General Blog

WMU Aviation Flight Science Student Troy Kinnunen

From “Oorah” to “Oh Yeah” – Troy Kinnunen Springboards from the Marines to the College of Aviation

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

When Troy Kinnunen refers to the Western Michigan University College of Aviation as being like a big family, he knows what he is talking about. The senior from Michigan's Upper Peninsula has an immediate family numbering 17, which includes a twin sister, plus more than 60 nieces and nephews.  Now that would make for an enormous dinner table for the Thanksgiving celebration. Also part of the make-up of Kinnunen, an aviation flight science major, is that he can claim membership in another big family -- the U. S. Marine Corps -- because once a Marine, always a Marine.

WMU Aviation Flight Science Student Adaora Osolu

Getting Airborne with WMU Aviation Student Adaora Osolu

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
Even though Adaora Osolu's high school diploma was awarded way back in 2019, the junior in the WMU College of Aviation already fits the classic definition of "Renaissance Man" -- a multi-talented person who has wide interests.  Except that she's a "Renaissance Woman."
WMU Aviation Technical Operations Student Luis Jaime

Luis Jaime Takes the Aviation Camp to a Future Aviation Technical Operations Career

Posted by Tom Thinnes on
Raised in a southwest suburb of Chicago as a childhood aviation junkie, there was a pretty good chance Luis Jaime would pursue an aviation career at a collegiate program based "just down the road" in Southwest Michigan. But what sealed the deal for Jaime was one of his two summer camp experiences at the Western Michigan University College of Aviation's location near Battle Creek.
WMU Aviation Flight and Management Student Dylan Mardoian

Marching with Mardoian – Dylan Sets His Sights on the Sky

Posted by Tom Thinnes on

A senior double-majoring in aviation flight science and aviation management/operations, Mardoian is not the first Bronco aviator who makes music up in the sky and on the performance field as well. "I did not want to be just someone twiddling their thumbs throughout my college years," he says. "I wanted to make a difference. I had been part of a marching band since my years in junior high. I didn't want to stop doing what I loved. So, I didn't at Western. As a drill instructor, I'm part of the leadership team for the trumpet section in the Bronco Marching Band."

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 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.