General Blog

WMU Aviation Flight Science Student Emma Anderson

The Dispatching Dynamo – Emma Anderson Flies Forward at WMU

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

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 Faculty Member Dominic Nicolai and Future Aviators

Dominic Nicolai – Aviation Dynamo and WMU Faculty Member

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

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 Management and Operations Student Zach Orfin

Getting Underway and Unlocking Aviation Opportunity with Zach Orfin

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

As a sailor, Zach Orfin mastered his way through and on top of the water.  As a College of Aviation student, he's soared amidst the clouds far above the solid ground. There appears to be a third medium in his future -- space, the Final Frontier, in the words of Capt. James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. 

WMU Aviation Flight Alumni Brendan Slusser

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

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

"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 Flight and Management Student Alysse Matteson

Make Way for Matteson – Alysse Finds Her Aviation Destiny

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
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 and Management Student Shane Rembold

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

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
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

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

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 a double major in aviation flight science and aviation management and operations.

WMU Aviation Technical Operations Faculty Dr. Gail Rouscher and Husband

Wrenching Wings and Gearing for Professional Growth with Dr. Gail Rouscher

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
Dr. Gail Rouscher has been at the College of Aviation since 2008 instructing such courses as introduction to airframes and systems, maintenance practices, aircraft structures, advanced structures and materials, and aircraft systems for pilots.  Not only does she bring academic credentials to her classes, but also the professional and practical aspects of what she teaches. Raised in Macomb County's Clinton Township, a northern suburb of metropolitan Detroit, Rouscher needs a large wall in her home to showcase the four diplomas she has earned -- an associate's in applied science (production technology) from Kellogg Community College (2004), a bachelor's in management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University (2007), a master's from Spring Arbor (2009) in organizational management, and her doctorate in educational leadership in higher education from Western Michigan in 2018.
WMU Aviation Flight and Management Student Amanda Charlton

Accessing Aviation with Amanda Charlton – Crusing Towards a High Flying Career

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

The Facebook folks, who have garnered their share of the wrong kind of publicity in recent years, should connect with the family of Amanda Charlton for a testimonial about the tech giant's true mission -- the sharing of good and valued information. That's the reason Charlton, raised in Spring Branch, Texas, which is part of metropolitan San Antonio, ended up pursuing higher education way up north in a place called Kalamazoo, Mich. and opting to double major in aviation flight science and aviation management and operations.

WMU Aviation Flight Science Student Hunter Hayes

Finding Home with Hunter: Hayes Finds His Crew at WMU Aviation

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

Aviation came into Hayes' direct focus as a junior in high school in the fall of 2015 when he enrolled in the aviation-exploration course offered by the Calhoun County Career Center's Battle Creek campus.  The seed had earlier been planted that spring.  "I took a tour of the technical-based school," he says.  "I was excited about all of the components that the aviation course -- the aviation industry for that matter -- had to offer."