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0:00 - Journey to UD: Introduction

0:42 - Journey to UD: Hometown

1:32 - Journey to UD: Spark of Interest

3:52 - Journey to UD: Choosing UD

4:53 - While at UD: Majors

5:03 - While at UD: First Impressions

6:35 - While at UD: Favorite Class

7:55 - While at UD: Role Models

9:58 - While at UD: Apex

11:06 - While at UD: Flying

15:02 - While at UD: Women in Aviation

20:40 - While at UD: Obstacles

22:07 - After UD: Future Goals

23:51 - After UD: Preparation


(0:00) Christopher Doll (CD): Alright, my name is Christopher Doll I am the arichist at the University of Dubuque. Today is March 6, 2018 ad it is 2:48. Could you please spell your name for the record?

Alicia Loes (AL): My name is Alicia Loes-Aguiluz. So it's Alicia last name L-o-e-s and Aguiluz A-g-u-i-l-u-z and it's hyphenated.

(CD): What year do you anticipated Graduating from the University of Dubuque?

(AL): May 2019

(CD): And can you please tell me a little bit about your childhood and your hometown.

(AL): So I grew up not far from here. I was born here in Dubuque but I was 1:00raised in Cascade Iowa and I (1:00) lived there, I lived around the town for about half my life and I moved to Bernard which is even smaller but it's all in the same area. I graduated high school in Yeah I was raised on a farm, small town. What was it, I have a brother and a sister and a whole bunch of family members in the area.

(CD): Do you remember what first sparked your interest in aviation?

(AL): Well it kind of--it came full circle to me a couple of years ago but my mom actually got a at the (2:00)Cedar Rapids Airport the Eastern Iowa airport. 2:00And she works at the UPS cargo facility there--um--she had that job for oh gosh this is probably going to be her 17th year working there. She's always worked ground crew and when I was younger she would take me out to the airport. She always worked first shift which was early in the morning--um--but yeah I would go out, I could go into the plane, meet the pilots, and I just thought it was fun to go when I was a kid. Then after 9/11 things got really bad and I couldn't go for security reasons but I actually had the opportunity to, I took a trip in 3:002012 to Brazil and I went for six months. And before I went on that trip I had the opportunity to go back out to the airport and just like visit everyone and everyone wanted to wish me well on the trip. And I (3:00) actually meet an awesome pilot that day and usually pilots are hit and miss. They are either really passionate and they want to talk to young people or their ego is so big and they are like I don't want to talk to you. But that morning he was so great and I just kind of had an epiphany that day like this is. At the time I was doing language translation and I thought that's what I wanted to do. It just all clicked that day and so I went on my trip to Brazil but when I came back I tried Air Force, things like that--um-- the Air Force wasn't my area. I got really scared right before I signed my life away and then I ended up here. And now it's like my whole passion now it's all I want in life.


(CD): Well let's skip to the next question. Why did you decided to attend the University of Dubuque over the Air Force?

(4:00) (AL): Um-- so it was a combination of a lot of things but I think it's so cool that this university is so well known for its program and it's known across the nation and its right here in my back yard. Like I said I grew up 20 minutes away and so I feels really nice to come home since I've been in De Moines since I graduated high school. Just to come back to the area it felt right and I knew if I went through the Air Force route it would just be like something I would be happy with because I don't think I really support that life style and it's so many years I just thought that this is the way to go. I could just get in get 5:00out so--

(CD): What is your major here?

(5:00) (AL): So I am a double major. I am; my focus is flight operations but I'm also aviation management as well.

(CD): Do you remember your first memories at the University of Dubuque?

(AL): Well my first memory is, I won't forget it so I came in April--um the fall before I started or the spring before I started sorry and I contacted Steve Accinelli the then time director of the aviation department. And I said that I was interested in the program and I wanted to come out and kind of get a tour. And it already--um-- what are they called? Like it's a day set aside for new incoming students I had missed that but I was already accepted and everything 6:00but I just wanted to come and see it and I went out to the airport and he asked me if I wanted to go up into the plane and I was like, I thought he was (6:00) joking because I had no prior experience in an airplane and he was like "yeah you could go out right now and fly it" and I was freaking out that he was going to let me do that and I passed. I was like no I'm okay today but that was my first memory. After my airport tour I came in and the campus was super nice.

(CD): I know that you haven't graduated yet but have you had any memorable classes so far you have taken yet at UD?

(AL): Actually the most surprising class for me was research writing.

(CD): Oh Okay

(7:00) (AL): Like I took that my first semester here, so it was fall of 17 no 7:0016. It was... I heard all the things about the class, how it was so hard and how everybody fails and I was already insecure about my writing and that class just, got me out of my comfort zone and that was just really surprised me and I had a really good time.

(CD): Do you think the skills that you learned will help you?

(AL): Definitely.

(CD): How so?

(AL): well like I said I took it my first semester here. I have been able to take what learned, just like the basics of like understanding what your research question is and going off of that and just building. I used to be write a one nighter type of person and now it feels so good to just go through write 8:00multiple drafts and I just apply that to every class that I am in now. It is super helpful.

(8:00) (CD): Who were some of the professionals or flight instructors that have really helped you or inspired you so far?

(AL): Well defiantly Polly Kadolph. She--she was kind of there for me my first year here she is my advisor and I also had her as a professor. But then just as a really powerful figure for me on campus. I feel like she is so inspiring and she is so easy to talk to, so I have a great relationship with Polly. And I had the opportunity to work with Kim Bruggenwirth out of the airport and I was her office assistant last year and we just devolved a great relationship and she is 9:00just so compassionate and knows so much about the (9:00) program. She is not directly apart of the field of aviation I want to go into but on the management side she kind of, by working in her office like I was, that's when I was, like I'm definably going to get my aviation management degree. Even if I can't fly for some reason I would love to be in the environment and do something that she is doing.

(CD): That's great.

(AL): But I have had so many, I am on my 12th fight instructor so it's really hard to, because the turnover rate is so high here at the university that it makes it really hard to keep one for a long period of time. But they have all been influence to me.

(CD): Have you ever had a female fight instructor?

(AL): No. Actually I did for a brief period did for about a month but I would 10:00say just no because I only flew with her for a few times that month so.

(10:00) (CD): Have you participated in the apex the facility scholarship or sorry the student scholarship program here at UD?

(AL): I was in apex in I guess it was in last spring.

(CD): And you created a poster of that right?

(AL): Yeah.

(CD): Do you remember what your topic was?

(AL): My topic was next gen technology and um and updating in the air traffic control towers and also in the aircraft.

(CD): Do you any memorable experiences from that or was it positive was it scary did you learn a lot?

(AL): it wasn't scary I am no intimidated by doing things like that. I guess I 11:00didn't know what to expect (11:00) but it was really fun and I took, I keep my poster and then I kept four other people's posters that they didn't want so it was fun.

(CD): So the reason you are here flying let's get to some of those questions. Can you tell us about your first flight experience? Including your first solo flight, your first cross country, your first night flight etc.--

(AL): Like me specifically flying?

(CD): Yes

(AL): Um-- yeah it was here. Some student here like have experience before coming here, I did not--um-- and my first flight up was everything I thought it was going to be cause I am a very emotional person. And they just like, they let 12:00you go out there and let you pull the yoke back, you fly it like the first (12:00) time without knowing anything at all. It's like ever emotion you can feel happening at once at the same time. It was such a beautiful day that day. I just remember taking off and I already knew I was addictive to it and it was just like yep I'm definitely doing what I need to do. So--

(CD): Have you had your first solo flight or cross country flight?

(AL): I have. I have done my first solo flight and that was just a personal like journey for me because flying isn't something that comes super natural to me and it's the only thing in any other area that I have studied or focused on, everything comes really easy to me and this something that challenges me and so I have seen all of my classmates like they were signed off, they soloed and they 13:00kept on soloing and I just (13:00) haven't soloed yet. So when it finally happened, it happened January of last year 2017. And it was such a special day I will never forget it cause my parents where there, my sister was there, my brother couldn't make it, but my husband was there and they were all cheering me on in the tower. And you are supposed to do three takeoffs and landings and I went up for my first one and I came around and I was on final and I was set up, it was a stabilized approach. I was just like in my head I was thinking oh my God, I'm going to land this plane by myself! And I ended up going around and not landing, and I came back around and it all worked out.

(CD): So was that your first negative experience in a plane?

(AL): My first! No, no, no I had so many uh negative experiences. First, was 14:00just getting used to, because (14:00) when you're in one the little trainer aircrafts you feel every little bump, so just getting used to that was a struggle. And then--umm-- getting used to stalls where the instructor would just pull out the throttle and basically shut-off the engine. And just getting used to all like the like, I have read about it in books but then being in the aircraft and like having happen was like. I guess it wasn't negative but it was definitely was something I had to work through and also just like, you always have bad flights like no matter what, like every week you will have a bad flight. And just coming back after that and like having to process how bad you 15:00did and like showing up again and trying again I think is the negative experience (15:00) I have and I still have to deal with it all the time. So--

(CD): Are you in Alpha Eta Rho the Women in Aviation Sorority or Women in Aviation International?

(AL): Yes. So I am not a part of Alpha Eta Rho um but I am a part of Women in Aviation.

(CD): Okay

(AL): This is my second year.

(CD): What can you tell us about that organization?

(AL): Well um. I'm proud to say this year I can represent the chapter here as the president um, I can't say for the history of our chapter here on campus, since I have joined and going forward. We just, our main (16:00) goal is to 16:00promote women in the aviation industry, in all parts of the industry, and it is a co-ed organization so more than 70% of our members are male who are there to supports us in what we do. And we have the opportunity to do community outreach, and building professional relationships through conference and things like that.

(CD): How many, and you may not know this stat off the top of your head but, do you know the ratio of women to men in the aviation department at UD is?

(AL): Well I don't know the ratio but, we are only up to, like it is only 9-11%.

(CD): Okay


(AL): I'm more comfortable saying nine. That is not a question for me because of this incoming class we have gotten a bigger chunk of females to come in but I don't know the exact number.

(17:00) (CD): Do you feel the difference like sometimes do you ever go to class and you look around and you're like oh I'm the only female here?

(AL): Well it happens all the time. It always feels that I am at a boys club or a boys party and I wasn't invited there and I'm sure that all the females in the program here on campus-- and I'm sure it's not intentional it's just, yeah.

(CD): But it is something you are conscientious of?

(AL): Oh yeah! Its defiantly something I thought about even before I came here and I have like, I have like prior jobs where I have worked with all men, so it something I always think about umm, not just in (18:00) this career that I am in, that I am working for but, it is something that I always feel on campus. And 18:00when you start following different aviation networks you just see how disproportionate it is. Like you will always see a new graduating class of pilots, whatever it be Envoy or wherever and I'm always looking and there is no females in there or there is one and she like my champion.

(CD): Is this something you discuss with the other women in UD or is it something you don't talk about?

(AL): I think it's like an unspoken reality that we don't like, that we don't need to talk about it cause we already know and we are working hard every day to change it. But obviously our Women in Aviation meetings and things like, that's obviously something we talk about.


(CD): Well I don't mean to put you on the spot but you said you guys are working hard to change it.

(AL): Yeah

(19:00) (CD): Like what? How? Can you add some evidence?

(AL): Something that I feel being in the industry working, being here right now, present, not giving up when everything and everyone was saying you can't do it, that's not a girl's job. I think that waking up and doing it every day is changing it but also, um. A specific thing that Women in Aviation does is that we have a Girls in Aviation day every year and it happens in the fall. And it's not something our chapter does it's the whole international org, and its am opportunity for us to meet with, they are usually fourth to fifth grade girls 20:00and we bring them out to the airport and we just, we get them excited about it. It's (20:00) kind of like a science day when you were a little kid but very focused on aviation and just getting that new generation ready to come in. Cause when I was younger I went out to the airport with my mom but it was never something that I was exposed to and I think that's it true with a lot of fields so I think that's a big thing we can do. So I think that's like a big thing we can do and then obviously now, supporting other women that are in the field any way you can is really important to.

(CD): Yeah that's really neat. Do you think being a women in aviation department is an obstacle to overcome or do you think that it has opened doors or in the future will open more doors for you?


(21:00) (AL): Umm-- I don't think-- I think that the doors will be open to me either way cause I don't take no for an answer.

(CD): Right!

(AL): But, it's like-- I don't think it's a major roadblock being a female. There is just subtle things that you can feel, there is someone uncomfortable with you being in the room or you wanting to be in the room. So I defiantly think it is going to change. I think like with society now we are having such a big women empowerment movement going on and I think you are going to feel it in every part of socity its changing. So-- specifically in aviation there are so 22:00many hard working girls that it has to change and I think it will change.

(22:00) (CD): Good. Alright so we are gonna transition a little bit. After you graduate do you have plans?

(AL): Well I just want to get a in cargo and I don't care where it is, I just want to get a job in that.

(CD): Why cargo?

(AL): It's just... it doesn't have anything to do with my mom growing up, like having my first aviation experience in cargo facility, it's just-- it the most appeasing to me. And I thinks its um-- a good, what's (23:00) the word-- like I 23:00think it's a more stable part of the industry than the airlines cause people are always going to need their mail and packages and I don't know it just sounds fun. And I really, my end goal is UPS I just really want to work for them.

(CD): Do you have a preference with flying for UPS or just anything goes?

(AL): I mean I always say that it would be really hard for me to wake up in the morning if I couldn't fly, if that wasn't an option anymore um-- So I think it will be really hard for me to accept that I couldn't do it but I just need to be in the aviation industry. Like I get so giddy being around an airport.

(CD): Do you think that the UD aviation program will prepare you in your 24:00professional life?

(24:00) (AL): Most definitely it will. I think that non-aviation things that you learn on top of it just really, just set you up for success and in that regard I mean the professionalism that you are taught, ethics, like time movement like they really so teach you things out, like you are going to learn them anyway through being a flight student is very changeling especially going through all the other classes that you have to take, you have to become very good at time management. So-- but UD has it set up were like they are (25:00) going to get 25:00you there and there are resources available to you if you are not on track and I just love the aviation department, the faculty I just love them. I have personal relationships with each of them so. And I love it, it's like a small family that we have here you know.

(CD): Well I don't have any more questions for you, do you have any questions for us, on what we are doing?

(AL): Well you guys answered any questions I had the other day, I don't have any now I just, I would like to say that I think it's really cool what you guys are doing, and it is necessary and I hope that I can learn with you guys, like with 26:00your research, like I want to learn with you cause that stuff really interest me.

(CD): Well thank you for your time.

(25:57) (AL): Thank you.