Alumni Blog

State of the WMU College of Aviation Address

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Happy New Year to our aviation family and friends! Now is the time of year when I like to reach out to our partners, alumni, advisory board members, and friends to share with you updates from the institution, as well as invite feedback you may have.

Why I Chose to Flight Instruct at Western Michigan University

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Western Michigan University College of Aviation has developed a reputation in the industry of producing professional pilots that are highly sought after and consistently top performers in airlines and corporate aviation departments.

Climbing Higher - Mark Brady's Aviation Journey from WMU to IFL

Posted by Matthew Bila on
“The desire to reach the sky runs very deep in the human psyche” according to the famous Argentine American architect César Pelli. While Pelli was referring to the desire of our species to build taller and taller structures, his thoughts have significant applications to the world of aviation. From the beginning of powered flight in 1903, humans have continued to look and push upwards. For WMU College of Aviation Alumnus Mark Brady, this desire was innate. Based on his pedigree, Brady was destined to take to the sky.

The Art of Aviation: Julie Thiele's Journey to Alaska Airlines

Posted by Matthew Bila on

The path of life winds around, twisting and turning until we eventually find ourselves heading in the correct direction. While we often begin heading one way, we soon find ourselves detoured towards another destination. Slowly, but surely the navigation begins to make sense and our end point comes into focus. For many in the aviation industry, the pathway into the field became crystal clear soon after their first aviation experience. For Julie Thiele, the allure of aviation was like a fine wine. It took time.

Brad Coffman: From Private to Professional Pilot in Four Years

Posted by Matthew Bila on

For many children, the dream of aviation begins the first time they fly or their initial encounter with an airplane. The wonderment produced by being in the presence of these magnificent pieces of machinery has a profound effect on many young individuals. For some, the introduction to aviation is a passive encounter. For others, the world of the pilot is an active, engaging experience. Brad Coffman grew up in the latter.

From Aviation Camp to Aviation Captain

Posted by Matthew Bila on

Battle Creek, Mich is many things. For some, it is the fictional home of a recently cancelled television show. For others, it is none other than Cereal City, USA. However for Richard Bartlett, Battle Creek, Mich was aviation mecca. It was the city that offered him the access to the key that would unlock the world for him.

Bronson Barth Keeps his Eyes on the Sky in Louisville

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Kentucky is famous for its bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, a certain Colonel who made chicken “finger licking good,” and horse racing. In the state are the city of Louisville and the Louisville International Airport, which was chosen in 2005 as the UPS heavy airfreight hub and a 235-foot air traffic control tower. Climbing the 22 stories on a regular basis is Bronson Barth, Western Michigan University alumni, Air Traffic Controller and aviation enthusiast.

Aviation Articulation: The Birth of the Junior Flight Team Program

Posted by Matthew Bila on
Competition has a way of motivating people. From Pop Warner football to the National Spelling Bee, the thrill of going head to head against a peer has always roused individuals to be their best. In collegiate aviation, the National Intercollegiate Flying Association has had the same impact in the aviation industry. The competitive nature of the NIFA SAFECON events has elevated aviation professionals for nearly 100 years.

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