Junior Year Is Over!

High Five after I passed my Private Checkride!

Hello Blogosphere, I know I went a while between posts there! I got so swamped that I had to take some time off. I have to admit that this was a very, very busy semester for me. I didn’t really get a chance to sit back and think about everything that I had done. Looking back on the semester, I realize that I accomplished a lot! Since I last wrote, I made it through checkride season and finally got my Private Pilot Certificate for Rotorcraft! Yay! I also got the opportunity to go to HAI’s Heli-Expo in Las Vegas which was mind-blowing. My picture even made it into the rotorcraft pro magazine, woo! Another one of Embry-Riddle’s students Celeste Hadley also had a picture of her accepting a scholarship from MD helicopters which is awesome! I also turned 21 during finals week, and still managed to get an A on the final I took the next day. In fact, I got A’s on all my finals! I’m pretty proud of myself.

My course load this semester was made up of RS 300: Observing Asian Cultures, SIS 328: Intelligence, Analysis, Writing, and Briefing, and LCH 102: Mandarin Chinese II. It was the highest workload I’ve had from 9 credits, ever. On top of that, I was doing Private II ground and flight, which kept me really busy as I studied for the three stage checks/checkride I had this semester. Intelligence, Analysis, Writing, and Briefing (or IWB, as we call it) is basically an advanced Intelligence Writing course, which I’ve touched on before. Basically, we learned about methods by which to condense and present data in a concise manner. We also continued to write intelligence briefs about a country of our choosing, to keep our writing skills sharp. Mandarin Chinese was also a continuation upon the course from the fall semester. We learned at a faster pace this semester, and practiced putting together more complex sentences.

Our presentations are not as boring as this one apparently was.

RS 300 was my most difficult course. There were 5 female students in the course, including myself. That’s some girl power!! During the course we would have focus weeks on different countries or regions within Asia. Every class period, each student would give a 15 minute presentation on a specific topic about the culture of the region we were focusing on that week. Our presentations were on topics such as religion, folklore and myths, cooking and eating practices, history, war and revolutions, popular culture, and global business interaction. Writing two fifteen-minute presentations every week was a ton of work. On top of that, we were also assigned reading from our textbook and some multiple choice questions to answer from that. But I’ve mastered the art of going from nothing to ten slides with notecards and talking points in about 3 hours, which I predict is going to be a valuable life skill for me (At least I hope so). But whoever coined the saying that whatever you put into an activity is what you get out was absolutely right. Not only did I learn a ton of information from this class, I also learned to appreciate the fact that we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. All of the information that I learned was a direct result of our own research, and it made me realize that I don’t need to get a PhD to become educated on a subject matter.

Favorite Classes!

This week, I get to tell you all about one of my favorite classes I’ve taken in all my time at ERAU! It was difficult to pick just one of the incredibly interesting classes that I’ve taken, but I decided to blog about COMM219: Speech. This class is required for a lot of our majors on campus as a way to help you improve your public speaking skills. I had this class with Sally Blomstrom as a professor, who was an absolute joy to learn from. I highly recommend taking any course that she teaches. Over the course of the semester, we completely broke down the speech writing process and studied lots of different ways to effectively or ineffectively deliver a message. We wrote different types of speeches, from informative to persuasive. We also studied ways to add or detract from the message using varying types of media. Overall, the course made me much more comfortable speaking in front of my peers.

My favorite of the projects we took on in this course involved local elementary students. Their teachers submitted ideas relating to the science, technology, and engineering fields, and groups of students from our class got to choose a topic and put together a presentation about it. My group got “Electricity” as a topic. It was a really great exercise in tailoring your presentation to a very specific audience. Not only did I actually learn about electricity and alternative forms of energy, but it was so fun to be able to hang out with elementary school kids! They all had such interesting questions and we all felt like we were helping the future generation get interested in science.

After every major assignment, Professor Blomstrom would ask us to submit a self-review of how effective we thought we were and areas that we thought could have used improvement. Most of the time in classes, you move on past assignments without having much time to reflect on what helped or didn’t help you earn that grade. If you earn a bad grade, you simply tell yourself that you need to work harder next time. But having a purpose to sit down and really evaluate where you went wrong and where you went right in an assignment can keep you from “working harder” at making the same mistakes next time. I felt that I improved more throughout the semester because of these self-review assignments. My takeaway piece of advice for this week is not to count out your general education classes! They can be some of the most enjoyable and informative classes that you will take, if you have the right attitude.

Stick Around in the Summer!

Summer is the best time of year for activities in Prescott. Not only is the weather gorgeous, but normally you have more free time to get out and do stuff outside! Some of my favorite summer memories are from camping trips or hiking trips. It’s so much fun to get away from town for a little while and explore nature. For this reason, I think it’s a good idea to stay on campus over the summer instead of going back to your home town for the summer break. It’s also a really good time to get a couple of classes out of the way so that you can take a lighter load during the semester.

The underground lava tube!

There is a cool spot to camp and hike near Flagstaff called the Lava Tubes. It’s a big underground cave/tunnel that you can hike into, and there are dispersed camp sites around the area. A couple of summers ago, a group of admissions employees went camping there together and it was a ton of fun!


One of the most well known spots for swimming in the area is called fossil creek. It’s over an hour drive away and a bit of a hike on top of that, but there are awesome cliffs to jump off of into the water. All of my local friends also love to go tubing down the salt river. It’s in the phoenix area, and it takes you about three hours to float from the beginning to the end of the river. You rent tubes for all the people in your group and one extra to put a cooler in for drinks, and you tie them all together and float down together.

The Top of the Waterfall!


Another fun place to hike and camp is called wolf creek. It’s only about a 20 minute drive from our campus, so it’s a lot easier to just go on a spur of the moment decision! Wolf Creek is this big stone waterfall, but you have to catch it at the right time of year for there to actually be any water in it. Unfortunately, we did not do this. But it’s still a really short, fun hike to do. Someday I’ll make it out there when there is running water and report back.


Water Volleyball at Our Pool–Sweet!

You’re also definitely going to want to visit our on campus swimming pool! It’s heated now (yay!!!) and it’s open every day from 11am-6pm. And it’s free and right on campus, so what’s better than that?






One of the biggest reasons that I like to take summer classes is that you take fewer classes at a time, so it’s much easier to get really into the classes you take and learn more. Instead of having class only two or three times a week, normally you will have class everyday for at least an hour and a half. This really allows you to get to know your professor better. Taking summer classes also gives you some freedom to take fewer classes during the semester. If you only take two classes in the summer, that allows you to reduce your course load by three credits each semester. One class can actually make a big difference, especially during midterms or finals week, when you’re studying for all your classes at the same time. If you are a flight student, you have even more incentive to stay over the summer because your tuition is usually discounted in some way. It also gives you the freedom to focus on flying and flight courses without having to worry about your other academic courses.

Aircraft Accident Investigation: One of the coolest Safety classes available!

Have you ever wondered how the NTSB investigates aircraft accidents? Or what happened to cause the aircraft to crash? If so, then SF 330 (Aircraft Accident Investigation) is the class for you! I just completed this class as part of my safety minor, and I am definitely glad I took this class.

The entrance to the Robertson Aircraft Accident Investigation Lab at ERAU Prescott.

Among the great knowledge that we learn throughout this course, the best part is that we get to spend time in the best Aircraft Accident Investigation lab in the nation! Led by our fearless leader Professor Waldock, SF 330 easily captures your attention and interest since day one. Professor Waldock is one of the greatest professors Embry-Riddle has. He is a prominent figure in the Aviation Safety industry and is highly respected as an aircraft accident investigator. The knowledge he shares with the class is invaluable because most of it is from his personal experiences. Time flies when in Professor Waldock’s class, as his stories bring the material to life! You should already want to take the class just to have Professor Waldock teach your class!

One of the numerous accidents in the crash lab.

So what do we learn? Literally everything that you need to know about how to investigate an accident. From impact patterns to determining power settings by looking at a propeller, from fire investigation to on-scene analysis, we cover it all. We put all our knowledge from the course together for our final project in which we get assigned a real accident in our crash lab to investigate. My group was given a Cessna 208B Caravan accident to investigate. Below is a picture of the accident we had to work with (click on the picture for a larger view).

The mangled cockpit of the Caravan.

Through our investigation, we determined the aircraft departed controlled flight as it was climbing, lost airspeed, stalled and entered into a flat spin to the right that resulted in 9 fatalities. Why did it do that? I’m glad you asked! The aircraft was trying to climb above IFR conditions, but flew through moderate icing at it was climbing to 17,000′. The airframe started to accumulate ice, which resulted in the loss of airspeed sufficient to maintain a climb. Due to the loss of airspeed, the wings stalled, and the aircraft immediately entered into a spin to the right due to the high weight of the aircraft and near-aft limit of the Center of Gravity (CG) (resultant from an incorrect weight and balance that was done too fast). The pilot did not execute a proper stall/spin recovery and the aircraft impacted the ground with approximately 100+ vertical G’s and killed the pilot and 8 occupants.

The wreckage as viewed from the right wing

There is more information I could write, but for the sake of reading, that is all I will put about the crash. If you want more detailed info, either leave me a message, or take SF 330 (Aircraft Accident Investigation) when you come to Embry-Riddle! Trust me, you will not regret your decision!

My Summer Plan: Interning with Alaska Airlines

This summer I think will be the best summer yet. Why? I accepted the opportunity to intern with Alaska Airlines working under the Chief Pilot! I am absolutely enthusiastic about getting my internship because it has been my dream of mine to work for Alaska Airlines as a pilot since the age of 4. I know I will not be a pilot for them on this internship, but this is certainly a HUGE first step in the right direction towards that goal.

Where will I be? I will be in Alaska Airlines’ Flight Operations building located on the south east end of the SeaTac airport in Seattle, WA. What will I be doing? I will be assisting the Chief Pilot, the Manager of Flight Operations, and other Flight Operations employees with tasks, projects, reports, and presentations. I am not 100% sure, but I might get to run the aircraft simulators too! I will also be working with another Flight Operations intern in Technical Publications to accomplish various projects that might include some business travel. After talking with the Manager of Flight Operations, he said their past interns had to travel to Anchorage and LAX to complete a taxi time project. I have no idea what the project was, but it sounded pretty cool.

Me on an Alaska Airlines flight

The coolest part of the entire internship is the opportunity the opportunity to jumpseat in the cockpit! Essentially, this is job shadowing, but it is my chance to observe the Captain and First Officer as they fly. From before start all the way to shut down, I will be taking notes on how a normal flight is conducted. I will even get a chance to jumpseat and observe my inspiration to becoming a pilot and my mentor, my uncle!

737 Cockpit from the Co-Pilot’s side

Here is my speech of encouragement. Word hard for what you want to do. If you put in the effort, it WILL pay off. It sounds cheesy, I know, but it is honestly the truth! I worked hard, starting freshman year here at Riddle, to get this internship and was selected after 3 rounds of interviews. I highly recommend going for an internship. It is a terriffic learning experience where you get industry experience and put your foot in the door with an airline. I have friends interning with Delta, Express Jet, FedEx, Ameriflight, and Cape Air. The internships are out there. All you have to do is work hard and apply.

So Far So Good

Hello readers, if you do not know already I am a current freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott Campus, and in this blog i will be catching you all up on what i have done all year long in terms of classes, clubs, Air Force ROTC, and more. First off I am going for my Electrical Engineering degree, as well as being a cadet in Air Force ROTC and have so far enjoyed the beginning of my career here.

The first semester, the first semester was pretty difficult because of the transition away from home, but class wise i was not taking anything difficult. Basic classes such as calculus, history, physics, as well as engineering 101, and Air Force 101. These classes are the main classes you will most likely have. I did get home sick for a period of time, but eventually that passed and I got used to living at school. The things I have missed the most were my dogs and home cooked food.

After the first semester i began to realize, this is it, the real deal. So once the second semester came around, I was well prepared. This semester I have taken Calculus 2, Physics 2, Engineering 115 aka (MATLAB), Humanities, and Air Force class 102. Although i am still not into the difficult classes yet i feel more prepared then i was at the end of last semester. My roommates and I enjoy going to the movie theater on the weekends, hikes, and out to eat, there are plenty of great restaurants in town, i suggest going into town and exploring, they have some interesting stores.

Now throughout the year I have been involved in many organizations, and activities in town and on campus. This past weekend i went into town for a chalk festival, held annually, this event is awesome and lots of fun. I also participated in the human society’s dog walk on campus. I am also a part of AFROTC Honor Guard and have done many performance in town as well as out of town. If you plan on joining AFROTC I highly suggest joining one of the teams in Honor Corps, such as Sabre, Rifle Drill, and Honor Guard.


The campus is easy to navigate getting to class in about 5 min is really nice. One of my favorite pass times is going to the gym on campus, and hiking across the street.

Hopefully you enjoyed my blog, if you want any more information feel free to let me know.

Bubble Wrap is Back!!!


Embry-Riddle Prescott students know that as soon as bubble wrap appears Finals are here!! This may sound really odd to some people so I will have to explain myself a little.

The Bubble wrap is posted around campus by the Residents Hall association for two reasons:


2. It helps reduce stress that’s pent up by all the hours you spend studying and not sleeping.

This is only one cool thing that the campus does to help you ease through the grueling process of finals. The dining hall gives out snacks and drinks, hosts a finals breakfast at 11pm the first day of finals week, and the scholars cafe stocks up extra coffee for those students who utilize the library until the wee hours of finals week.

And when its all over, the Residents Hall Association helps you check out, pack up, and head out for summer. Whether it be home or to another dorm room for the summer session the RHA always makes you feel welcome and at home.

For example, for people who are staying for the summer session, there will be a barbeque to welcome you into your new dorms and celebrate the summer (even if you are still at school for summer, its summer and summer rocks!).  For those students leaving after finals there is  a get together for all to celebrate the end of their first year in college before all everyone heads home and we reconvene next fall.

Hopefully, you will get to participate in these cool events next year!!! And as always Thanks for reading and have an awesome summer break!!



Its that time of the semester again, the time we all look forward to and yet simultaneously dread. This will be my second round of finals in college and to be completely honest with you, I am soooooo ready for summer!!

My summer plans involve work, and summer classes but, still 4 credit hours and a job isn’t as hard as 18 and two jobs so I’m excited for my upcoming relaxation time 🙂

It is definitely hard to continue being motivated in order to push through your last few weeks but, I figured i might be able to offer you some small tidbits of advice, take them or leave them, its up to you. Some of my proven finals techniques that got me through high school and my first semester of college are as follows, enjoy!!

1. No Cramming

2. A book is not a pillow…although they sometimes turn into one

3. Organize your study schedule, this will reduce stress and help you keep track of your finals schedule

4. Eat healthfully, bananas are great power food for your brain!!

5. Pranking the library during finals week is strictly OFF LIMITS!!

6. Review everything, but only a few times and then pick out the things you need to study the most and focus on those.

7. Relax, you know your stuff, with some dedicated studying you will be fine 🙂

So good luck everyone, I hope my tips and tricks work for you and if you have any to share please leave a comment, i look forward to hearing from our readers!!!


Come fly with us!

Are thinking of becoming a pilot, or want to do a flight minor, but are not sure if it’s right for you? When you’re here for Accepted Student Preview Day, come on over to the flight line and go up with us on an introductory flight in one of our state-of-the-art Cessna 172’s.

One of our Cessna 172’s

What will you do? Where will you go? I’m glad you asked! We are going to put you in the left seat with one of our great instructors and let you fly the plane! After you take-off, you will depart to one of our practice areas, which surround the entire Prescott area. In the practice area, you will do some maneuvers like steep turns, power on and off stalls, and slow flight! When you come back to the airport, the instructor will help you make the landing!

Probably the best part about this introductory flight is that you can log flight hours! If you are going to become a professional pilot, or want to get your private pilot’s license, this is a HUGE first step towards that goal. This is your chance to start early to accumulate hours towards the proposed 1,500 hour minimum rule for pilots. When you go to fly next, whether it is with Embry-Riddle or another place, the hours you got on this introductory flight count for the rest of your flying career! It doesn’t matter if it is training towards a license, or flying around for fun, the hour you got with us adds to all of your future flights!

The view in one of our practice areas.

We’ll help you make that first step towards being the best pilot possible. Pack your bags for April 13th and join us at Embry-Riddle Prescott. Come ready to fly, the skies are open, and we are awaiting your arrival!

Away From Home

Hello there followers, i am writing this blog today to give more of an insight to those incoming freshman that are looking forward to college but don’t really know what to think about the move away from home. As i am a current freshman at Embry-Riddle, Prescott campus i have a few tips and insights for you. The main things i felt that should be addressed is dealing with the freedom you gain,getting over home sickness and getting help when you need it.

As you may have heard, Freshman year is said to be the toughest by many people. It is tough, not because of the work load but because you do not know what to expect and your away from home, the normal life.  The biggest problem i faced first semester was the freedom, you have to be able to handle it and keep yourself in line because there is no one here to do that for you. No parents, a car, money and no curfew really determines weather you can handle it or not in just a couple of months. so keep yourself busy, join clubs, sports, go to the gym, watch movies, and do some volunteer work.

The next thing you will most likely face is being home sick, and the emotional side of making a big change in your life. It will happen unless of course you live down the road but yes. The thing i miss most was home cooked food, and just the presence of your family. The best way i have found to coup with that is to use your cell phone! just by calling home. And if you need advice your parents most likely have a good answer.But keep in contact and stay busy, do things that relax you and get your mind off things, because although school is very important staying pleasantly happy will affect your grades.

Last but not least, getting help when you need it. As a freshman you will most likely need the tutoring,insight of a senior or help from a teacher to get through. I felt weird having to go to tutoring because i have never needed it before but it was the best thing for me next to using the instructors office hours. Especially the free tutoring on campus, and the instructors office hours. Going to your instructor could be the best thing if you are struggling in class or want to get ahead, they are there and they, they are very approachable ,especially at Embry-Riddle, and they are helpful. So do not be afraid to get the help when you need it, the earlier the better.

Well thank you for reading, i hope i have been informative and helpful. If you have any further questions or would like me to go in depth about some things let me know.

Thank you.