Alumni Blog

WMU College of Aviation Alumna Abby Ragsdale

Abby Raymond – How Aviation led to “Rags” and Riches

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
Abby Ragsdale (Raymond) is making her "success" march as well. Since August of 2019, she has been flying for the aviation department of Steelcase, a century-plus-old enterprise headquartered in Grand Rapids that, with 12,000 employees, has grown far beyond its origins as a maker of office furniture and equipment.

Jason Anthony’s Allstate Avionics Aviation Ascension

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

Anthony was not your typical fresh-faced student after the ink dried on his Navy discharge papers.  While he knew avionics inside and out, he believed he needed to learn more about aircraft engines and the science of flying. Close to his Gull Lake home was the College of Aviation with its "reputable" program in aviation maintenance.

Tierney’s Travels – the Recruitment and Retention of Shelbi Tierney

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
Tierney's degree in aviation science and administration came in 2014.  All of which has prepped Tierney for the current post in her chosen profession -- a pilot recruiter for Republic Airways' LIFT Academy, its new flight school.  In this role, she can also be a contact for WMU graduates in their quest for employment in the aviation industry
WMU Aviation Alumnu and Endeavor Airlines Captain, Alexis Brown

Alexis Brown: Achieving Excellence in Aviation

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

When it came to a career in aviation, Alexis Brown always seemed to know she was on the right "track." During their college careers, her parents competed in that sport and, listening to their stories about travels and meets while growing up, she wanted to follow in their spike marks as well. Good enough as an athlete at LakeVille Memorial High School in Genesee County, Brown earned a track-and-field scholarship to Western Michigan University. The aviation part of the equation was spawned a little earlier when Brown was a youngster in her hometown of Otisville, a small hamlet northeast of Flint.

Eric Epplett's Enlightened Aviation Adventure

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

Epplett spent about nine years at the WMU College of Aviation as a student and staff member. He earned a bachelor's in aviation science and administration in 2012 and, while employed by Western, added a master's in sports management in 2015. He joined the College of Aviation's recruitment and outreach team right after his first degree was hanging on the wall. Since then, he has joined Kalitta Air, based at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti on the east side of the state, as an international flight-clearance coordinator.

2018 Aviation Technical Operations Alumni Mitchell Patterson

Pride and Passion: Mitchell Patterson Aviation Technician Extraordinaire

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

Following his 2009 graduation from Kalamazoo Christian High School, Patterson didn't have very far to soar to realize his goal. By 2018, he had completed degree work at the Western Michigan University College of Aviation with a major in aviation maintenance technology and a minor in business management. He prepped for his current post by working at Duncan Aviation as an airframe technician, first as a summer intern, then part-time as he completed his degree, and even full-time upon graduation.

Southwest Airlines First Officer Jonathan Miller

The Migration of Jonathan Miller - A SouthWestern Journey to Success

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

Commuting to a job is a reality for many American employees, but only a pilot would agree to an Orlando-to-Billings junket to get to work. That's what Jonathan Miller did as part of reaching his goal to become a commercial pilot. Timing is said to be everything, but that dimension wasn't working at all for Miller when he graduated from the Western Michigan University College of Aviation with degree in aviation flight science in 2008.

WMU Aviation Technical Operations Alumni Miguel Del Rosario

Maintaining Miguel: Thankful for Aviation Tech Ops

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

For decades, The Dominican Republic has been exporting to the United States scores of talented baseball players with the ability to send white spheroids on long, majestic flights.  Thanks to the Western Michigan University College of Aviation, Miguel Del Rosario, whose former home is the capital city of Santo Domingo, was able to polish and train his skills so that people can enjoy safe and secure flights all over the world.

Tom Souder WMU Aviation Technical Operations Alumni

Souder Soars: How Aviation Tech Ops has Transformed Tom

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

Tom Souder's traveled from Minnesota to Michigan to pursue a degree in Aviation Technical Operations.  The recent alumnus is currently working for GE Aviation and loving every minute of it.