Playing in the Dirt

Stage One of making a fuse bead on the fusion machine – Heating

I rarely paid much attention to the concrete in my everyday life, except to determine whether or not it would be there to catch me if gravity decided to work. I knew that it came from a mixture of what I thought was dirt and water, and that it was used to build things like skyscrapers, bridges, and sidewalks. Little did I know that this “dirt” was actually cement, and that people’s lives depend on how well it was made.

One of the days I was particularly dirty from mixing cement samples for testing.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to work for a cement plant as a quality control intern, learning the chemical and physical components that goes into making cement. This internship was designed to further my knowledge in my degree program, forensic biology. Though the two seem unrelated, the education I received in my courses, both in the lab and in the classroom, proved invaluable to learning and utilizing the chemistry used to make cement. In return, working at a cement plant provided important lessons that I can apply for the rest of my life.

My first few weeks at the cement plant consisted of training and obtaining my miner’s certification through MSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration. I learned the layout of the plant, safety procedures, and how cement was made. This process has many steps, and each of these steps are tested and adjusted to ensure that the cement will be of good quality, as determined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Stage Two – Mixing

Stage Three – Setting Into Molds

The Final Product

There is physical testing, which requires making and testing concrete made from the cement, and chemical testing, which is done to check the actual composition of the cement. I mainly focused on the chemical testing. I learned how to manipulate various reactions to gather information, something I did in my chemistry courses at ERAU. These results were actually recorded and used, so I learned how important thoroughness and accuracy is in real-world applications.

The materials necessary throughout the cement making process

The heating tower viewed from the cement silo

I learned how to work in a professional environment, and how important it is to be able to critically think and solve problems. It was an experience I enjoyed!

My Internship at the Endophyte Service Lab at Oregon State University

My summer at the Endophyte Service Lab at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon has been an enlightening and very knowledgeable experience. This opportunity has provided me with the experience to greatly increase my knowledge and understanding of skills in the areas of chemistry, toxicology, and teamwork, as well as closely relate to my future aspirations of becoming a forensic biologist.

Working with these professionals as well as other students who have common interests with me in achieving their goals has been extremely knowledgeable and eye-opening as to what my future career entails. I have learned many helpful lab skills and techniques that would relate to an actual forensic analyst’s career as well as how to use machines such as Mass Spectrometry and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Fluorescence, as well as extraction techniques and finally how to analyze the data they generate.

My job was to perform extractions of lolitrem B, ergovaline, and ergotamine mycotoxins from various grasses used for feeding livestock. The process for one extraction typically took about 3 hours and involved a lot of micropipetting, centrifugation, and drying of solvents on an N-Vap instrument. Measurements had to be extremely precise to obtain accurate results since it was on a microliter level. One tiny little air bubble could ruin the rest of the process and generate inaccurate results!

If it weren’t for the practice and knowledge I obtained from my courses at Embry-Riddle, such as Foundations of Biology 1 and 2, General Chemistry 1 and 2, Organic Chemistry 1 and 2, Microbiology, and Genetics, I would have never been prepared for the massive amounts of micropipetting I had to perform as well as any of the terminology or basic skills needed to achieve good results at my job. My courses gave me the confidence to be successful at the Endophyte Service Lab, and my experience in the lab gave me the confidence and knowledge to further pursue a forensic biology degree.

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!

Explore Sedona – The Weekend Getaway

Sedona, one of the most iconic cities in Arizona, lies just 1.5 hours north of Prescott. With it’s towering red rock formations, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and bustling village Sedona is the perfect weekend getaway or day trip for Embry Riddle students. Check out the video below as Colton show’s off some of Sedona’s beauty!

A Photographic Journey Through the Beauty of Prescott, Arizona

In the following blog, Colton takes you on a visual journey through some of Prescott’s most iconic scenery. You can click on the image to view a larger version.

First we start off with Thumb Butte, one of the highest points in Prescott.

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Thumb Butte and the surrounding area looks just as stunning in the Winter

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Next, we take a look at the lakes near to Embry-Riddle campus (Watson and Willow Lake).

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My friends and I often take our multirotors out to the lake for some aerial photos and video.

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This is the back of Watson Lake dam

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One of my favorite spots in Prescott is Spruce Mountain Lookout. From the top of the mountain you are rewarded with a beautiful view of Prescott below.

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Glowing Mountains

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Another hidden gym is Prescott’s Lynx Creek system. In winter/spring the creek flows with snowmelt and produces gorgeous scenery.

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Our final destination is Prescott’s Downtown Courthouse square. The square presents beautiful colors in the fall as well as spring, and in the winter the entire courthouse and surroundings are covered with Christmas lights. For more info on that see this blog -> https://riddlenationaz.erau.edu/tag/lights/

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Included below are a few more photos that showcase some random but amazing scenery surrounding Prescott, Arizona.

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And to close it up, a few shots of/around Embry Riddle campus!

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If you have any questions feel free to comment below!

-Colton Campbell

 

 

Watch Student UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Club

In today’s video blog, Colton gives you a glimpse into one of the most popular on-campus attractions for Riddle students… The UAS club!

 

 

For more information, comment below to get in contact with someone!

Stay tuned for more exciting videos about life at Embry Riddle and its surroundings.

What can I do when I’m not studying? – [ERAU Activities Fair 2k15 VLog]

Alot of college is about studying to make those very important grades… but obviously you can’t study for the entire 4 years of college right? Check out this video to see a few of the numerous on-campus clubs we have to fill up your free time!

Do you like these new Video Blogs I’m doing? Comment below and let me know! Suggestions and questions are always encouraged!

Granite Basin MTB VLog

Well here’s something new I’m trying… A sort of Video-blog kinda mesh, where the video is the main focus of the blog post and this text is just an accompaniment. If y’all enjoy this format, I’m sure you’ll see more in the future.

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At last, finals were done. And what better way to celebrate than hop on my less-than prepared bike and throw myself down a mountainside with my good friend Ben. I’ll let the video do most of the talking.

This is my first “VLog”, and other than noticing that I move my hands alot when I talk to the camera (I’m used to being BEHIND the camera), I really enjoyed the process and hope you enjoy the result as much as I do. Leave me some feedback on what you’d like to see next/what I can improve upon!

Entrepreneurship as Spoken by Dr. Kodimer

Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business or organization. Last week Oct. 7th was IEEE day. And as a member of the student IEEE branch at ERAU I am glad to announce that in celebration Dr. Kodimer at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University gave a speech on entrepreneurship and his professional experience.

Today I will go into a few of the interesting topics he chose to discuss with us which includes goals, marketing, and a few other great discussions.

First and foremost I’d like to start by saying not everyone’s goal is the same, and your goal to be an engineer may change to being an entrepreneur. For many, it may be to own a small company that does good for the community OR, you may want your company to grow as large as Sony, Apple, or Microsoft.

It all depends. Dr. Kodimer stated, ” Remember the prime directive”.  No matter what the goal may be, it can be easy to get lost in the ownership of the company and lose track of what may be best to survive.

One of the key things he listed in his speech was what it takes to be an Entrepreneur. Health — a clear mind; Knowledge — in the field of need; Integrity, Courage — higher risks; Compassion — for others on the team; and lastly Marketing! What to say and how plays a large enough roll to severely impact your success. Dr. Kodimer revealed something called a push for market and a pull for market. A push for market is when you design something for a target group that they don’t yet know they need/want. While a pull for market is when a target group needs a solution or item that may or may not exist.

There is much more to discuss so if you have further questions or knowledge that you would like to share please contact me or leave a comment.

Thank you.

olimskia@my.era.edu