Embry-Riddle Prescott Preview Day 2013: Now Boarding

If you haven’t heard yet, we are now boarding for your next stop along your college journey: Preview Day 2013. Every year, the Prescott campus invites accepted students and their families to come check out every inch of this amazing campus.

How much do you get to explore? As much as you want! With our doors wide open, we encourage you to look at our classrooms, dorms, demonstrations, and our flight line. You even have the opportunity to go up in one of our state-of-the-art aircraft and observe a current student and their instructor! Our hope is that when you come visit the Embry-Riddle Prescott campus, you feel that this is your college destination; your home away from home. On Saturday, April 13th, you have the opportunity to meet your future professors, talk with current students, and meet other accepted students!

Also during Preview Day, there will be meetings for you to learn more about classes, professors, and other information about your major. You get to receive your Eagle card/student ID and register for fall classes! When you arrive in the morning, we offer a delicious continental breakfast before the welcome address. In the afternoon, we invite you to our dining hall for a complementary lunch with other accepted students in your college and an opportunity to talk with current students while you eat.

If all that wasn’t enough, as part of our thank you for coming to Preview Day, we will give you our Embry-Riddle Travel Grant that will be added to your student account that will become a credit towards your first year! The amount depends on how far you traveled from home to our campus. If you have already visited our campus before, then you have already received this grant.

All we ask of you is that you please RSVP to http://prescott.erau.edu/admissions/preview/ so we can prepare materials for you. We will provide you with a schedule of the days events and other information.

I will be working on Preview Day for Admissions, so I hope to see you here on April 13th!

Handy-Dandy College Tips

As is my annual tradition, this last blog before the end of the semester is going to be all about what I have learned this past year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University! I am nearly finished with my junior year, and even though I thought I learned everything there is to know about ERAU last year, I somehow managed to learn even more about college life this year! So here it goes, my little gems of knowledge that I have collected this past year:

1.  Always be prepared (time-wise and otherwise) for emergencies (such as a broken down car) and realize that it does eventually happen to everyone. No one is immune to bad luck, unfortunately.

2.  The SGA Office in the Student Union has a free candy drawer, and when you’re lucky, there are sometimes Goldfish. Take advantage of this as often as you can!

3.  There are always going to be blocks on your schedule that you have to remove before you can actually register for classes. Don’t wait for the day of registration to go see your advisor! Chances are, everyone else and their dogs are going to be waiting in line too and you probably won’t get all of the classes you wanted.

4.  Join as many clubs as you can. There are awesome clubs like Zumba Club, Poker Club, Harry Potter Club, Sky-Diving Club, Ballroom Dancing Club, and so many more! You get to make new friends and the activities are always fun!

5.  As weird as this sounds, you should actually look at the fliers posted around campus in passing. Sometimes there are awesome under-the-radar activities going on that are not widely broadcasted.

6.  Don’t hesitate to go to Health Services when you’re sick. Even though school and homework are so important, staying healthy is important too! Don’t put off your health because you’re busy! (Such as so many other lessons in life, I had to learn this lesson the hard way!)

7.  There is not one single way to get ANYWHERE on campus. All the sidewalks are like zigzags, so don’t waste your time standing at the crossroads wondering which route is faster. Just pick one and chances are you’ll get to class on time.

8.  The quiet room in the library is a great place to study, especially when you don’t want to be bothered by tons of people making noise! However, if you’re a library-style-social-butterfly, the top floor is where you can study while you hang out with friends (hello, study groups!).

9.  Take advantage of being able to sleep in (yes, sleeping until eight is considered sleeping in!) In the real, working world, you don’t get that luxury!

10.  Take chances! Don’t be so risk averse that you miss out on all the fun and miss out on awesome memories. College life is the best kind, so make sure to enjoy it while you can, because it sure flies by!


“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

-Ferris Bueller

Update on senior year

It seems just like last month that I was moving in all my boxes into my freshman dorm. And now, I am just about ready to submit my application for graduation for the Class of 2013 of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  I definitely had some nostalgic feelings earlier in the semester during my third and final time I worked as an Orientation Leader.  I couldn’t help but recall my own memoires as a freshman student, straight out of high school, without a clue in the world of what I had gotten myself into.

And today, I am senior in college, finishing up the last few credits I need to earn that Bachelor of Science degree.  Senior year has been an absolute blast these last few months.  Every single fall semester prior to this year, I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving and Winter Break and I was burnt out by the time the end of November came around.  This year, I actually found myself asking where all the time went by and not wanting the semester to end.

One of the more unique experiences I’ve had the pleasure of participating in was traveling on behalf of the Office of Admissions throughout the United States on recruiting events for the university.  For the fall semester, these were the Admissions Information Meetings for prospective students around the nation.  I was able to visit different cities on various different weekends including, El Paso, Texas, Albuquerque, New Mexico, San Marcos, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Phoenix, AZ and Ventura, CA.  I was tasked to represent the office from the perspective of a current student and basically share my knowledge of the university as well experiences.  It was interesting to be able to relate to students in their junior/senior years of high school. I always made sure to emphasize that I was really not much older than they are and that I was in their exact same position just a few years ago.  My goal was to be as relatable as possible with the students and be able to give them the same assistance I received when I was their age.

I guess being able to travel allowed the semester to quickly fly by, no pun intended.  Besides that, I have been heavily focusing on my new position as Senior Campus Ambassador for the university and all the new responsibility associated.  With my counterpart, we are in charge of the Campus Ambassadors/Tour Guides for the Office of Admissions.  The middle of the fall semester is usually associated with heavy tour activity so you can imagine how busy it has gotten.

Sometimes, with work, travel, and other items, I forget I am still a student.  My class load consists of only twelve credits and my classes include Aircraft Accident Investigation, Mechanic/Structural Factors in Aviation Safety, Applied Climatology, and Studies in Literature.  I am hoping this year to be able to graduate with a double major in Aviation Safety Science but we’ll see what happens.

Besides all the above, I’ve been able to thoroughly enjoy all of the activities that accompany senior year.  One of my main mottos this year is no holding back in regards to every aspect of my life.  It really is true that college consists of four of the best years of your life.  And it was just recently that such insignificant things (walking through the fall leaves on campus, the crisp clear skies at dawn, and the power of a monsoon thunderstorm) all of a sudden meant so much to me.  I wish it didn’t need to end.  Senior year continues and I look forward to sharing with you the memoires that have yet to be made.

Let me know what you think as well as any questions you might have in the comments below. Thanks!

Update on Junior Year

One of the most marked differences between my high school and college experiences is motivation. In high school, I cared less and less as the years went by. But in college, I get more and more excited about school as the semesters pass. Not only do the classes get more involved and delve deeper in to specific subject matter, but you start to realize that, in a few short years, you will be equipped to go and do this stuff in the real world. This semester, I’m taking private pilot ground I for helicopters, private pilot flight I, COM223: Intelligence Writing, LCH101: Chinese 101, and SS110: World History. I have definitely been the most excited about my classes this semester than any other before. I’ll tell you about my two favorite and most involved classes this week.

Intelligence Writing, taught by Deanna Austin, is easily my favorite class this semester. It’s a great class and Austin is such a great professor. I will take anything she teaches. In this class, we chose a country at the very beginning of the semester and have been assigned various subsequent writing assignments pertaining to it. Every other week, we do “Milestones”, where we collect information about the issues going on in our country. We use these to brainstorm ideas for Intelligence Briefs that we write about once a month. We write briefs on any issue of importance to the country and its relations to the US and the world. The cool thing about these briefs is that we submit them to our school’s intelligence publications, Eagle Eye, so there is a chance your brief could be published! During lectures, we talk about all sorts of topics relating to intelligence writing. Right now, we are going over key assumptions and how to become aware of them in your writing. One of the things that I really love about how Austin structures this class is that we do a lot of in-class activities where she will show us a method of, say, brainstorming, and then we will all take half an hour to practice it and turn in a mini-assignment. It really helps the method stick if you have an opportunity to try it out yourself and then get feedback.

Chinese 101, taught by Yang Li, is a very demanding class. We follow our textbooks very closely in this class, which are broken into lessons that are structured around a dialogue between two people. In each dialogue, we learn a specific skill, like how to ask what date and time it is, or inviting somebody to the movies. Normally we spend one day per week just going over new vocabulary words, one day a week where we give an oral presentation to the class, and one day a week where we are quizzed over the current lesson. One of the things I like best about the structure of this class is that we spend a lot of time speaking out loud, sometimes alone and sometimes together. But the times that we speak individually give the professor an opportunity to correct individual mistakes in our speech, which is very helpful.

This semester has also taught me that the professor can make such a difference in your success and enjoyment of a class. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is to put some real thought into your schedule each semester. Not just when to take which classes when, that could be its own blog post. Do not write off the opinions of your peers. They can tell you which professors are great and who to avoid, which might be the difference between a semester that you thoroughly enjoy or the one that you spend hitting your head against the wall.

Update on Flight Training experience and progress

One of the greatest reputations Embry-Riddle has is our high quality flight training. As a flight student, I am training in state of the art aircraft and simulators to give me a competitive edge when it comes to applying for jobs with the airlines. I am glad I came to Embry-Riddle for flight training as the instructor’s take a hands on approach to helping you learn the various material and maneuvers required for the certificate or rating. As most flight instructor’s are former Embry-Riddle students, they are extremely knowledgeable, given their education. They can relate to you with flight training and with classes, since they have already gone through the Aeronautical Science degree program. I have enjoyed working with each instructor I have had throughout my flight training and have considered them friends as I have gotten to know them in my flight courses.

My instructor has prepared me well throughout this flight course to the point that I am ready to be tested on my knowledge and skills in the instrument rating flight course. After I submit the paperwork, I have 5 check activities to complete before I am an instrument rated pilot. The activities I have are an oral, a simulator, a flight, a final oral, and a final flight. I think that the oral is hands down, the most stressful check activity. You are questioned by a standards (or check) instructor on weather information, cross-country flight planning, aircraft systems related IFR operations, aircraft flight instruments and navigation equipment, ATC clearances, compliance with departure, en route, and arrival procedures and clearances, holding procedures, loss of communications and lastly pilot qualifications. This ordeal usually lasts about two hours. You are graded for each knowledge area on a scale of outstanding, good, marginal, unsatisfactory, and incomplete. I am definitely working hard to get all outstanding and good marks.

Personally, my favorite check activity is the flight. In this activity, I get to demonstrate to the check instructor that I can fly under instrument conditions and can land the aircraft safely after a successful instrument approach. I am pretty sure I will have to fly the VOR RWY 12 approach into Prescott and circle to land RWY 21L. Also, I will have to fly either the RNAV GPS RWY 12 approach and circle to land RWY 21L or the RNAV GPS RWY 21L straight in approach.

The VOR RWY 12 approach is probably the hardest approach we have here at Prescott. Depending on where you are coming from, you either arc, hold, or proceed straight inbound to the Drake (DRK) VOR. After passing the VOR, you are now on the final segment of the approach. This requires you to descend at about 1,000 ft/min as well as to check to make sure you are on course, make all the required callouts, bring the landing gear down, and prepare for landing. The most important part is to not descend below the minimums until you make the decision to land! If at any point you are unstable on the approach, you must execute the missed approach.

I am excited to almost be done with the instrument rating and to have received great flight training from one of Embry-Riddle’s exceptional flight instructors.

Extra-curriculars I’ve been involved with

So far I have been involved in many different extracurricular activities outside of class.  I have been pretty active in the Embry-Riddle, Arizona campus life with student body events, the Air Force ROTC Honor Guard, hiking and playing instruments with other students.  As a freshman, I was definitely concerned about not having much to do during my free time but at Embry-Riddle the staff and student government puts on plenty of fun events. The resident hall assistants put on a capture the flag game between halls (which was extremely fun), group hiking events, and even Halloween costume parties. The campus student life staff gives us a lot of fun events to go hang out and meet new people. I remember the first week I came here there was a campus event hosted every other hour.  With that being said there is no reason to be bored here at Embry-Riddle.

At the Embry-Riddle, Arizona there are lots of clubs to be involved in. The selection literally ranges from ball room dancing to rock climbing to the jet dragster club project.  I have been involved with the Honor Guard Team, through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, as well as the archery club. The Honor Guard Team is through the Air Force ROTC program and if you pursue ROTC, I would definitely recommend considering it.  The team is like a second family. On top of being an Honor Guardsman you get the chance to meet a lot of great people. With Honor Guard at Detachment 028, there is always something fun happening. The last thing we did as a group was perform in the Veterans Day parade. This event among had to be the greatest one yet because being there to support the veterans while holding the Arizona state flag during the ceremony was the best feeling I have had in a long time. Among the Honor Guard family we also enjoy going to the gym they have on campus and working out, along with running on the beautiful trails out here in Prescott, Arizona.

Speaking of the gym, it is definitely the best one I have been to. The options include nearly every type of cardio machine to every free-weight option you can think of.  I do go to the gym a lot; not only is it clean and available for your use but it’s a pleasant place to be. Everyone here at Embry Riddle is helpful and considerate. And as a plus, it’s never crowded. So the gym is an excellent place to go and workout.

On top of going to the gym, I am also into photography, whether you like photography or just taking hikes to view some incredible scenery, Prescott, Arizona is a great place to be. The fresh air among the great nature is a great motivation to get up and get out every morning. Every year the student body on campus hosts a photography contest.  The best photos from get reviewed for a chance to be featured in the Embry-Riddle weather calendar.

That’s pretty much my view on extra-curriculars. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Veteran’s Day

As we all know, Veteran’s Day was this past weekend, so in light of my participation in Embry-Riddle’s activities to support our veterans I would like to tell you about how Embry-Riddle honors our veterans every year. As a little side note, there are a few hundred veterans on campus as well as a few hundred Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets.  The campus is very military friendly.

The experience was extremely rewarding and the activities that I was a part of this past weekend will be the most notable memories of my freshman year. I am a member of the Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC Honor Guard Team, which is basically the military group that presents the colors before football games and at other various types of ceremonies.  Each year the Honor Guard Team and the other teams in the Detachment 028 Honor Corps go to the Prescott Veteran’s Memorial Hospital and conduct a 24 hour vigil around the flag. This year’s vigil was my first time performing as an active member of the Honor Guard.  Just being able to stand at attention and endure a mostly sleepless night for the sake of vigil was an incredible experience. It really made me think about why I had chosen to become a member of the team and why I had put in so many long hours at practice when other cadets hadn’t.

The reason is this: millions of people died to protect our freedoms, an almost equal amount have endured incredible hardships as prisoners of war, and countless others have been labeled as missing in action. These brave young men and women never got to say a final goodbye to their families, never got to see their homes again, and because of their sacrifice they must never be forgotten.

This is so important to me as a freshman in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps because I know that I will be the next in line to take up the defense of this country.  Being a participant in Vigil really changed my viewpoint.  I appreciated veterans before but when I stood guarding the flag as a symbolic representation of those who took up arms in its defense, I truly came to understand the magnitude of the hardships my predecessors had undergone.

Honor Corps Vigil 2012


I can honestly say that if I had not decided to come to Embry-Riddle I would not have had the opportunity to stand vigil and I would not have grown from the experience like I did that weekend. This freshman year has been an amazing growing process and my Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps commitments have truly helped me mature. I have made a ton of great friends along the way and become a part of the family that I call the Honor Guard. When I need help with school work they are there, and if I’m having a bad day they are there too.  I have found a home away from home at Embry-Riddle and I hope that you will too!

Veteran’s Day activities/update on progress of freshman year

Sophomore year here at Embry Riddle has been going great so far. This year has been quite the journey, and distinctly different from last year. Let me tell you why being a sophomore is different from my previous years of education, and give you a few specific examples from the past week.

As a sophomore in the aerospace engineering program, I am going through what is colloquially known as “the gauntlet.” Every single aerospace engineer and electrical engineer here at Riddle is quite familiar with “the gauntlet”. It is called this because right now, I am taking courses such as Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, and Differential equations and Matrix Methods. These have been the most challenging engineering courses I have ever taken, but they are incredibly rewarding. After years of somewhat aimless studying in high school, it feels so refreshing to learn about material that I’m interested in. This same material that my professors are covering is material that is heavily used in aerospace engineering jobs today. Speaking of my professors, I’d like to say that they are an amazing group of teachers. For example, Dr. Hayashibara, my fluid mechanics professor, drives us to not just become another engineer crunching numbers, but someone who thinks for themselves and is able to grasp the big picture. As a highly driven person, I love this type of attitude and style of teaching, as it creates future leaders in the aerospace industry, rather than just an office worker. This is why being a sophomore is such a wonderful experience; we are finally learning how to affect and direct the industry that so many people here are passionate about.

Classes are not the only thing going on in my life too.  This past weekend I stood guard for twenty four hours straight at the Veterans Hospital in honor of Veteran’s Day.  Guarding the flag in this manner is known as Vigil. I did Vigil through the Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC Honor Guard, of which I am the commander. We rotated in thirty minute shifts to ceremonially guard the American flag through 18 degree weather. Having the honor to do this was an awakening experience, but we also had a ton of fun too. In our downtime between shifts I was able to spend time with my friends. At Embry-Riddle, you will form a group of really close friends due to the smaller nature of the campus. This is especially exaggerated by participation in activities, such as ROTC or engineering clubs. The group of friends I formed though experiences such as Vigil are people who I trust and I know I will be working with someday as we pursue our common passions for aviation and the Air Force.

Overall, life has been good. School is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The experiences I’m having here only seem to get better with each semester. Until next time!

Cherie Gambino Aerospace Engineering

Hello, everyone! I’m Cherie Gambino, an Embry-Riddle Prescott student from a small town in California. I came to this school for two reasons: Air Force ROTC and Engineering. So far, I’m loving my experiences here. The people are amazingly sweet, the campus is gorgeous and AFROTC is a blast. My best choice to date has been coming to this school.I think my overall favorite experiences have been climbing inside a wind tunnel, building rockets, and being able to tour the campus’s crash lab, all as a freshman student!

In my University 101 class, my professor allowed me to climb inside a wind tunnel because I had been begging him to let us tour them.  It was also during this class that we toured the crash lab, which is basically a field full of old plane wreckage that is set up comparably to the original crashes so that students can study the sites and try to establish the probable causes of the crashes. Because of the University 101 class and other great freshman programs at Embry-Riddle, I have discovered so much about this campus and have met some incredible people who I am sure will become long lasting friends as I pursue my career as an engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Prescott Campus

I encourage anyone who is interested in Embry-Riddle to tour the Prescott campus since it is simply beautiful here, there are many programs to explore, clubs to join, and facilities for students to use. Even though I had never toured the campus myself before my first day here, I have fallen in love with this school and also the state of AZ. Because I love this campus so much, I am very excited to have the opportunity to blog about my experiences as a freshman student of the Aerospace Engineering Program, Air Force ROTC, and Air Force ROTC Honor Guard. If you have any questions or would like to know more about me, feel free to ask.  I am happy to share with anyone and would love to get to know more about you!

Adam Olimski, Freshman, BS Electrical Engineering

Hey there, I am Adam Olimski, an Air Force ROTC freshmen cadet at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  I am originally from Orange County, California but then I moved down to the beautiful beaches of sunny San Diego.  My favorite hobbies are photography, going to the gym, and taking hikes.  I made the big move to Embry-Riddle because of its outstanding reputation throughout the Air Force and community.  I am currently studying Electrical Engineering and looking forward to my future, hopefully traveling the world with the Air Force.

Outside of my school work and Air Force ROTC, I am a participant in the AFROTC Honor Guard team.  I do spend a lot of time and effort with the Honor Guard; it’s just one of those things you get addicted to.  The Honor Guard team has helped me develop my character and my teammates have been there for me like best friends.  Another thing I enjoy outside of campus life is the incredible nature. Taking hikes right across the street from my dorm is a great way to just relax and take in the fresh air.  I do spend other free time hanging around the dorm playing my epiphone electric guitar with my friends.  I also do go to the gym a lot, as I have always been a fitness guy. The gym is my favorite getaway next to hiking, photography and my guitar.  Upon coming here I have learned a lot about living on your own. Within only three months of living here I have come to enjoy the life I lead here and appreciate more of everything I do on my own.

My hopes of this blog is to offer a better understanding of the life of a freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and answer any questions you may have about the BIG move to college.  Welcome to my blog.