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.
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.
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."
For a young man who hails from Marine City, Mich., and intends to join a branch of the military, it seems there would be only one logical choice. Not for Patrick Senger, a fifth-year major in aviation technical operations in the WMU College of Aviation. Instead of humming the notes that accompany "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli," he'll be doing the same for "Off we go, into the wild blue yonder."
Fraternities and sororities often feature "legacy" pledges -- meaning if Dad was a Sigma Sigma or Mom was a Nu Nu, so is an offspring almost automatically. While it was never "automatic," Brooke Semler puts the concept of legacy membership to shame. The College of Aviation junior is a fourth-generation Western Michigan University Bronco. Her parents hang Western diplomas on their wall. So do a set of grandparents. And even "Great Grandma."
If you think the epitome of college life is shuttering in your dorm playing video games, you don't want Braden "Brady" Wilson as a "roomie." A WMU College of Aviation junior, this "Brady" has bunched together a number of activities, all designed to maximize the enjoyment of this phase of his existence while navigating a course aimed at career success once the higher-education chapter of life ebbs into personal history.
The work-experience section of Lisa Whittaker's resume would choke a paper shredder. Which is why, as a member of the WMU College of Aviation's faculty since 2000, she has taught these courses: aviation safety (her personal favorite), airport administration and finance, introduction to aviation, aerodynamics, introduction to airports, airline flight operations, and airline administration. Her research topics include women’s studies, STEM, maintenance engineering and safety management systems.