Move In Day = The First Step

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

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

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

 

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

Make-A-Wish Internship by Guest Blogger Tiffany Wimenta

TiffanyThis summer I had the privilege of serving as an intern for Make-A-Wish America. Although I did not work directly with wishes (since I was working at the national office), it was still an amazing opportunity to make some real contributions to the mission of the organization — to “grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.” 

Surprisingly, I was able to use my undergraduate education in security and intelligence throughout my internship. You’re probably really confused right about now. Most people are. You’re probably thinking: “What are you doing interning at Make-A-Wish with your educational background? I don’t see the connection. How did you manage to use your education?” I’ll put the pieces together for you friends. I worked a lot with international wishes. Every morning, I came into the office, got my coffee, and pulled up various news sources to monitor what was occurring around the world that may affect international travel or our wish families abroad – so basically, I gave my supervisor situation reports every day. I was able to develop content to help our wish families be safe and knowledgeable while traveling internationally. I also got to work closely with the Rio 2016 Olympics Wishes, creating a detailed situation report on the internal state of Rio and Brazil (including crime, financial crisis, political unrest, and health concerns), the security preparedness for the Olympics, and terrorist developments (threats and arrests) related to the event. Now, I definitely was not expecting to use my education so much during this internship (well, I didn’t expect to at all), but I am glad that it worked out and I was able to make some pretty meaningful contributions to the organization.

In addition to working with international wishes, I was also able to independently develop content for volunteer managers so that they can more easily provide opportunities for youth under the age of 18 to get involved with the organization. You’re probably asking now, “How did you end up there anyway?” Well, I decided to throw my plan for my future away. That’s right, I started from scratch. I decided I didn’t want the life I thought I wanted before. Once that door closed, SO MANY MORE opened. The Peace Corps. Non-Profits. The possibilities seemed endless, which I will admit was TERRIFYING to me. I always had a plan. I always had some idea of where my life was going. I could see it 10, 20, 30 years out. I knew what my life would look like. That fall though, all certainty went out the window.

Eventually, I figured it out (well, for the most part). I have a direction now. Although it may not be 20 years out, at least I know I am going somewhere. I decided that I would like to pursue a masters degree in public policy or public administration with a focus in non-profit organizations, as well as EITHER international development or political decision making (at least, that’s the direction I have at the moment. I still need to feel it all out, but I know the path I am meant to take will reveal itself to me in time and through experience). So back to Make-A-Wish… this was my starting point to my new dreams and goals. AND WHAT AN AMAZING PLACE TO START! I look forward to continuing my relationship with the organization as a Wish Granter Volunteer for the Arizona chapter. I have my training this Saturday!!! It will be such a rewarding experience to work hands-on with granting the wishes of these children.

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Other than being able to grow under the wings of this amazing, respectable non-profit organization, I also had the privilege to work alongside passionate, driven people who are dedicated to bringing a little more light into the world. Not only the staff, but my fellow interns made this experience and this summer the best I have had so far. They are friends I hope to keep for a long time. We were a group of people who came from many different backgrounds and experiences in life, in various places in our lives, and who are all very individual in our characteristics; but we became that group of friends that you always hope find. We were there for each other for laughs and tears, in love and heartbreak, for fun and work, to give an encouraging word and the hard truth. I am grateful to have shared this experience with such an amazing group of people who I deeply respect and who I believe will do great things in their lives. I can’t wait to see where our paths lead.

Tiffany

Oshkosh 2016 by Guest Blogger Rachel Hutzell

Rachel HutzellThis summer I had the honor of representing the Golden Eagles Flight Team, the Women’s Air Race Classic and the Embry-Riddle Prescott student body at Oshkosh.  Not only did I get to attend one of the largest airshows in the world, I got to meet with future pilots, engineers and astronauts as they considered attending ERAU.

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Oshkosh is an aviation haven built to be an amusement park of sorts for those involved in every aspect of flight. When I wasn’t answering the questions of prospective students and curious alumni, I was sitting in aircraft of all kinds, enjoying the many aerial spectacles and grabbing a few souvenirs along the way.

RachelThree experiences in particular stood out to me to be especially unique. The first was the opportunity to tour the impossibly large KC-135, capable of air refueling and carrying 83,000 lbs worth of cargo. Second was a tower tour that allowed for a 360 degree view of the event. With formation flight overhead, I had a clear view of the over 10,000 aircraft in attendance as well as the thousands of spectators who were enjoying them.

RachelThird and final was the impressive Night Air Show. Dazzling lights coupled with daring aerobatics made it one of my favorite aspects of the week. To top it off, an extensive fireworks show and an entire ‘wall of fire’ brought the show and my week in Wisconsin to a climactic end.

RachelI feel very grateful for being able to participate in this wonderful tradition and highly recommend it to my fellow aviation enthusiasts.

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Advice for our Newcomers in 2016!!!

 

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Hey there everyone it’s that time of year again where we welcome our new freshman!! Being a freshman in college can be an uncertain time for those moving far from home so a few upperclassman have contributed to provide our newcomers with some great advice.

From Shelly (Senior) –The major question that freshman always ask me is what they should bring to college. Here is a list of the stuff that I found pretty useful:

  1. Printer
  2. Computer
  3. Earplugs or noise canceling headphones (trust me these are a necessity!!)
  4. A car 🙂
  5. 3 Flash drives (you will probably loose or break one so having back ups is key)
  6. Sturdy Back pack
  7. A few plates, cups, one pot, one pan, and one set of silverware
  8. Pictures of the family
  9. A rain coat and an all weather coat for when it snows
  10. A good pair of boots that can handle rain or snow
  11. Lots of sweaters!!!! (the weather can be crazy cold during the winter)

From Bryan (Junior) — People always ask me what they should get involved in as a freshman so they can make a lot of friends. What I did was join a fraternity, so far its been pretty sweet and I really enjoy it. The fraternity gives me chances to help in the community and connect to other fraternity members in the US. The connections have really helped especially as I am starting to look for jobs and internships. Oh and, getting a job on campus helps a lot too.

It’s me again! I hope that this advice from some of our other upperclassman has helped, please feel free to ask any questions I’m sure I can find someone to answer them for you!!! Thanks for reading 🙂

The Heart of Prescott: Exploring Downtown

In this Vlog, Colton and his wife Madeline explore the sights and events offered by downtown Prescott as a popular destination for students. From old fashioned candy shops to lemonade stands, downtown Prescott offers something for everyone to enjoy. Check out the Vlog below!

 

 

Drop us a comment or suggestion with ideas for what you’d like to see next!

 

 

10-Time NIFA National Champs!

The TeamRecently, the NIFA (National Intercollegiate Flying Association) National SAFECON Competition took place May 6th-14th. Twenty-five collegiate flight teams from all over the nation gathered at Ohio State University in Columbus to compete against one another in several ground and flying events. The events included Precision Power-on and Power-off landings, Navigation, Computer Accuracy (E6B), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Ground Trainer (Sim). As a member of the Golden Eagles Flight Team, I had the honor of representing Embry-Riddle Prescott and competing at this year’s nationals; and helping us bring home our tenth win since 1993!

Photo credit: NIFA

The week started out with the general contestant briefing on Monday at OSU’s Fawcett Center. Here, all competitors and coaches were briefed on safety procedures, rules, event locations, and everything else that related to the competition. “Roll Call” also happens at the briefing, where each school is called upon and some schools (including us) perform short skits or even dances just for the fun of it!

CA, SCAN, ACID eventsAs soon as the briefing was over, the competition officially began with the three core ground events: Computer Accuracy (CA), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Aircraft Identification (ACID). Each event consists of a 60-minute test relating to various aviation-based knowledge areas. Each team typically has five competitors for each event, and one alternate. First up was CA, which is a math-based event done with an E6B or CR flight computer. Next was ACID, in which contestants are given three seconds to identify an aircraft’s manufacturer, identification number, and common name. Last but not least was SCAN, which requires contestants to plan a flight of three or more legs and answer various regulations, weight and balance, and performance questions pertaining to that flight. I was the alternate competitor for SCAN.

Our SCAN contestants (Left to right): Maddy Mearsch, Chin-An “Johnason” Lin, Rachel Hutzell, Bella Batbileg, Ian McLellan, and RJ Williams

Our SCAN contestants (Left to right): Maddy Mearsch, Chin-An “Johnason” Lin, Rachel Hutzell, Bella Batbileg, Ian McLellan, and RJ Williams

Our ACID crew: Matt Hallock, Stephen Anderson, Ian McLellan, Victor Griffin, Nick Moore, and Connor McNicholas

Our ACID crew: Matt Hallock, Stephen Anderson, Ian McLellan, Victor Griffin, Nick Moore, and Connor McNicholas

Our CA competitors: Kevin Fickenscher, Sam Morris, Jake Cobian, Bella Batbileg, and Colin Kennedy

Our CA competitors: Kevin Fickenscher, Sam Morris, Jake Cobian, Bella Batbileg, and Colin Kennedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day two consisted of power-off landings, or OFFS as we like to call them. Despite some bad weather that temporarily put us on hold, we were able to complete all five rounds of OFFS. The main objective with OFFS is to touch the main gear down as close as possible to a white chalk line that’s drawn across the runway, called the “zero line”. The closer you are to the zero line, the better your score will be. There are several penalties that a competitor can get such as adding power or improper crosswind inputs. We had five total competitors represent us for OFFS, in which four placed in the top 20 out of over 100 other competitors!

RJ Williams in the “hot box”, ready to fly his OFFS

RJ Williams in the “hot box”, ready to fly his OFFS

Victor Griffin waiting out some bad weather. He got to fly shortly after!

Victor Griffin waiting out some bad weather. He got to fly shortly after!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the third day, some low ceilings put the competition on hold for most of the morning. However, the ceilings eventually lifted and allowed us to carry on with power-on landings! ONS are very similar to OFFS, with the only difference being that the competitor is now allowed to adjust power on each approach (this isn’t allowed in OFFS). The judges sure had their work cut out for them, but luckily we were able to finish almost all five rounds of ONS. In addition to ONS, I had the pleasure of competing in the ground trainer event with my fellow teammate Nick Moore. We each flew an eight minute instrument pattern on a FRASCA simulator, and we both ended up placing in the top five!

Ian McLellan, ready to hit that zero!

Ian McLellan, ready to hit that zero!

A judge watches the zero line closely Photo Credit: NIFA; Jason Kadah

A judge watches the zero line closely Photo Credit: NIFA; Jason Kadah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilot Ian McLellan and drop master Kevin Fickenscher about to compete in message drop!

Pilot Ian McLellan and drop master Kevin Fickenscher about to compete in message drop!

On the fourth day of nationals, we competed in message drop. Possibly NIFA’s most fun event, message drop involves teams of two: a pilot and a drop master. The pilot flies the plane 200 feet above the runway, while the drop master drops a container out of the window so that it lands as close as possible to a barrel on the ground.

On the fifth and final day of competition, we competed in Navigation (Nav). Nav was originally supposed to happen earlier in the week, but some bad weather forced the judges to delay it until Friday. For Nav, teams of two (a pilot and a planner) fly an assigned route, using exact coordinates to fly to and pictures on the ground that the teams must find. Grading is strict, with time and fuel graded down to the second and tenth of a gallon!

 

Pilot Johnason Lin watches planner Rachel Hutzell refuel after flying their route. Photo credit: NIFA

Pilot Johnason Lin watches planner Rachel Hutzell refuel after flying their route. Photo credit: NIFA

All nav routes flown during competition, shown on Google Earth! Photo credit: NIFA

All nav routes flown during competition, shown on Google Earth! Photo credit: NIFA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a long, eventful week of competition, and we were all very happy with our performance. After all events were complete, all that remained was the awards banquet!

NIFA team

Photo credit: Jason Kadah

Photo credit: Jason Kadah

We won!Saturday was the big day. We couldn’t wait to find out how we did, and if all the hard work we put in this past year payed off. The awards banquet was held at St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, in a huge ballroom. After dinner, it was time to announce the results. After much suspense, it was finally time to find out which school would go home national champions. The head judge announced this year’s champions: The Golden Eagles Flight Team!! We all stood in disbelief for a few seconds, waiting for the announcement to sink in. All those late night practices, and all those early morning, all-day Saturday practices had paid off. Almost all our team competitors placed in the top twenty or the top ten in each event, and we were also privileged to win the judges trophy! In addition, we took home first place in overall ground events and third place in overall flight events. As we all hugged each other and as congratulations were said, we felt absolutely overjoyed to take home GEFT’s tenth national championship. Not only did we return national champions, we returned as the most “winningest” collegiate flight team in history. Here’s to this year’s NIFA National SAFECON, and here’s to bringing home number eleven next year!

For more about NIFA, check out: www.nifa.aero

For a full list of results, check out: https://nifa.aero/wp-content/uploads/SAFECON-2016-Results.html

And be sure to “like” our Facebook page!

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Confessions of a Sophomore & Getting Married

This is the tale of my Sophomore year; surviving the gauntlet, working off-campus, and… getting married! In this vlog, I (Colton Campbell) take you through the lessons I learned my sophomore year and share some of the footage I captured during Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016. Enjoy, and as always feel free to leave comments and suggestions!

 

And here is a few pics of my beautiful bride, Madeline (: We don’t have the photographer’s photos yet but Maddie’s sister snapped these during the wedding.

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Stay tuned this summer for more video blogs! If you’d also like to see more photo blogs, let me know in the comments below!

I’m in Ireland Right Now on Study Abroad!

I love this University, the people in it, and the things I get to do which right now includes the travel portion of my semester-long Ireland course through the College of Security and Intelligence. Follow my Facebook posts below to see what we’ve been doing…and just remember, as a student at ERAU you can do this too!

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Great Opportunity – the NASA Intern Program

Hey everybody I just got back from an awesome NASA Symposium in Tucson where my research partner and I presented on the topic we have been investigated this past year. The conference was a lot of fun and it was cool to see tons of other projects that interns from all over the state have been working on.

My Research Partner and I at the Symposium

My Research Partner and I at the Symposium

Our research looked into annular wings and devices which can be used to control the aerodynamic forces acting on them. The experience working with NASA’s intern program was super cool and I highly recommend that any ERAU student interested in doing research to get involved with the program. Here’s where you can find out more.

After the symposium ended we got to check out one of the largest mineral collections in the world which was housed on ASU’s campus. The exhibit is incredible and it was so interesting to see so many rare specimens.

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We then headed off to the Pima Air Museum and checked out the hundreds of aircraft stored there. It was breath taking to see so many aircraft all in one place, all perfectly restored to their original condition.

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If you ever have a chance to stop in Tuscon there are tons of awesome things to see and do. The best time to check them out is at a research symposium so get involved here during your time at Embry-Riddle. If you have any questions about our research on annular wings or on the fun stuff we were able to see and do please feel free to ask!

Get Involved in the Community

by student and guest blogger Tessa Frederick, senior in GSIS, Chinese Track and Honors Student Association

Being an Embry-Riddle student means more than just being a regular attendee in your classes each day. As a student at the Prescott campus, you play a vital role in the on-campus and greater off-campus communities that you are a part of.

Getting involved on campus has provided me an unparalleled opportunity to participate in the Embry-Riddle and Prescott communities, particularly as a member of the Honors Student Association on campus. From blanket making, to thrift store sorting, to outdoor trail maintenance, it certainly feels like we’ve done it all! We regularly work with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and The Spot (a local science museum for children) to help them meet their organizational needs.

Forensics Night at the Spot Museum

Forensics Night at the Spot Museum

The best parts of serving in the Prescott community include having the opportunity to make new connections, and being able to positively represent Embry-Riddle. The understanding of the community that actively participating in service provides is incredibly valuable, and truly contributes to the university experience.

Although we love to help out in the Prescott community, participating in service on campus is just as valuable and rewarding. Embry-Riddle’s Prescott campus may be small, but we definitely have a strong sense of community! Lately, the Honors Student Association has been pushing to participate in more campus events. Embry-Riddle students put on amazing events every week, and the opportunities to serve the on campus community through these events are endless. We’ve helped organizations across the board, ranging from the Society of Women Engineers to the TEDx task force. When you visit events such as Preview Day, chances are that you’ve interacted with students serving their Embry-Riddle community.

Project Linus Service Meeting

Project Linus s

Once you’re at Embry-Riddle, your sense of community and service permanently changes. There are so many ways to give back to your communities, and all it takes is a service mindset and the willingness to get involved. If you’re interested in some of the events I’ve mentioned, check out Embry-Riddle’s Control Tower website to get a feel for what service events are going on now. If you don’t see anything you want to participate in, don’t hesitate to reach out and take charge of service in your own way. Whatever your choice is, remember that being a part of the Embry-Riddle community is an incredible experience. Take the chance to give back!