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.

Stick Around in the Summer!

Summer is the best time of year for activities in Prescott. Not only is the weather gorgeous, but normally you have more free time to get out and do stuff outside! Some of my favorite summer memories are from camping trips or hiking trips. It’s so much fun to get away from town for a little while and explore nature. For this reason, I think it’s a good idea to stay on campus over the summer instead of going back to your home town for the summer break. It’s also a really good time to get a couple of classes out of the way so that you can take a lighter load during the semester.

The underground lava tube!

There is a cool spot to camp and hike near Flagstaff called the Lava Tubes. It’s a big underground cave/tunnel that you can hike into, and there are dispersed camp sites around the area. A couple of summers ago, a group of admissions employees went camping there together and it was a ton of fun!


One of the most well known spots for swimming in the area is called fossil creek. It’s over an hour drive away and a bit of a hike on top of that, but there are awesome cliffs to jump off of into the water. All of my local friends also love to go tubing down the salt river. It’s in the phoenix area, and it takes you about three hours to float from the beginning to the end of the river. You rent tubes for all the people in your group and one extra to put a cooler in for drinks, and you tie them all together and float down together.

The Top of the Waterfall!


Another fun place to hike and camp is called wolf creek. It’s only about a 20 minute drive from our campus, so it’s a lot easier to just go on a spur of the moment decision! Wolf Creek is this big stone waterfall, but you have to catch it at the right time of year for there to actually be any water in it. Unfortunately, we did not do this. But it’s still a really short, fun hike to do. Someday I’ll make it out there when there is running water and report back.


Water Volleyball at Our Pool–Sweet!

You’re also definitely going to want to visit our on campus swimming pool! It’s heated now (yay!!!) and it’s open every day from 11am-6pm. And it’s free and right on campus, so what’s better than that?






One of the biggest reasons that I like to take summer classes is that you take fewer classes at a time, so it’s much easier to get really into the classes you take and learn more. Instead of having class only two or three times a week, normally you will have class everyday for at least an hour and a half. This really allows you to get to know your professor better. Taking summer classes also gives you some freedom to take fewer classes during the semester. If you only take two classes in the summer, that allows you to reduce your course load by three credits each semester. One class can actually make a big difference, especially during midterms or finals week, when you’re studying for all your classes at the same time. If you are a flight student, you have even more incentive to stay over the summer because your tuition is usually discounted in some way. It also gives you the freedom to focus on flying and flight courses without having to worry about your other academic courses.

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.