Faculty and Staff

Students Services

Office: Aviation Education Center
Phone: (269) 964-7846
Fax: (269) 964-6473

Eric Epplett

Recruitment and Outreach Specialist

I began working with the College of Aviation in January 2013 after graduating from the College of Aviation with a BS in Aviation Administration in April 2012 and working previously as an Assistant Residence Hall Director with Residence Life. In working with the Office of Recruitment and Outreach I like that I am able to get students excited about aviation and going to college for aviation. Beginning Summer 2013 I will be pursuing my Master's of Business Administration. I got hooked on aviation in between my freshman and sophomore years in high school when I attended an Aviation Career Education Camp at the local airport.

Office: 1201 AEC
Phone: (269) 964-5768
Fax: (269) 964-6473

Tom Thinnes

Director of Recruitment and Outreach

Although a recent addition to the College of Aviation, Tom Thinnes has been a long time Bronco. Graduating with a degree in history and secondary education from Western Michigan University in 1990, Tom began a career path which eventually led him to the College of Aviation. Soon after graduation, Tom spent approximately ten years just a hop, skip, and a jump from his current office. Working for Sub-Aquatic Sports and Service he combined his love of scuba diving with his passion for education and student outreach. However, after almost a decade underwater, the call of academia encouraged him to pursue his master’s degree. Enrolling at Michigan State University and earning a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching, the next journey in his career pathway led to Florida and Brevard Public Schools. During his tenure, he taught fourth and sixth grade, eventually finding a home at McNair Magnet School where he was the coordinator of recruitment and outreach activities. While in Florida, the lure of Michigan kept tugging at him. After five years, the decision was made to move back to the Great Lakes State, where he was fortunate enough to become part of the College of Aviation.

Office: 2210 Kohrman
Phone: (269) 387-0347
Fax: (269) 387-0355

Sharon VanDyken

Director of Academic Advising

Sharon considers herself a Bronco for life. She joined the College of Aviation in June of 2010. Originally from Chicago, Sharon came to WMU as a student in 1980, and is a 1984 graduate of the Haworth College of Business, majoring in marketing. She began her employment with the university in 1982 while still a student. Sharon held several positions in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 1982 until 1997, including academic advising part-time for the college. Her passion for working one on one with students led her to accepting an academic advising position in the Haworth College of Business, where she remained from 1997 until 2005. Since then, she has worked as an academic advisor for both the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Education and Human Development. Sharon commutes daily from Rockford, Michigan, where she resides with her husband Mike.

Office: 2210 Kohrman
Phone: (269) 387-0349
Fax: (269) 387-0355

LaTonja Wilson

Advising Office

LaTonja joined the College of Aviation in March of 2012. She is a 2010 graduate of the Haworth College of Business, majoring in business administration, human resource management. She began her employment with WMU in September of 1995 in the Department of Human Resources. Since working in Human Resources, she continued to be promoted within the University into more rewarding positions with greater responsibility. She has held positions in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Lewis Walker Institute for Race and Ethnic Relations, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. In her current position, LaTonja enjoys providing comprehensive academic advising services to potential and current aviation students. Her husband, Alonzo, also works at WMU and they reside in Kalamazoo with their two wonderful children.

College of Aviation
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5314 USA
269-964-6375 | 269-964-6473 Fax