Alumni Blog

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.

Out of this Earth: Margo Vriesinga Reaches for the Stars with Virgin Galactic

Posted by Matthew Bila on

“Space: the final frontier.” For many, these famous words echoed out of television and movie screens, providing viewers the opportunity to passively engage in outer space exploits. For some, the words acted as a magnet, drawing the individuals towards the human quest to explore and colonize the space immediately beyond Earth’s atmosphere. For Margo Vriesinga, the call of the final frontier would come after a journey that took her from cars to complex jet engines to Virgin Galactic!

Mott Just Another Typical Pilot - Nicole's Journey to the Left Seat

Posted by Matthew Bila on

The thrill of piloting is to be in command -- to be the one behind the controls, calling out directives, the one people look to for advice and guidance. This is so important to pilots that they track their time as “pilot in command.” But the command aspect goes beyond being the authoritarian behind the yoke. For some, being in command begins when individuals take control of their lives and begin charting their own destinies.

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