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!

Study Abroad in Europe Changed My Life

“When I met you in tRoad Trip to Austria he summer!” This very phrase sums up summer 2014 perfectly for me. The amount of people I’ve been blessed to meet along with the different countries I was able to explore made that summer the journey of a lifetime.

Summer ’14 felt as though I was in my own version of the music video for the song “Summer” by Calvin Harris. This simple phrase carries with it an enormous amount of weight that has left behind a great deal of memories imprinted in my mind and in my heart that will follow me for the rest of my life.

I was looking out the large windows of Chicago O’ Hare International airport at the skyline of the city of Chicago when I noticed the impeccably beautiful Boeing 747 and it finally hit me. This was it, this was the moment I had been waiting for all semester; I was getting ready to depart the United States with my sights set on Europe for an entire month. The class I was attending on this study abroad was Aviation Appreciation, administered by the Daytona Beach campus and serves the sole purpose of educating the student on what and how aviation got started here in the United States as well as overseas through two world wars.

The one thing everyone talks about when they describe their experiences studying abroad is personal growth and embarking on the most fulfilling journey of their lives. I get the chills every time I think back to how much Europe changed me as a person. Being 20 years old at the time, getting an opportunity to live in a foreign country for a month, having to rethink everything I thought I knew about life and navigate around a place I had only seen in movies was the scariest and most rewarding experience of my life.

When I returned to the United States and looked at myself in the mirror for the first time so much had changed. The way I saw the world and what I wanted my future to entail was completely different than what it was when I first began my journey at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 2 years prior to this trip. Being a guy from New Orleans, LA this type of thing isn’t something anyone expects would ever be possible for him or her. It really was honestly one of the most surreal moments of my life. My eyes were opened wider than they had ever had been. I was now aware and cognizant of different ways of life, culture and people and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how I was going to be able to return to my routine. I had grown so much spiritually and emotionally; I had fallen deeply in love with Europe.

There’s still not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about the times I spent abroad…watching the changing of guards at Buckingham Palace, catching the tube to visit new friends (whom I still talk to two years later), soaking in all of the beauty that Parliament and the London Eye reveal under the dark skies of London, riding up to the top of the Eiffel Tower to check out life altering views of downtown Paris, lying in the grass at midnight to watch the light show dancing up and down the Eiffel Tower flaunting all of its pure iconic beauty, visiting the incredibly heavy and emotional grounds of the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany where you could just feel the empty cold empty dark souls that roamed the grounds of the camp during World War II, getting a chance to ditch an engine and glide over the countryside of Germany with the German Alps at the forefront of my view…

That trip taught me so much about a subject that I’ve been passionate about ever since I could talk and say the word, “airplane”. I learned about the people that live on that side of the world and how they truly perceive the world and how they feel life should be lived. It has helped me become a more well rounded and accepting individual to every different culture and background that I now encounter in my life.

I believe the most valuable benefit of my experience studying abroad was the person I became as a result of being overseas and having to rethink how to navigate through life through everyday activities and responsibilities. I found myself scared yet excited, shocked but intrigued leaving me with a greater since of appreciation for other cultures and their lifestyles. I could not understand that by staying here in my own country studying a particular subject.

This world is so large and truly magnificent and I believe every singe human being owes it to themselves to get out there explore, enjoy, learn, and just take in all that has been given to us to experience. Studying Abroad is truly a life altering experience that is priceless beyond words and should be taken full advantage of. I enjoyed my study abroad experience so much that I am currently in the process of preparing for my second study abroad this summer  the Troubles in Ireland class being administered by Professor Austin. My advice to you is to get out there and take advantage of this beautiful planet we all call home. There’s a whole world out there just waiting for you to discover. You owe it to yourself to discover the mysteries of this life that will help mold and define you as who you were always destined to be in this world. 7f9c8996-dcd4-41a3-b02f-1226dd9a5022 imag0756 img_20140613_220359 IMG_1104

            “Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Study Abroad – The City of Lights: Paris

by guest blogger Alexandra Vinck who is studying abroad in Paris for the spring semester 2016.

French baguettes at the Eiffel Tower! About as Paris as it gets!

French baguettes at the Eiffel Tower! About as Paris as it gets!

It has many names…The City of Lights, The City of Love, but I’m lucky enough to call it home. When I moved to Paris at the beginning of the spring semester, I was ready and excited for a new experience. I had spent two and a half years at school in Prescott, and although I love it there, I wanted to try something new. Paris has turned out to be just that, and then some. Paris is exactly as wonderful as everyone says it is. Every street you walk down is beautiful, and every croissant you taste is better than the last one.

Here's a new friend and I on a school trip to Versailles!

Here’s a new friend and I on a school trip to Versailles!

I get to live my life immersed in culture and thousands of years of history. One of my favorite classes I’m taking here is called the History of Paris through Art and Architecture. So not only do I get lectured on important buildings and works of art, but each week we go to a new part of the city and learn all about it. Paris has a very unique atmosphere, because in addition to being filled with history, it’s full of young people and students just living their lives, which makes the nightlife here pretty fun.

Not only am I able to live in this magical city, but also I get to spend almost every weekend travelling and seeing Europe. So far I’ve been to Madrid, Dublin, Prague,

Skiing in Stockholm, Sweden this past weekend

Bordeaux, Versailles, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Needless to say, my life here so far has been pretty life changing, and I am forever grateful to the people at Embry-Riddle (Kelly O’Brien) that helped make this happened for me, and of course my parents for giving me the opportunity of a life time! Check out some photos below of my life in Paris and some of my travels. Au revoir!

Not exactly studying in a cafe...but this is a super bowl party at an American bar in Paris! Lauren Holdaway is next to me...she's a Riddle student studying in Ireland! She was in Paris for the weekend.

A super bowl party at an American restaurant in Paris! Lauren Holdaway is next to me…she’s a Riddle student studying in Ireland! She was in Paris for the weekend.

A Week In My Life

Welcome to midterms! It is that time of the semester again, exams are here, and the thought of spring break is the motivation to keep working. Even though I am in the midst of midterms, I thought I would share with you what a week normally looks like for me.
Monday: Most people hate Mondays but for me they are not too bad. My classes start at 9 am and end at 3 pm with a two hour lunch break in the middle. After class, I normally study for an hour and finish homework then have dinner. The evening consists of my sorority Alpha Xi Delta’s chapter meeting, which can be a sisterhood event (fun/bonding time), programs (useful information/most often very funny), or our business meeting (serious). Chapter tends to be fun because I get to start the week with my hilarious sisters by my side.

Sorority Dells
Tuesday: On this day, I have one class and a three-hour lab. My day starts at 6:45 am because I am in class from 7:45 am -12 pm, after that it is off to lunch then I have weekly meetings with my mentor. This year I have become very close with a few leaders in Chi Alpha and they have become my mentors. After my meeting, it is off to the library to study. In the evening, I have Chi Alpha. Every other Tuesday evening we have Tuesday Night Dinner where we carpool over to one of the leaders’ houses, have a home cooked meal, and build some great friendships. On the off Tuesday, I have a leadership meeting, which serves as a time of fellowship with a smaller group of people.

San Diego
Wednesday: I have four classes again. After my last class at 3 pm, I am off to do work and study. After dinner I have a Panhellenic meeting. This year I had the honor to be elected Membership Vice President for the Panhellenic community. So every Wednesday we have our meetings for all Panhellenic chapters as well as a smaller council meeting, which discusses the fun things that we are planning on campus!

Lei, Allie, Megan AXiD
Thursday: This is my easiest day! I have one class which ends at 9 am. After class you can find me doing homework, studying, or going on adventures. This is the day of the week I look forward to the most because it does not have meetings or responsibilities attached, besides one class in the morning. Last week my friends and I ventured out into the dells across the street from campus and found the Red Bridge, which is a little bridge in the center of the dells that is hard to find and a great spot to take picture, we had talked about doing this for weeks.

Red Bridge Allie
Friday: Final day of classes for the week and after 3 pm I am done! Friday evenings you will find me at Chi Alpha’s Elevate and the activity after which ranges from gym night to movie night.

Allies HOme
The Weekend: I clump Saturday and Sunday together because while I have been at school I have had the opportunity to travel throughout Arizona, Utah, and California on the weekends. If I am in town, Saturdays are pretty boring, some homework, hanging out with friends, and most likely an adventure. Sunday includes Church in the morning and brunch with friends, then finishing all the homework I have pushed throughout the week. If I am out of town, weekends are a lot more exciting. Over the last three-day weekend I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego and stay with a friend’s family for the night, the next day we headed to the beach to meet up with Chi Alpha, and on Sunday spend the day at Six Flags with some of my closest friends. Then we crammed back into a car and drove back to campus. The destination changes weekend to weekend, but the memories and friends made will be there forever.

Sunset AXiD

My weeks are crammed packed with class, studying, work, clubs, and meetings. And my weekends are filled with adventure, friends, and memories. It can be hard to find a balance between school and everything else but if you look, plan, and work hard enough you can to do everything that makes you happy. Not everyone’s schedule is as hectic as mine is, while others are even more hectic, it just depends on the person. But remember, school is important, but it’s also important to do what makes you happy to enjoy life at school. School is hard and you need something to work towards, I work towards the weekends where I get to create amazing memories with my friends. What do you work towards?

Engineering Detail Design Course – Hard Work and Very Rewarding

A major part of your student career at Embry-Riddle is the capstone course. For engineers the capstone course is comprised of two semesters/courses known as Preliminary and Detail Design. As a student in my freshman year I knew nothing about these two courses and towards the end of my junior year I began hearing quite abit about them. I wish I had known what the two courses entailed much earlier as I would have definitely restructured my game plan as far as fundamental courses go.

Team Daedalus on the last day of the Preliminary Design Course

Team Daedalus on the last day of the Preliminary Design Course

The Preliminary Design course essentially forces you to use all of the resources you have learned in the past three years at college. You will work crazy hours, get frustrated but you will fall in love with what you are doing. The course teaches you how to be a leader and a member of a team, how to face problems and fix them, but, most important it teaches pride in your work. At the end of the semester you should have an outstanding product and an increased knowledge of professional engineering.

When you move into the Detail Design course you are verifying the information that you presented at the conclusion of the Preliminary Design semester. There are many options to verify assertions. The primary one is wind tunnel testing but, often students choose to fabricate a working prototype of their concept in order to prove that it works. No matter what your team chooses to do the process is extremely rewarding as you get to see how your intuition created a viable product.

I would highly recommend that every student entering these courses attempts to be a program manager or design team lead. As a PM or DTL you are the face of the team, responsible for the schedule, budget, and work produced by the team. I have been a PM for the last two semesters and although it has been very hard it has been extremely rewarding. For those ladies out there, don’t be intimidated, you are just as qualified to lead a team as any other member in your class. In my section of Preliminary and Detail Design I am the only female and I am one of two Program Managers. As long as you are a good manager you will do well but, don’t worry mistakes happen. No one is born a perfect manager and it takes alot of mistakes to figure out your management style. Just hang in there, do good work, take care of your people, and admit when you make a mistake. That’s really all it takes 🙂

I hope this information is helpful to our incoming students as well as our up and coming leaders in the Capstone courses! Thanks for reading!

 

Faculty are Awesome but Read the Syllabus!

Hello everyone. I hope all of you guys are having an awesome fall semester. I can’t believe how quick this semester is going by. It’s like when you are so tired and you fall asleep at 10 pm and then suddenly it is 8 am already in the morning.

This fall semester has been really challenging for me, but yet it’s been really fun. I have said that I was a little scared when I started my classes. I began learning English 1 year and 8 months ago and even though the ERLI Program (English course) helped me to improve my English I feel that I have still a lot of things to learn. I would like to share my experience as an international Freshman in this first 2 months I’ve been in classes.

I clearly remember the first day I attended my morning class in math (MA120). Everyone was standing outside the classroom waiting for the time to get in. I felt an awkward atmosphere; nobody talking because nobody knew anybody. It was almost a complete silence. Professor John Jenkins got there before any other professor. As soon as he opened the door everyone started walking toward the classroom. Then, we took a look around to see who else was placed in the same class.

Professor Jenkins greeted us with a “Good morning everyone!!!This is going to be an awesome semester,” yet nobody talked. As soon as the class started, he handed us a syllabus with a follow explanation about what was the purpose of the class, what he was expecting from us, how he was going to grade us, etc. He gave us a specific and very detailed working plan for the fall semester. Also, the other three professors I have right now did the same thing the first day of classes. It was awesome.

The first month was the most challenging for me. Even though every professor went over the syllabus the first day, it is still hard to get use to the lifestyle of a college student. I did not read the syllabus closely and I truly regretted it. If I had read it when I was supposed to, it would have saved me two weeks of struggles. Finally, after those two long unnecessary weeks of troubles (It was all my fault) I made everything fall into place; material for classes, homework, schedules, time to rest, social life, and training.

For all of those who attended the “Open House” and have decided already to come to Embry-Riddle next spring or next fall, I want to tell you “Please, check the syllabus as soon as the professors post them on canvas (online class system) before the classes start.” This will save you a lot of time and will keep you out of many troubles.

Certainly, I knew long before college started that it wasn’t going to be easy. This not because of the classes but because English is not my first language. All classes in Embry-Riddle have a high degree vocabulary (I could not expect less) which is great, but it was a big challenge to adapt the daily base-English to a sophisticated-English used in every single class. The hardest class was Basics of Aeronautics. It is funny, before I came to Embry-Riddle, the biggest thing I’ve ever driven was a Geo Metro three cylinder, and now I have a class where basically it is all about things that fly and they are bigger than a three cylinder car! Also, what makes it harder is that there are some parts of airplanes, names, terminology that do not even have a translation to Spanish. You can imagine how hard it was for me try to relate and understand the terminology when the closest I have ever been to a real airplane was when I bought a toy plane a long time ago.

The same thing happened in Basics of Management. There is terminology that does not even exist in Spanish and some others where the translation is not even close. I was so frustrated. I thought, “Oh my god, that’s too difficult,” but then I remembered, “What are you doing? You are not here alone!” so I started seeking help.

It didn’t take a lot of time; roommates, friends and of course, professors and staff were more than happy to help me get through. Now, after almost two months, I understand almost any word my professors say and if I don’t understand a term they always encourage me to ask. One of them said to our class “The dumbest question is the one not asked.”

I am so glad that I chose this college out of all my options. Everybody on campus is willing to help plus they love it. Professors own already all my respect as excellent professors as well as great people. ERAU professorThe only thing I can say about my professors is that they are more than qualified to teach. It is really amazing how professors don’t need a book to teach; they just stand up in front of the class and spit out whichever is the topic. I noticed since the first week in class that professors at Embry-Riddle are not there just because they have the knowledge to teach, they are there because they were actually doing what they teach. In class when William O’Hara (my professor of Basics of Aeronautics) is talking about airplanes, I get a feeling that he can disarm an airplane and put it back together while eating a donut and drinking coffee in his free time. Simply amazing!

ERAU faculty

 

Embry-Riddle has been my best decision so far.

Thanks for the time you took to read this blog, I appreciate it.

My Most Inspiring Professor Dr. Moshier

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We have some great professors here at Embry-Riddle, and my personal favorite is a gentleman named Dr. Moshier. He teaches Structures I at the Prescott campus and of all the professors I have had during my three years here I consider him to be the best.

Dr. Moshier used to work with the Air force as a structural analyst and now owns a business as well as working at Embry-Riddle. He is one of those guys who works here because he likes to help others, not because he needs a job. Structures is one of the hardest courses here at Riddle and it requires many hours of homework. I spent tons of time in Dr. Moshier’s office asking questions and solving problems last semester. He was more than willing to take time out of his schedule to help me work through each problem or question that I had in regards to the homework. No question was too dumb and  Dr. Moshier respectfully addressed each point of issue I had with the homework.

Additionally, the homework assigned was always challenging and allowed me to use the concepts I learned in class. I walked away from the course with an extremely high knowledge in Structures and it is now my passion. I hope to be able to use the knowledge that Dr. Moshier passed on to me during my upcoming career.

He is just one of the amazing and inspiring professors we have here at Embry Riddle. If you want to attend a school with a great student culture and professors who dedicate themselves to your education then Embry Riddle Prescott is the place for you. Stop on by and take a tour today!!

First Day of Classes!!

First Day Selfie!!

First Day Selfie!!

Welcome back everyone! Hope break was great for our returning students and for our prospective students. 🙂  We are all very excited to be coming back to classes for the Spring semester (although another week of break would’ve been awesome). I will give you the low down on the Spring Semester in college, so if you are interested in Embry Riddle you can get an idea of how it all works.

Spring is usually better. I’m not really sure why but, most people have better schedules and have a lot more fun during the semester than in Fall. It may just be because of Spring Break but, there are also more off days during the Spring Semester due to other random holidays. This semester is actually going to be an interesting one for me due to my ROTC jobs, courses, and work. I have a pretty good school schedule but I will be spending 8+ hours a week preparing the Honor Corps for our competition at SCIDM (Southern California Invitational Drill Meet). If you would like to know more about the drill meet please keep following my blog, I will post some cool pics when the time comes! You can also comment below and I will be happy to answer any questions 🙂

Honor Guard, one of the three teams in Honor Corps

Honor Guard, one of the three teams in Honor Corps

So one last thing, I am curious to know what everyone did over break? I just went home and hung out with my family, nothing too fun.

LOL. Comment below to share your break with us, we would love to know what you got to do!

Finals Next Week, Study Help is Everywhere

tutoring-services

Its amazing how fast this semester has gone by and for some of you the first set of college finals is looming in the not so far away future. However, for the vast majority of us here at Embry-Riddle Prescott, we know the drill from our past years of experience. That does not make it any easier though! Finals are always a nerve racking time to prove what you know and potentially boost your grades or keep them at a solid A. Whatever the case may be in regards to your grades do not forget to use your on campus resources for help!

Professors are more than happy to help you study for those finals and if they are not around then schedule an appointment with a tutor. The tutors are hired by the campus to help you so you do not need to pay them at all! They are a great resource however, starting on 4 Dec you may only meet a tutor by appointment so keep that in mind. Regular “Walk in” hours will resume again next semester. For our readers who do not know what “walk in” hours are, it is a time where a tutor will be in a specific location waiting for a student to walk in and ask for help. Pretty simple right? Well, it gets even better than that! All tutors where blue and gold lanyards with their name, so they are all very easy to find.

Additionally, tutor information is available on the control tower which is run through our student portal so you can log in today and check out the tutors available for the courses you need help in. If you want more information then contact Ms. Katie Green, the head of the tutor program. She hires all the tutors who are ready to help you!! You can find her information in the campus directory that current students have access to under people search.

Flyer for Finals BreakfastAnd of course you need to eat well and de-stress during finals. The Finals Breakfast event is the perfect way to fill up on pancakes and have some fun too!

Hope this helps, good luck studying for those finals everyone!! Also, if you want some more info on our Academic Support check out their website!

4278-finals8

I’m So Much More Than a Number at Riddle

Being a student at Embry-Riddle has made me realize that what I can achieve in the future is going to be great.

I knew that coming to a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and private school would differ from any other school, but I was unsure how it would be different. After the first week of classes, I realized what the difference was. The main difference was that everyone from admin to professors to staff care about the success of every student. I heard stories in high school from colleagues whom were in college about how they felt as if they were just a number since the university was so large. Here at Riddle I surprisingly enjoy the smaller student population since the classes are more interactive and I feel as if I am not just a number, but also a student who is striving to achieve similar goals as my colleagues.

I know that those who decided to attend here had a certain goal in mind whether it is for engineering or any of the other majors and it makes attending Riddle more enjoyable because fellow peers are going through the same journey together. The small student population indicates a tight-knit community throughout the university and in the close community there are numerous people that share the same love for aviation as I do. What I did not know is that quite a few people also share a common passion for robotics as do I.

Robotics

I look forward to more great things that will surprise me about being a student at Embry-Riddle!

Kaila Romero, Women’s Softball