Alumna-Alaska Airlines Captain Seeks to Increase Female Minority Pilots Nationally

Not a day goes by where Capt. Tara Wright isn’t approached by a passenger wanting to take a photo with her because they report never being on a flight piloted by a female. “I call it a selfie a day and educating one person about how flying airplanes is something anybody can do if they have access to the right education and skill-building opportunities,” said Wright, an Alaska Airlines pilot who graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science.
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Featured News

Dr. Bijan Vasigh, professor of economics and finance at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach Campus College of Business, stated his belief that aircraft safety could be compromised if the number of required flight hours for pilots were to be reduced, in an interview with The Points Guy. Experience, he said, minimizes accidents. "[The Pilot] shortage could be overcome, rather than by cutting hours, by having applicable training for more people, making the job for the pilot more effective, and higher wages," Vasigh said. Read the full article.
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Kimberly J. Becker, president and CEO of San Diego County Regional Airport, will serve as commencement speaker for Embry-Riddle Worldwide San Diego (California) Campus’ Spring graduation ceremony.
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News Briefs

Outtakes

Soon you will see a new, bright light in the night sky. However, it is not a star or even a plane. According to Popular Mechanics, it’s a satellite sent to orbit by New Zealand company Rocket Lab. The small satellite, called the Humanity Star, is a carbon fibre, geodesic sphere made of 65 highly reflective panels. As it orbits, the Humanity Star spins rapidly and reflects sunlight back to Earth. Rocket Lab Founder and CEO Peter Beck hopes this satellite will encourage people to consider their place in the universe and reflect on their lives and humanity as a species. “Seldom do we as a species stop, look to the stars and realize our position in the universe as an achingly tiny speck of dust in the grandness of it all,” said Beck in a statement on the Humanity Star website. “Humanity is finite, and we won't be here forever. Yet in the face of this almost inconceivable insignificance, humanity is capable of great and kind things when we recognize we are one species, responsible for the care of each other, and our planet, together. The Humanity Star is to remind us of this.” The Humanity Star is best visible to the United States in March, so make sure to keep a look out. You can also track the Humanity Star to find out when it is most visible for your location. However, don’t wait too long. The Humanity Star will only orbit the earth for nine months, before it falls back to earth and burns up upon re-entry into the atmosphere.
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Earlier this month, more than 165,000 attendees visited the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Each year, this unique conference unveils some of the most brilliant, innovative technology, along with a collection of outlandish products. Check out Digital Trends’ look at the wackiest gadgets from CES 2018. Some of our favorites include the PowerDolphin water drone, Aibo robot dog, a flying-selfie phone case, and a robot that folds your clothes.
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According to a recent Popular Mechanics report, the Russian space agency has plans for an out-of-this-world tourism opportunity in 2022. Once complete, guests can stay in a luxury orbital suite at the International Space Station (ISS). The planned hotel spans approximately 50 feet and offers private cabins, bathroom facilities, exercise equipment and Wi-Fi. The trip also features a hefty price tag of $40 million per person for a one- to two-week trip. Space travelers will have the opportunity to splurge for an additional spacewalk accompanied by a professional cosmonaut or an extended month-long stay. The ISS is scheduled to retire in 2028, limiting this space tourism opportunity to a maximum of six years.   Space tourism is certainly on the horizon, with companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX also pursuing to blast customers into the cosmos. However, if you are interested in one of these astounding experiences, you may want to start saving now.
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Thanks to General Motors, getting your coffee fix just got a little easier. This month, the automotive retailer launched its Marketplace technology, which allows drivers to order food, reserve a table at a restaurant and locate nearby gas stations from their car’s in-vehicle touchscreen. The platform also affords users other expediencies such as paying for gas from the car, finding and paying for parking, and much more. With major brands like Applebee’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Shell, TGI Fridays and Wingstop already on board, Marketplace offers increasing convenience at the touch of button. “The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving. Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for Global Connected Customer Experience, GM. “Marketplace is the first of a suite of new personalization features that we will roll out over the next 12 to 18 months to nearly four million U.S. drivers.” Marketplace is designed for use while driving and is available in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles with compatible infotainment systems. The platform utilizes the car’s embedded 4G LTE connectivity and does not require a separate data plan.
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More Headlines

As Hurricane season begins this month, a team of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professors and graduate students have been charged with studying Hurricane Irma’s mass evacuation and provide recommendations for a smoother exodus in the future.
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Using 3D printing, fiberglass and stainless steel, a team from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University developed a tool that could help NASA explore underneath ice-covered surfaces in space. Embry-Riddle was one of 25 teams across the U.S. selected to participate in a simulated microgravity challenge at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
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A team of four students from the Colleges of Aviation and Engineering in Daytona Beach returned to campus as the big winners in the National Science Foundation’s  Cyber-Physical Systems–Virtual Organization Challenge, a national collegiate autonomous aerial vehicles competition held in Marana, Ariz. in May.
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Profiles

Courtney Thurston, a junior Honors Program student at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus, is one of 211 undergraduate students nationwide that have been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships in the country.
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Graduating with his business degrees from Embry-Riddle, standout student athlete Jason Alvarez knows what it takes to succeed. As a Procurement Agent and Supplier Integration leader for The Boeing Company, Jason travels the globe meeting with seat suppliers to ensure Boeing delivers the best products and services to their airline customers. He also offers some advice to current and prospective business students.
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Dr. Jason M. Ruckert, Vice Chancellor of Online Education at Embry-Riddle Worldwide, has been appointed to distinguished leadership positions with two national organizations focused on shaping the future of online higher education. Earlier this month, Ruckert was named vice chair of the WCET Steering Committee. WCET is the leader in the practice, policy and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. This summer, Ruckert was appointed to UPCEA’s National Council for Online Education Advisory Board. The national council is the first of its kind and focuses on leadership; strategy; financial models; marketing and program development; student services; and effective partnerships within online education. “Both national boards have plans to do some pretty amazing things in the future, and the institutions represented are certainly those that plan to be on the cutting edge of online education. My goal is to ensure Embry-Riddle is always synonymous with world-class online education" Ruckert said.
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