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.

Maddie Roy, Junior, BS Global Security and Intelligence Studies

Hello there! My name is Maddie Roy, and I’m a native Prescottonian enjoying my junior year here at ERAU. I’m currently in the Global Security and Intelligence Studies (GSIS) program with a minor in Aviation Business Administration, and I’m also a helicopter flight student.


My journey leading up to this semester has been a little bit complicated. I took classes here at Embry-Riddle during my senior year of high school, including Introduction to GSIS. I then spent my freshman year at the University of Arizona in Tucson studying Engineering. That

My dad (left) and my flight instructor (right)

didn’t really work out for me so I decided to come back to study GSIS at Embry-Riddle, which I love. Coming from an aviation family and going to an aviation school rubbed off on me and I decided I wanted to get my private pilot license for airplanes, which I did this summer. That got me inspired about aviation and I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in aviation, but this time while flying helicopters! So I started helicopter training this fall and I couldn’t be happier. You might be wondering how I am going to fit that all into one career. To tell you the truth, I have been wondering the same thing. But I figure, being young and having these opportunities afforded to me, there is no better time to follow your passion.

When I’m not studying Chinese characters or memorizing emergency procedures, I like to take advantage of the abundance of activities that nature provides for us here in Prescott. I also work in the Admissions Department as a Tour Guide/Campus Ambassador, leading tours around our campus and flightline, and sometimes traveling to events with our admissions counselors. Having had a fairly unique college experience, I hope to be able to shed some light for those of you out there who are also coming to Embry-Riddle under a unique set of circumstances.

Goodbye Sophomore Year and HELLO SUMMER!

I recently realized that I am half way through my college years, how exciting! Time flew by so fast, it is incredible to know that I only have two years to go. I have been very blessed with good classes and a job here on campus. I have had a lot of fun with my friends and professors. I learned quite a bit and I am happy that I switched my major from Aviation Business to Global Security and Intelligence.

Finals went well. Every one was extra stressed for the week of finals, including me. I feel like I was a little more relaxed about finals than most, but I was still a little nervous. I knew what my grades were going to be even before I took my finals though. I ended up getting A’s in Social Psychology, Observing Asian Cultures, and History of Terrorism. I got B’s in Foreign Policy and International Relations. A few months into these classes, I knew which grades I would probably end up with. I will give my advice and evaluations on these classes. I think it may help prospective GSIS students.

I knew I was going to get a B in this class as soon as I got my first essay grade back. I messed up a lot on this essay. I did not give myself enough time to proof-read it. After that essay, my grades in my exams and later essays kept increasing, but I knew it was too late to get an A. So, I tried my hardest to make sure I could get a B. Professor Trombley was an amazing teacher, but she is leaving Embry-Riddle. But I still advise incoming students to try not to procrastinate. Write the essay a few days before and get someone to proof-read it.

In international relations I had Dr. Jones, GSIS Chair. He is an awesome guy and a good professor, but his assignment due dates continue to change. He would tell us the original assignments and due dates, but later it would be something else. He is very lenient and helpful though. He is very understanding and super knowledgeable. It was a good class overall. I would suggest skimming over ALL the chapters, otherwise you will not do well on the exams.

Social Psychology was so much fun. I learned a lot in Professor Lohn’s class. This was my third class with her, and I enjoyed it even more than her other classes. She is very understanding and enjoyable. She tries hard to make her class more interesting by adding experiments and videos. She also gives out a lot of extra credit. If you are ever struggling, just talk to her and she will help you to succeed!

Observing Asian Culture was very interesting, but it was so difficult to be in that class for 2.5 hours. It started at 6:30 and ended at 9PM. This class made me realize that I do NOT want any more night classes. I thought I disliked early classes, but I would rather get my classes over with instead of having to go back to campus to take a class. If you enjoy Asian culture and if you can handle a late and long class, this is an awesome class. Our finals consisted of a presentation and a 5-10 page essay. It was a lot of fun, but it was a challenge every Thursday night to get the energy to go to the class. (Never missed a class, even though sometimes I wanted to. ha ha.)

And the last class was History of Terrorism. This class was very interesting. We learned a lot about how terrorists operate and I feel more knowledgeable about current events, especially when terrorists are involved. Dr. Vuk was my professor and he is very intelligent, however; he is retiring. He is a nice man, but sometimes he would talk in gibberish, it was hard understanding what he was teaching at times. But it was still fun.

The main advice I have for incoming GSIS students is that you got to brush up on your history and current events. Start reading and writing more, so you can begin to enjoy it. And do NOT procrastinate, it could cost you your grade. This major is a lot of fun, and there is a little something for everyone. Personally, I love psychology the most, while others love to learn more about different U.S. policies and tactics. Just give it some time, you will come to realize what you love.

Now it is summer, that means it is time to relax and get ready for the last few years of college. I am staying here in Prescott to work at the campus in admissions office. I enjoy being here with good company and great friends.

I wish everyone a wonderful summer and I cannot wait to meet the new students and to greet the returning students in the fall. Take care and be safe!

2011: Already one of my best years!

This semester has been a blast, so far! Not only do I enjoy my classes, professors, and fellow classmates, I am spending quality time with friends and loved ones during my free time. Even though, I am given homework and books to read, I am learning to prioritize my time and I am also learning to appreciate the reading material and assignments. You are probably wondering how one can actually try to “enjoy” homework, but once you look at it in a different perspective, it is quite simple.

For example, in social psychology we had to conduct an experiment which would analyze human behaviors and beliefs on certain topics. I chose happiness. I researched other experiments and found out that happiness could easily be created within one’s attitude and thoughts. A new, favorite quote of mine is from Shakespeare, “Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. As I pondered on this statement, I realized the truth behind it. Once an event happens, we can either see the good side or the bad side of it. And if we cannot change what is happening, why not look at the good side? That is what I am trying to do with my classes and homework assignments.

These classes are necessary to enhance my education, the assignments are there to aide me in the class; why not embrace what I am given and learn all that I can? I am paying good money for a desired education, instead of complaining and/or stressing about the work load, I should appreciate the opportunity I am given. Not everyone has the ability to further their education, so I should take full advantage of it and enjoy all the experiences and knowledge I gain along the way.

In other news, I was introduced to an awesome group on campus. They are called Eagle Eye Intel. The students in this club research current events and post them into our campus newspaper. Eagle Eye Intel also has its own website and posts the same articles up there as well. It consists of a group of highly-intellectual students, who are not only well-educated on daily news, but also a lot of fun to hang around and to discuss politics with. I feel that this club will be an advantage to anyone if they enjoy reading, learning, and writing about the daily news. It will also be a huge asset to have on your resume once you are finished at Embry Riddle. I encourage any GSIS student who enjoys writing to look into this fun club. 

Now get out there with a positive attitude, and take full advantage of your educational opportunities which Embry Riddle supplies to you!