WMU Aviation Flight Science Student Emma Anderson

The Dispatching Dynamo – Emma Anderson Flies Forward at WMU

A person's first flight can be an eye-opening, perspective-shifting and career-focusing experience.  It was for WMU College of Aviation junior Emma Anderson, and hers was even more of a milestone.  She took off and landed on . . . water.  Raised in Sparta, Mich., something of a bedroom community for Grand Rapids to the south, Anderson was 16 at the time and on her way to becoming a 2018 graduate of Sparta High School.

WMU Aviation Flight Science Alumni Brian Depuy

DePuy is the Guy! Finding his path and overcoming challenges, Brian lands at Envoy Air

A single failure doesn't equate to total, abject failure because each setback can be a valued learning tool.  Brian DePuy has the life experiences to prove that. For the WMU College of Aviation alumnus who now flies as a first officer for Envoy Air out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, compiling a bunch of rejections in his quiver is how he eventually hit the bull's-eye.  Don't believe that? Just ask the successful novelists who plaster  walls their work room with rejection slips. 

WMU Aviation Flight Faculty Dominic Nicolai and Student

Dominic Nicolai – Aviation Dynamo and WMU Faculty Member

Dominic Nicolai has rubbed elbows -- and wings -- with some of the giants of the WMU College of Aviation in his 28 years as an instructor.  A flight instructor since his 1993 graduation from the WMU program, he has these achievements on his resume -- named FAA Flight Instructor of the Year for the Grand Rapids area in 1996 and garnering master-instructor status in 2008 from the National Association of Flight Instructors.

WMU Aviation Flight Alumni Brendan Slusser and Friends at Miller Auditorium

Propelling His Sights Forward: Brendan Slusser Benefits from the WMU Aviation Program

"Western was in that perfect spot for me," he says.  "It's just far enough where I could get the experience of going away for school, while still being close enough to easily go home if I needed to.  Plus, when I went on a tour of WMU, I fell in love with the campus in Kalamazoo and with the aviation facilities in Battle Creek.  That pretty much made my decision."

WMU College of Aviation Student Alysse Matteson

Make Way for Matteson – Alysse Finds Her Aviation Destiny

There are some amazing aviation genes in the genealogy of Alysse Matteson, a third-year student in the Western Michigan University College of Aviation. 

  • Grandfather Richard Matteson was a radio operator aboard a B-17, the four-engine Flying Fortress that pounded the heck out of German military and industrial targets during World War II. 
  • Grandmother Geraldine Matteson was a secretary for William T. Piper -- yes, that Piper.
  • Dad Dave Matteson served as an air-traffic controller in the U. S. Army. 
  • A cousin, Scott Maisch, performs similar duties to keep the skies over Chicago safe.
WMU Aviation Flight Science Alumni Ryan Sewell

Rockin’ His Wings – Ryan Sewell is No Foo, But Loves His Aviation Gig at Sky West

It's one thing to choose to attend Western Michigan University if you hail from Saginaw, Ypsilanti, Ishpeming or some other home-state community.  It's another to make a cross-country leap, say from Carlsbad, Calif.  Meet Ryan Sewell, a WMU College of Aviation graduate who is not only now a SkyWest Airlines flight officer based at Detroit Metro Airport but also a dead ringer for David Grohl, a Nirvana alumnus and founder of the Foo Fighters. 

WMU Aviation Flight and Management Student Shane Rembold

Earning His Western Wings – Shane Rembold Embraces All Aspects of Aviation

Was Shane Rembold, a fourth-year student in the WMU College of Aviation, born to fly?  There is maybe a gene or a DNA strand testifying to that. But why did he choose Western?  The quality of the aviation program has something to do with it, and so did his sister.  "She was enrolled in the nursing program and had only good things to say about WMU as a whole," says Rembold, a double major in aviation flight science and aviation management and operations. 

WMU Aviation Flight Science Student Michael Coldagelli

Michael Coldagelli’s “Go For Shot” – Attend WMU and Pursue an Aviation Career

If anybody can be defined as a legacy enrollee in the WMU aviation program, it's Michael Coldagelli.  His grandfather, Paul Harding, is a member of the Western class of 1954.  After his military service, Harding ended up as the executive vice president of marketing for -- where else -- Western Airlines, which, with its hub in Salt Lake City, functioned from 1925 to 1987 before it merged with Delta Air Lines.  Originally from New Berlin, Wis., Coldagelli is double majoring in aviation flight science and aviation management and operations.