me. This also ties in to a talk given this morning by a VP at Intel: finding the sweet spot.  The sweet spot is where your skills, interests, and organization’s needs all overlap. The speaker said that everyone should find their sweet spot, or where they are to find that sweet spot. Thus, we need to analyze where our skill set is and how our interests correspond, and then find where in the world they fit. I always instinctively knew this, knew both of these things, but I had never heard them articulated. And suddenly it clicked — what I wanted was to find that sweet spot and enjoy my work, wherever I am and whatever I am doing.

We Brought Home Hardware from the Phi Beta Lambda Business Competition

PBL 2Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), the business club of Embry-Riddle had outstanding participation in the 2016 PBL Arizona Leadership Competition. This is my first year competing and it was a great experience! PBL Arizona is a business competition that has many different areas to compete in. I competed in three areas which were: accounting principles (individual), forensic accounting (team), and accounting and decision making (team), but there were so many more areas. I could see that by far, Embry-Riddle had many more students than the other colleges, which was so cool.

Embry-Riddle and faculty provided transportation and hotels for every one attending. Our first day of competition was Friday 8th and afterwards we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to hang out for the evening. Everyone was dressed so cool. The first day was business casual. The second day the dress code was totally business formal — suit, tie, formal shoes and dresses were the minimum for the second day.

At the end of the second day all the participants gathered in a salon where we had a great buffet and afterwards we received the trophies and medals. When the event was totally over, we stayed a little bit longer just to chat socialize with the other teams.

PBL 1

Before this tournament I knew a few people in my major, but now I feel that I have build so many more friendships. This was a great experience and I am certainly doing it again next year!

 

 

AVNET Tech Games

by student and guest blogger Mariah Sampson

AVNET 5This semester I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in the AVNET tech games hosted at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, AZ. Early this semester, Dr. Gentilini asked the students in the Robotics Lab if we were interested in competing in the Tech Games. Six students, two teams, volunteered. I volunteered because it sounded like a great opportunity and a hands-on way to implement multiple concepts learned in the Robotics Lab at once. The event required each team to build and program a robot to complete two challenges using the Lego Mindstorm kit along with the EV3 software.

AVNET 2The first challenge was to successfully follow a line that became progressively more difficult to follow. The second challenge was to solve a virtual maze by following colored blocks and completing the three optional challenge tasks within the maze. Unfortunately, neither team was successful in placing. However, we did learn some valuable lessons. It is important to have a contingency plan and have multiple programs to run in case one does not work. Another lesson learned was the environment may change drastically, so it is important to try and create as controlled of an environment as possible when utilizing sensors in case factors, such as a change in lighting, may affect the function of different sensors. AVNET 6

I enjoyed participating in the competition and working with some of the people that I may be partnered with in my Preliminary Design group next semester. It was also a great opportunity to spend time with Dr. Gentilini and Jim Weber, the faculty members that are crucial in enabling us to be able to participate in events such as the AVNET Tech Games in addition to completing the standard course work.

AVNET 1Dr. Gentilini and I were even featured in a promo video. Check it out here!

 

Q&A Study Abroad in Germany

by guest blogger and student John Marbut

Going to Europe for an extended stay can be a bit intimidating at first, there are a lot of things to take care of. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions and get everything set up.

Kloster Andechs

Kloster Andechs

Study Abroad Scholarships:
Well there are several options for scholarships to Germany, these include CBYX, UAS7 (they offer a one semester and two semester trip), and fulbright.de. There are also program specific offers from various universities. I went to Germany on the UAS7 SIP program for two semesters, one semester studying in Munich and one semester working on a project in Bremen.

How much does it cost?
For a year a safe bet would be around $13-14k and would give you cash for traveling around Europe. There is no tuition at German universities, but there is a small semester fee that covers the local transport ticket. If you are staying in Munich and aren’t able to get into the Studentenwerk you will have to plan to spend more on rent.

Munich Olympic Park

Munich Olympic Park

What about housing?
If possible try to get in with the school’s studentenwerk, they usually offer a dorm style setup with a private bedroom. There are also cheap bars built into the student housing, these tend to be great places to hang out or party with your friends. The rent is very reasonable and you won’t have to worry about supplying a lot of things. If you aren’t able to get a room with the studentenwerk I would recommend checking http://www.wg-gesucht.de/en/ it is the most popular rental listing site in Germany. Please do be aware that there are scam artists that use the site and you should never agree to mail a deposit and wait for a key. Also the housing market moves very quickly in Germany, listings generally last less than a week if it is a good deal.

Do I need any special paperwork?
I would strongly recommend carrying your acceptance paperwork on you when you arrive in the country, this will make getting through customs easier. Also after arriving at your residence you are required by law to go to the Burgerburo or Burgerservicecenter to register your address within two weeks of moving. Additionally within 90 days of arriving in Germany you will need to get a residence permit, the somewhat tricky part is proving that you have funding. The German legal system expects you to be able to show that you have about €750 for every month you plan on living in Germany to cover the cost of living. You will also need your university paperwork that has your immatrikulationnummer on it and proof of health insurance. The permit costs around €60.

Marienplatz in MUnich

Marienplatz in MUnich

Health insurance?
Everyone in the EU is required to have health insurance, Germany has state run health insurance companies that offer full coverage for about €80 per month. If you have health insurance in the US you may be able to waive the requirement by providing documentation on your coverage. The health insurance is required for your enrollment in the university and they usually have some one from the insurance companies at the enrollment.

What are the classes like?
German courses are structured very differently than US courses, in Germany the lectures can be optional. Most classes give you a “script” which is a compilation of notes for the class, this can include worked problems. A textbook will probably cost you €10-50, but there will probably be a copyright notice stating that it can’t be imported to the US. Additionally there are no homework assignments or midterms, the entire course grade rests on the final exam. Don’t forget to register for your final, otherwise you won’t be given a grade. There is usually another form that you need to fill out to send your report card to Embry-Riddle.

Munich Olympic Park

Munich Olympic Park

How easy is it to get around?

It’s incredibly easy, Germany and most of Europe have a very well developed system of public transportation. In Munich there are buses, trams, and subways that will take you to just about any part of the city. There is also uber if you are out and the buses/trams/trains stop running. I would suggest that you bring leather shoes though as you will probably be doing a lot of walking and its cheaper to resole a leather shoe than to buy a new pair of shoes every 5-6 months. I would also recommend that you carry a messenger bag with a bottle of water, shopping tote, and an umbrella. It makes wandering around much more simple and most fast food/smaller restaurants are ok with you bringing your own drink, especially since they won’t serve you tap water.
Any hints?
The big one is to check with your bank on their international fees. The last thing you want is to be stuck Germany paying $5 + 5% of the withdrawal + 1% Visa fee every time you take out cash. Germany, and much of Europe, is cash based so expect to take out cash regularly.

Stick to prepaid sim cards, the standard contract is 2 years and in order to break it you have to submit a handful of paperwork and a letter explaining why you are breaking the contract. Prepaid plans are about €10 a month and can be adjusted to include data for foreign countries relatively easily, which is great for traveling.

Buy a universal powerstrip! They use a different type of outlet here and that is the best way to keep from having to buy a bunch of converters.

Marienplatz in Munich

Marienplatz in Munich

Check your electronics, here they use 220 volts at 50 hz instead of the 110 volts at 60 hz that is used in the US. If your charger or device has 110-220 50-60 on the power supply then you should be in good shape.

Consider bringing a wireless router. Not all rentals offer wifi, and it beats using a cable.

Before you leave install the textfree app, it gives you a US number and lets you place calls and text from a US number. Since it uses wifi its a good cheap option to stay in contact.

Learn your German numbers, it makes checking out a lot easier.

When you go shopping, don’t forget your bags. You have to bag your own things, and you will have to buy bags if you forget yours.

If you like to travel get a Bahn card, you can get 25-100% off of train fares through the Deutsche Bahn. They also have regional specials that let you travel for reduced prices.

Keep your options open when you travel, there are a lot of options flixbus, megabus, Deutsche Bahn, Ryanair, and eurorails are all good ways to get around.

-John Marbut

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Neueschwanstein

Neueschwanstein

Neueschwanstein

Neueschwanstein

Neueschwanstein

New Excitement and New People- Preview Day

Our campus of two thousand students was filled with over one thousand prospective students plus their parents! It was an exciting time. Being a student that has been here all year I have to say that Preview Day is now one of my favorite events. There is an exciting buzz around campus that shows the hope and the energy of new blood ready to come and start the next chapter of their life, it makes me smile.Admissions Staff

The day started early with welcoming students and ended with the activity fair. Some prospective students registered for classes, others toured campus, while some took some time to seriously evaluate if this school would be their home for the next four years. Clubs had booths at the activity fair to show how to get involved, the dining hall provided a great meal to give a taste of next year, and there were current students all over campus to answer questions.

Ernie at Activity Fair

Personally being able to walk campus, host a booth, and help in the dining hall was a rewarding experience. I loved answering parents and prospective student’s questions about classes, campus, and what it is really like to be a freshman at the school.

Light It Up Blue

To prospective students, choose your University wisely. Whether ERAU or another school, I hope that you take time to deliberate your decision on which to attend. The decision you make will affect the next four years of your life. If you have any questions about college ask someone, your older sibling, distant cousin, or a random blogger who goes to the school you want to attend. Good luck on your decision, it was great to meet so many of you at Preview day this past weekend, and I hope to see some of you as Eagles next year!

Behind the Scenes of Preview Day as a Campus Ambassador

A loud obnoxious noise threw me unapologetically out of a completely sound sleep at 5:30 am PST on Saturday morning April 2, 2016. Now this isn’t normal. I don’t even wake up this early for class during the week. However, today is special. Today is one of the biggest days for the Admissions Office and for our entire campus. A mandatory workday is hard for every student employee but Preview Day is the most rewarding and most enjoyable event we have the pleasure of working once a year.

This year brought with it a staggering record number of over 370 students and their families. That’s an astonishing number that I am incredibly proud of. Seeing just how much our campus has expanded and grown and is continuing to grow in just the 4 years I have been here is the most rewarding feeling a student of this campus could feel. People are starting to discover our secret – a secret that we have hidden a mile high in the most exquisite state anyone could have the pleasure of being able to study in.

Campus Ambassadors

Campus Ambassadors

Preview Day always reminds me of the reason I ultimately decided to become a Campus Ambassador for the Prescott, AZ campus. As a student employee at Preview Day we provide customer service to our visitors. We transport them to designated locations on campus, provide requested information, represent the face of Embry-Riddle, and ensure that our visitors are given the ultimate initiation into the Eagle family.

Before the Welcome

Before the Welcome

Each one of our Student Ambassadors prides themselves on ensuring that every one of our visitors feel as if Embry-Riddle is their second home because, lets be honest, now that your child has been accepted into our University you have officially become family. Welcome! You have truly found your second home. The city of Prescott’s motto explains it perfectly, “Prescott Everybody’s Hometown.” Being the first impression of campus and helping a student figure out the first step in launching their careers is an invaluable feeling that I don’t take for a granted, even for a second.

PVD groupThis year I was given the role of administering flight line tours to families that were interested in touring the state of the art equipment that we have available for our flight students that propels them into their respected career. Showing students and their families around the flight line, accompanied by the best co-workers a student employee could possibly ask for, made Preview Day 2016 that much more of a phenomenal experience. We had the great pleasure of ensuring that every single one of the new additions to our Embry-Riddle family had a grand welcome.

 

As a senior, I am beyond pleased to see that the future of our Embry-Riddle community will not only continue to live out the goal of our campus, but will also surpass and rewrite the history of this campus helping to propel the Prescott, AZ campus into a bright future. I am so eager to come back to visit as an Alumni.

 

Ernie the Eagle!

PVD fun

Springtime at ERAU!

Spring is in full bloom here at Embry-Riddle Prescott! Even though we’re still seeing a little bit of rain, overcast skies, and even some sleet, springtime is definitely here. With Preview Day just passed and Parent’s Weekend right around the corner, vibrant colors and (mostly) sunny days couldn’t have come at a better time! Here’s an inside look at our campus in full motion during the start of spring.

 

 

Earhart’s Dining Hall

 

 

Hall 5 of the Mingus Complex, and our dining hall (a bit blocked behind the tree)

 

Waiting for the annual Easter egg hunt to begin! (Outside of the Student Union, in the quad)

spring 4

Walking out of the dining hall, with a slight view of the AXFAB, or Aerospace Experimentation and Fabrication Building (our central engineering building on campus)

spring 6 The Entrance to our AXFAB engineering building

 

 

 

 

 

 

spring 7

Some sidewalk art our sororities and fraternities created outside of the Student Union!

And lastly, the Hazy Library and student quad…

spring 8 Spring 9

 

 

 

 

 

spring 10

spring 11

AFROTC – Answers to Your Questions

Hey there everyone per request I am dedicating this post to answering some important questions about AFROTC at Embry-Riddle Prescott!

  1. This is a major question: How do I join ROTC?
  • There are a few ways to join. You can apply for a scholarship at the AFROTC website and if you get the scholarship you will bring that here to Embry-Riddle OR you can simply sign up! I recommend signing up with the detachment well before you arrive on campus. However, if you are not sure about it until the last minute or even part way through a semester you can probably still join.
  • When you join I highly encourage you to attend “zero week” it starts a few days before the “normal” students arrive on campus. Being at “zero week” allows you to get an edge on all the other cadets as you receive uniforms, basic training on marching/customs/courtesies, and you can get all your in processing paper work done. It saves you a lot of time and stress later.

2. Is everyone who joins guaranteed a scholarship?

  • Unfortunately, no. If you do not come in with a scholarship you compete against your classmates to receive one. So keep in mind that you must perform well during your first semester, this includes keeping your GPA up! With that said Detachment 028 is well known for getting tons of scholarships and awards so this is definitely the best detachment to join!

3. How should I prepare?

  • The best way to prepare is to exercise!!!!!!!!!!! We take a physical fitness assessment known as the PFA. It consists of a 1.5 mi run 1 minute of pushups and 1 minute of situps. If you can’t pass a PFA you can’t stay in the Detachment so please come prepared! We want to help you succeed as a cadet and fitness is the one factor that you have ABSOLUTE control of.
  • If you can join a JROTC unit to prepare then you will already have a basic knowledge of AF drill, customs, and courtesies. If not, don’t worry about it. We will teach you when you arrive :)

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask them below or give us a call at 928-777-6600 you will directed to the AFROTC office where you can get all the info you need!!!! Thanks for reading!

One Month Left!

Classes are finished on April 29th and as it stands we are a month away from Summer break!!! We are all really excited to be finishing up this semester but, I wanted to give y’all a brief update on what I’ve been doing this past few months.

The major project I’ve been working on this semester is the Detail Design of the aircraft that my team conceptualized last semester. The detail work began with building a 1/48 scale model of the full size aircraft and testing it in the closed circuit wind tunnel in the Tracy Dorlyand Wind Tunnel Lab. Testing was not only super fun but, informative too. We tested parametric variations of the model to determine the maximum and minimum aerodynamic loads it would receive. Our test results came out just as we had expected and we are happily feeding them back into the design right now to see what improvements to the original design we can make.

The 3D Printers used for making our model parts!

The 3D Printers used for making our model parts!

Once we finish that we will be working on our final presentation which will take place on April 29! If you are visiting the University on that day make sure to have a look at all the interesting Senior Capstone Presentations. If you are looking into engineering you may be working on a similar project in the future :)

Other than that I have just been doing regular school work, AFROTC, Space Grant Research, and volunteering. It has been a fun, crazy, and somewhat relaxed semester all at the same time. If you have any questions about what the average day in the life of a senior at ERAU is like feel free to ask! Thanks for reading everyone!

Last Fraternity Formal in Las Vegas, NV

When I first arrived to college I never expected to add more members to my family. Growing up I only had to look out for my younger brother who is 4 years younger than me. As I grew older I realized one was all I could probably handle and became very thankful my mom stopped trying for the daughter she always wanted.

When I moved over a thousand miles away from my brother and the comfort, security, and love of my family, I actively sought out a family unit I could truly connect with here at Riddle. Through what I believe was fate, I discovered the greatest family a guy could ever ask for in the men I call brothers of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Looking out the window of my car glancing over at the sign that reads, “Welcome to the state of Nevada” these very same thoughts made its way back to the forefront of my mind. This was it, my very last fraternity formal as an Embry-Riddle student.

Our group! Austin, Nikki, Dani, Kristen, and Brennan

Our group! Austin, Nikki, Dani, Kristen, and Brennan

Oh my how far we’ve all come as a fraternity. Having over 40 men in my life that I can honestly call my brothers is something I never expected at Embry-Riddle. Being a part of a fraternity has been one of the most challenging, stressful, exciting, and rewarding activities I’ve been able to experience during my time here. This year our fraternity believed it was incredibly important to go big or go home so we planned an extravagant formal in Las Vegas, NV to get everyone out of our normal day to day environment so we could enjoy each other’s company as a brotherhood accompanied by our dates in a city that has been made famous for just having a good time; Laissez les bons temps rouler! As we say in the city of New Orleans, meaning let the good times roll!

Sitting at the dinner table with the men and women that I started my journey here at Embry-Riddle with, that have deservedly become my brothers and sisters, made me realize that I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Here I am 21 years old surrounded by an immense amount of love that has helped get me through my best and my worst days without ever asking for anything in return. I don’t know if this journey would’ve been remotely possible without the great men of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and the woman of Alpha Xi Delta and Alpha Sigma Tau sororities. Even though I didn’t win an award for my last formal (still a little salty about that lol) it was such a rewarding feeling being able to look over at my brothers as a senior knowing that I’ll be leaving this fraternity behind in good hands. It really is true, “Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man’s survival,” Carlos P Romulo.

After this weekend it became evident to me that it wasn’t the city that graciously hosted our formal this year that elevated it to one for the books for our fraternity but that ultimately it was the relationships we have all developed over the years being together along with our impeccable growth as a family that made this year’s Pi Kappa Phi formal one that I will always remember as I get ready to take the next step towards accomplishing the goals I have set for myself in my aviation career. I love my brothers of Pi Kappa Phi Iota Eta chapter and I will forever hold you guys near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life. Thank you for such an unforgettable weekend!

Enjoying our time at formal!

Enjoying our time at formal!

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Me and the beautiful Sophia! Sister of Alpha Xi Delta

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Me and my bestfriend, President of Alpha Xi Delta : Kristen at formal (Mac photo bombing)