"When I enrolled at the Western Michigan University College of Aviation," he says about what amounts to an unusual switcheroo, "I majored in flight science. But when I decided it was not the lifestyle I wanted, I changed to the program in aviation technical operations. I have felt at home ever since. All of the programs offered here are amazing," says Freeland, who is a WMU junior enrolled in his second year of aviation-maintenance courses. "I just happened to find my calling a little later. I am more than happy with the fact that I decided to make the call that I did because I truly ended up where I felt I was meant to be."
Been and many of his fellow Illinoisans chose WMU because of its decades-old reputation in the aviation industry and its "amazing" training resources. He mentioned the fleet of aircraft available to log flying hours and the FTDs (Flight Training Device), which "in my opinion sets Western apart from other universities."
As a December 2018 graduate of the WMU College of Aviation, Adam Rice has been a busy individual. Leveraging his time at the University, he added to his resume, took advantage of opportunities, and made the most with his time at WMU. All of which has led to his current position as a First Officer with SkyWest Airlines.
Sam Stallman will have two of the three career bases covered when his days at the WMU College of Aviation are behind him. Western's aviation program became more than a blip on Stallman's radar "because of the warmth and welcoming nature I experienced when visiting the campus. I considered similar universities," he says, "but Western was the one that really felt like home. The college's program really impressed me and made the most sense."
Want to learn more about the Air Force ROTC program at Western Michigan University? Come join the conversation on this version of Hangar Talk. Learn why the AFROTC program is a great opportunity, how to get involved and the benefits of taking part of the opportunity. For more information, please check out: https://wmich.edu/aviation/academics/air-force-rotc
Miranda Goodison is a living, breathing example that those field trips in eighth grade to check out potential careers really work. Now nearing sophomore status in the Western Michigan University College of Aviation, she has wanted to become a pilot since she turned 11. That horizon came into focus when, as a Girl Scout, she visited the college's main headquarters at W. K. Kellogg Airport (now Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field) in the famed Cereal City just east of Kalamazoo.
College of Aviation students always have amazing reasons for choosing their career path, but Jason Fink's might rate as No. 1. The Houston senior caught the aviation bug from the stories his grandfather told when he was a U.S. Navy radio operator on flights hunting for enemy submarines during the Cold War. That also prompted the major in aviation flight science in his pre-Western days to pursue a private-pilot certificate back in his home state of Texas.
Blain's diploma in aviation flight science was awarded by the Western Michigan University College of Aviation in 2014, a symbol of the wisdom he showed in warming to the sales pitches in the "Pure Michigan" messages on TV. He hails from Skokie, Ill., and graduated from Niles North High School in 2010. This level of experience qualified Blain for his current duties -- first officer for Envoy Air, a 14,000-employee subsidiary of American Airlines that was formerly known as American Eagle and is headquartered in Irving, Texas. As American's largest regional provider, Envoy has hubs in Chicago, Dallas, Miami and New York City, and today flies the products of the Brazil-based aircraft manufacturer -- Embraer -- that was established in 1969.
Shortly after his graduation in April 2019 with degrees in both aviation flight science and aviation management (with a minor in economics), Brown taxied into the real world and is now a first officer for SkyWest Airlines flying out of Detroit. SkyWest was founded in 1972 and still calls St. George, Utah, its home headquarters. Like many College of Aviation alumni, he thinks the best thing about his job is simply going to work. Yet getting there is not all that easy. "Becoming an airline pilot is a lot of hard work as countless other alumni can attest," Brown says
Richardson, a senior at Western majoring in aviation flight science, says he got the flying bug from the birds, but it didn't become something of a personal pandemic until his last year in high school. And it took a bit of soul-searching. "I asked myself about all the things that interested me," he recalls. "There was a tie among music education, culinary arts, photography and aviation. As a kid, I was always fascinated with flying. Driving around with my parents, I would always tend to watch the skies."