The 2021 Southwest Security Conference: Exploring Interest in Security-Related Fields

by Austin Perez

ASIS – Eagle Committee at the Fall 2021 ERAU Career Fair with ASIS Phoenix Chapter Leadership (from left to right: Beth Chwialkowski, Michael Tokos, Jordan Coté, Emma Sanders, Prof. Reg. P. Parker, Stephanie Switz, Erik Lechleitner, Austin Perez)

Hello, My name is Austin Perez, Secretary of the ASIS – Eagle Committee at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This committee is based on our relationship and partnership with the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) and the ASIS Phoenix chapter, one of the many chapters in the internationally recognized ASIS Organization.

Recently, members of the ASIS – Eagle Committee were able to attend the 2021 Southwest Security Conference, hosted by ASIS Phoenix Chapter. This conference featured industry professionals across security-related fields, including experts in airline and airport security, supply chain professionals, law enforcement, and security managers from multistate supermarket chains discussing ongoing and emerging threats. Other speaking events included a presentation from the Scottsdale Police Department, in which they gave an in-depth, after-action report on the Scottsdale Riots at the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

The 2021 Southwest Security Conference presented opportunities for students to network with industry professionals.

Thanks to this incredible opportunity to hear from industry experts, students were not only able to network with potential employers but understand that the needs and demands for security are exponentially growing and constantly evolving in the private industrial security sector. This experience encourages students to tailor their education at Embry-Riddle to reflect their field interests and pursue industry experience while still in college.

ASIS – Eagle Committee‘s table at the Southwest Security Conference (from left to right: Prof. Reg P. Parker, Marissa Owens, Kaden Gaede, Michael Tokos, Josh Onabanjo).

Two of Embry-Riddle’s own professors were able to attend the 2021 Southwest Conference as guest speakers: Professors Alan Saquella and Reginald P. Parker. Both professors are active members of ASIS and have presented on private sector security at ASIS – Eagle Committee. Their presentations at the conference encouraged ASIS to provide resources and support to student members in order to cultivate the next generation of security professionals. Because of these two wonderful professors, ASIS International is looking at developing a more efficient way of training students in security fields, which includes a better working relationship between the ASIS – Eagle Committee, micro-internships, and mentorships.

Our professors Reginald P. Parker and Alan Saquella with Marisa Owens, Assistant Director of Career Services, giving a presentation on Emerging Threats.

Overall, our time spent at the 2021 Southwest Security Conference greatly benefited our new student members, many of whom had never met with industrial professionals, and expanded interest in private sector security fields.

The ASIS – Eagle Committee (from left to right: Jackson Owings, Emma Sanders, Prof. Reg P. Parker, Erik Lechleitner, Michael Tokos, Austin Perez)

ERAU Students Perform at Chinese New Year Celebration

Happy Chinese New Year, Year of the Pig, from ERAU’s Chinese Program! The date this year is Feb. 5th.

On January 26th, ERAU’s Chinese program, Choirs, and Project Pengyou Eagle Chapter successfully co-organized and performed at the Chinese New Year Gala at the Chandler Center for the Arts. This is the 3rd year in row ERAU presented at the biggest celebration show organized by Eastern Arts Academy for traditional Lunar New Year in the Phoenix and Chandler area. Arizona Senator John Kavanagh, Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, a Representative from the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, and our own Vice Chancellor Dr. Rhonda Capron attended the event. In addition to over 40 ERAU students, around 20 ERAU student parents, relatives, and Prescott community members were also in attendance.

Sixteen students in Dr. Hong Zhan’s classes and three students from the ERAU Choirs presented a fabulous show. In front of 1,500 people, Ben Robinson, a student in Dr. Zhan’s literature class led a recitation of contemporary poetry, entitled Nostalgia, followed by a very famous Chinese song: Admiring the Ocean. The song was led by three ERAU Choir singers: Rachael Bradshaw, Hannah Bryner, and Rebekah Bryner. Our students’ performance and their high level of Chinese proficiency were highly praised by the show directors and audience members. As one director commented, “when listening to ERAU students reciting poetry, I could not tell that they have foreigner’s accent in their pronunciation.”

Our students had great time at the event, starting with authentic Chinese food supported by Project Pengyou Eagle Chapter. Students enjoyed the Chinese performing arts, and appreciated the opportunity to see how Chinese people organize an event and communicate in real life. This event helped them understand the foundations of Chinese culture.

Thank you to Dr. Matt Haslam, the HU/COM department chair, for supporting transportation to the event. Many thanks to the Project Pengyou Eagle Chapter for providing the funding that allowed students to enjoy authentic Chinese food.

Thanks to Mr. Johnathan McNeely, ERAU Music Coordinator, for directing the song.

Last, but not least, thanks to Dr. Rhonda Capron, our own Vice Chancellor, for attending the event to support our students on site.

Photos provided by engineering student Ken Crawford (a GSIS/Chinese student), Mark Dehoff, and others.

Study Abroad India 2015 – A Country of Stark Contrasts

My Trip to Nepal & India by Guest Blogger Brennan Carrington

India - ClassI haven’t done too much traveling around the world so far, but in my experiences I thought I would be prepared for what the Indian sub-continent had to offer because of learning in the classroom and watching YouTube videos. Actually these only prepare you for so much. The adventures and experiences I had on this trip were both unforgettable and humbling.



Before starting this course I honestly wasn’t too excited to visit these particular countries but I was excited for my opportunities to travel and add some visas to my passport. That changed.

This study abroad course included a class on campus that culminated in the trip. In the classroom portion, we had a lot of guest speakers come and tell us about their previous travels throughout India or Nepal. One that stood out to me explained how India is the country of stark contrasts, both physically and spiritually, which was very evident as we traveled throughout the political and spiritual capital of the country and some of the worlds biggest and oldest religions.











It was incredible to witness both the extreme beauty and poverty of both countries, especially in India. From a political standpoint, India is a super power and one of the most influential countries on the global stage. Most people wouldn’t think that after witnessing first hand the struggle that the average Indian citizen goes through for food or basic necessities. But as it was explained many different times, if the outside appears broken, their spirit is still strong and happy. India truly is still a land of wonder and excitement.

I would highly recommend looking into traveling around this country for anyone that has an interest in a culture and society that has given so much to the world and has so much that the world can still learn from it.


Yes I was there – the 2015 Dubai International Aviation Festival

by John Sami, Senior

john 2At Embry-Riddle, doors open to those who grab the handle and turn it. I’m a Senior in Aeronautics with a triple minor in Business Administration, Aviation Safety, and Security graduating magna cum laude this December. Over the years I’ve had some pretty awesome experiences but this past week topped it all. I attended the 2015 Dubai Aviation Festival with CEOs and corporate Executives of Airlines and aviation businesses from around the world.

I was interested in attending the 2015 Dubai Aviation Festival because it’s the foremost conference for aviation in the Middle East. Over 80 airlines and airport representatives attended from Saudi Arabia, India, North Africa, Central Asia and more. Yes it was amazing! It was my first time in Dubai too! What a stunning city with such nice people.

john 7At the conference I was able to participate in speed networking sessions and meet and greets with executives and sales professionals in the global aviation industry. The presentations gave me a unique perspective into the current state of aviation in these markets. I found it especially interesting to know that social media is really where many of these airlines will be focusing their future branding.

A major aspect of my attending was as an ambassador for ERAU’s 3rd annual AirCon which will be taking place in Chandler, AZ. I met with and invited 10 new international airlines and 20 aviation technology companies to attend and present research at the upcoming January event. AirCon is the world’s leading aviation research conference. It only makes sense that these professionals could benefit from the research-sharing at our AirCon and likewise we could benefit from their knowledge.aircon

I’m also hoping my experience will help our current students. I brought company contacts for our international students to be able to obtain internships and full-time positions back home.

It’s opportunities like this that have shaped my academic time here at Embry-Riddle. I’m very grateful to have had the academic support of some great faculty like Dr. Brent Bowen and Robin Sobotta in the Aviation and Business programs.

*Note – The first photo of the space shuttle was taken on my layover in Virginia when I visited the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center National Air and Space Museum. This is the same gentleman who donated the ERAU Prescott Hazy Library!

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Chinese Courses at Embry Riddle


This blog is a shout out to one of our readers who was wanting to know more about Chinese courses at Embry Riddle. I was able to find and interview several current students in the Global Intelligence and Security Chinese Program and this is what they had to say.

“The program is super fun and intense at the same time. Each course you take (one semester) is actually equivalent to learning one year of the language. It is high paced but, the professors are really helpful and clear with the material so it is challenging as well as interesting. There is also an opportunity for students to go to China between the Sophomore and Junior year in order to completely be immersed in the culture. The trip really helps to cement your knowledge in the language and can help you get future jobs. In addition to that you get great connections with the people you meet on the trip and gain many life long friends. As far as the schedule goes, you do have a lot of free time to do homework and group work because classes are spread out well. There are actually tutors for the Chinese program as well and being able to talk with them is really great as most of them have extensive backgrounds in the language.”

chinese-characters-ideograms“In all despite the challenges that the program can present it is really fun and totally worth doing.” All of the Chinese Students that I interviewed said that taking Chinese at Embry-Riddle is the best decision they have made in their college career.

If you have any more questions please let me know or give the Admissions department a call 🙂 Thanks for reading.

Interview with General Trask

Ricky Opening paragraph

Max Sandoval, Director of Embry-Riddle Prescott’s Marketing and Communications, recently interviewed, two star general, Major General Thomas J. Trask to discuss his thoughts on being asked to make the commencement speech as well as his thoughts about his time with Embry-Riddle.

Max: How do you feel about being asked to speak at the commencement at the Prescott Campus?

General Trask: Truthfully, I was completely shocked and it was a thrill to be asked. Being asked to speak at such an event was such a surprise. The thought never crossed my mind.

Max: Without giving away too much can you please tell me what topics you are going to be speaking about in your commencement speech?

General Trask: The topics of interest will include things I learned at both campuses. I went to Daytona Beach as well as Prescott and while they are very different, the things that I learned are similar. So, one of the topics will be “what I learned at Embry-Riddle” and the most important thing that I learned was how to resolve problems. My degree program forced me to learn about the how to resolve problems that are placed in front of you. I really got a license to learn how to resolve problems.

Max: What is an example of the toughest hurdle you have had to overcome in your career or life?

General Trask: My toughest hurdle was the realization that life is a team sport.  You need to make the team better and realize what you can contribute. You realize success involves making the team better.

Max: What is the motivation that lies at the core of who you are that pushes you to achieve?

General Trask: Several factors motivate me however the factor which I reflect on the most is the ability I have to affect young people. That is the greatest motivating factor that pushes me to excel.  Young people can and will change the world and I can shape their minds and the things they do to achieve success and develop others around them. I love being involved in shaping a person’s life, whether through the military or another professional career.

Once I retire I would love to get back into education and continue to help young people.

Max: So, your previous answer is a great segway into my next question – where do you see your career going in the future – possibly after the military?

General Trask: The military has been a wonderful career and I never would have thought of seeing myself in the position I am in now. When I return to civilian life I would ideally like to get into the university environment in an administrative role. Education is extremely important.

Max: What advice do you have for current ROTC students?

General Trask: For the new officers in ROTC, have a plan that is flexible.  It is such a critical time to come into the military and a mindset that has the discipline and the mindset. It is an exciting time to be in the military.

Max: Looking back, what are some unexpected benefits?

General Trask: Greatest unexpected benefits were the connections I would experience.  I went to both DB and PR and had friends and contacts at both. To this day I still use this network because it has uses in every industry.  It is a great resource.

Max: Looking back when you first started studying, where did you think your education would take you?

General Trask: My plan was coming in on an ROTC scholarship and my plan was to be an engineer and serve in the military and then go out into the private industry.  I got the flight training at Riddle and thought I could go back to engineering. And never dreamed I would be in the military 30 years and still love it.

Embry Riddle Prescott Webpage


The Embry Riddle Prescott Webpage has just been updated with all kinds of cool links and information that will help our prospective students get to know more about Embry Riddle!!! All of the information is up to date, including info about our College of Global Intelligence and Securities Studies which is the first of its kind in the nation!!

The new webpage is sleek and easy to navigate with drop down menus and helpful suggestions that may help you find what you need to know. There is also a search bar for stuff that you can’t find from the first page of the site and it is really helpful 🙂

Please do some research on Embry Riddle today and let us know if you like out new page, it was designed with you in mind!! Thanks for reading everyone!!

Round one of Midterms


I am proud to say that I have gotten through week one of midterms. I have three down and two to go. I don’t know what it is about midterms but, I think that most college students will agree when I say this….we don’t like them until their over. Midterms are not the average exam that most new freshman are used to, for some reason they are just more stressful. Personally, I don’t like them because no matter how much I know the material I always get nervous for absolutely no reason!


So some tips on studying for a midterm, whether you are a first timer or not…

a) get some good sleep the night before

b) avoid caffeine the morning of

c) relax, listen to some music while you study

d) take a deep breath and recall what you know


Good-luck on those midterms everyone, may the results be ever in your favor 😉



Its Officially 2014!!!!! Congratulations everyone on making it through 2013!! For those new Embry Riddle Prescott Students we welcome you!! For those who are soon to join us here keep pushing through until graduation, we look forward to seeing you next fall 🙂













Are you interested in what Embry Riddle Prescott has in store for you during this new year?? I certainly am, have a look our website through the avenues below!!

Visit Us in Prescott

Check out the Majors we Offer

Request More Information

Apply Now

Hope you have enjoyed our second year of blogging, I definitely have. Please keep reading as we keep you up to date on all the latest college insights. Happy New Year everybody, Let’s make it a great one!

Midterms are on Their Way!


Last Friday I had my first midterm exam in statics, and I’ve got two more this upcoming week. School is definitely progressing quickly around here. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and then finals time, its such a weird thing to think but, don’t let it catch you by surprise!! Start preparing now, don’t wait until the day before the exam to study, this is not high school, this is a highly respected University so don’t forget it!!

Tests are definitely something that need to be taken seriously, so like I said start preparing early by asking questions, doing the homework, reviewing up to 3 days before the exam and clarifying any topics that you are unsure of. Doing this will ensure a higher score on your exams, which will help that GPA!

Even though it can be easy to ignore what you have to do I strongly urge you to put your school first. Yes it is awesome to go out and have fun while you are in college but, don’t forget why you came here…EDUCATION. To get that degree you need to be successful academically, that is why it is so important to put studies first.

The best way to do so is to make a list of the homework and studying that you know you must complete. Do as much as you can every day and when you are finished take a break to enjoy yourself, go out and have some fun. This will really help out your grades and you will get the college experience that you wan at the same time.

So all in all enjoy yourself but, don’t let exams and classwork to catch you by surprise!!