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0:00 - Journey to UD: Introduction

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Keywords: Aviation management; Business administration; Indiana; Maine; Nebraska

0:46 - Journey to UD: Spark of Interest

1:11 - Journey to UD: Choosing UD

2:14 - Journey to UD: First Impressions

3:26 - While At UD: Memorable Classes

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Keywords: Airline Management; Airport Safety; Jay Miller; Ted Rippled

4:11 - While at UD: Getting into Aviation

6:01 - While at UD: Men to Women Ratio

6:28 - After UD: After Graduation

7:33 - Career Progression

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Keywords: Finance Department; Reservation Department; Revenue Management and Pricing Department

10:24 - Staying in touch

13:46 - Apex

14:51 - Pilot Shortage

15:32 - Memories of the Library

16:31 - Past Roommates


CD: My name is Christopher Doll and I am the archivist for the University of Dubuque. Today's date is June 20th at 2 o'clock. Can you please say your name and spell it for the record.

HN: Sure it's Heidi Newell. H-E-I-D-I, N-E-W-E-L-.

CD: And what year did you graduate from the University of Dubuque?

HN: 1991

CD: And what was major?

HN: Aviation management and Business administration.

CD: So to begin with can you please tell me a little about your childhood and your hometown?

HN: Well I moved around a lot as a kid because my dad's job. I lived in Nebraska, Maine, and Indiana.

CD: And do you remember what first sparked your interest in aviation?

HN: I really didn't get interested in aviation until I was at UD. My now husband, which was my boyfriend back then, he was in the aviation program and I kind of hung out with him and his friends and I hung out at the airport and I just kind of got the bug.


CD: Do you remember some of your role models were, when you were growing up?

HN: No, not too much.

CD: Do you remember why you decided on the University of Dubuque?

HN: Well my parents actually went to UD and I had visited the college with them. When they went back for homecoming and I also took a class at UD the summer when I was a junior at high school. It was like a high school class that gave college credit and I really liked it and decided I wanted to be there for college.

CD: So you went to high school in Iowa?

HN: No, Indiana. UD had a program for high school juniors and seniors. It was a three week long program and we lived on campus and took classes.

CD: How did you find out about that?

HN: I think my parent found out about it, and told me about it. And I just applied and got in.


CD: Do you remember anything about those three weeks?

HN: Oh yeah it was a really good time. Bob Miller and Bill Burg were the professors in charge of the program.

CD: Do you remember some of your first impressions of Dubuque were when you came for that program?

HN: It was a great small town, beautiful college campus, people really friendly.

CD: And when you first came to UD did you plan on majoring in Business?

HN: Yes I was planning to be a business major and I didn't change to the aviation program until I was a junior.

CD: So then you had to play catch-up?

HN: Yes.

CD: So you were saying that your boyfriend at the time and now husband got you interested in the program. Did you begin dating him as a freshman?

HN: Yes. I met him on my second semester of my freshman year. I met him at a basketball game.


CD: And then you just started to hang around the airport? Or how did that happen?

HN: Well he worked at crescent. At the FBO out of the airport. And so I would go pick him up there or I would take him to work and all of his friends were in our classes too.

CD: Do you remember some of your first memories of the Dubuque airport?

HN: Just that it was really small at the time.

CD: Can you recall some of your more memorable classes at the University of Dubuque were?

HN: Airline management was one of my favorites, and airport safety.

CD: And who were some of the professors that really inspired you?

HN: Jay Miller, and Ted Rippled.

CD: And why so?

HN: Because they had real life experiences and they were really knowledgeable about aviation and airlines and it was fascinating to me.

CD: So, if I'm getting this timeline right. I kind of putting this together in 4:00my head. So you started going to the airport more because of your boyfriend at the time and then something clicked. Like this is a field that I want to get into or you were interested in the courses.

HN: I think it was when I first started dating him he took me on my first flight to Milwaukee for dinner and that's when I was like "Man this is really cool" and he was telling about his classes and stuff like that and I got interested and decided that I wanted to go into aviation.

CD: Did you tell your parents what did they think?

HN: Well when my mother found out that I was in an airplane she was not too happy. She still tells the story about when she called the dorm on Sunday afternoon and my roommate said "Oh she went flying with Scot" and she still tells that story.

CD: So when you got into aviation were you only in the management side or did 5:00you also fly? HN: Just the management side.

CD: And was there something you were planning to do with that degree or that was just something you were interested in?

HN: I wanted to work in airline.

CD: Anything in particular or just get your foot in the door?

HN: I just wanted to get my foot in the door.

CD: While you were still dating and I guess married later did you take a lot of cross country flight with your boyfriend.

HN: Yes I did.

CD: Do you have any memorable moments?

HN: Yes. In Bloomington we had to abort a landing because another plane was about to land right on top of us. That was really scary.

CD: What did he do?

HN: The tower was telling him to land and he was like "No. There is another plane right there" so we just had to go around and do another landing.

CD: While you were at University of Dubuque, were involved in Alpha Eta Rho or Women in Aviation international group?


HN: No I was not.

CD: Do you remember the ratio of women to men in the aviation department was?

HN: It was really small. I think it was about 3-20.

CD: Could you tell the difference or was it something that you noticed?

HN: Well I was the only women in the class that was the only difference but I was never treated differently.

CD: So after you graduated what from the University of Dubuque what did you do?

HN: Well I moved home because I did not have a job after graduation and my parents moved to Texas so I moved to Texas and I thought it was a pretty decent place to go because there is two Texas based airlines and so I thought it would a pretty good place to start and turned out it worked out for me. I got hired by southwest airlines in March of 92'.

CD: Ok and what did you start doing over there?

HN: I was a reservation agent in a call center.


CD: was it a pretty even ratio of males to females?

HN: No, it was mostly female.

CD: Okay.

HN: Because of the call center environment.

CD: Yes. Did having an aviation degree help you at all do you feel?

HN: No. I started out making $6.10 an hour. I had to do to get my foot into the door just because back in the 90's there weren't many aviation jobs available.

CD: Well can you take us through a progression of your career or are you still with South West?

HN: I am. I just celebrated twenty-six years with South West a couple of month ago. I worked for the reservation department for 4 ½ years and then I transferred over into the finance department and I worked there for almost 5 years and for the last eighteen I have been in the revenue management and pricing department.


CD: So you kind of put your two degrees together?

HN: Yeah I did.

CD: So does having an aviation degree help you at all with what you are doing now and having some of that knowledge or is it just?

HN: Yes it did.

CD: How so?

HN: Well I had a basic knowledge of airlines and how they worked because of the classes that I took in the University. So having that I knew that there were a lot of different jobs working in the airline that I can do with my degree. And I was just looking to get in and I found my niche in the revenue management department.

CD: What is the ratio of males to females in the revenue department?

HN: I would say it's about equal. At first, eighteen years ago when I first joined that department it was mostly male. I think there were maybe 4-5 females in the department but now it is about equal.

CD: Do most of the people in your department have some type of aviation 9:00background or is it mainly financial background?

HN: It's mainly finance but lately they have been hiring a lot with an aviation degree.

CD: And do you feel that the UD aviation program prepared you for professional life?

HN: Absolutely.

CD: So the current job that you are in now is it something you feel that you can ride off into the sunset into or is there still advancement you want?

HN: That's my hope. I have had opportunities to transfer departments but the culture at South West airlines it's amazing. And at our department they try to retain our people. They don't want them to go on to other departments or other airlines. They really work hard to retain their talent.

CD: So do you still fly a lot commercially or with your husband?

HN: Well he doesn't fly anymore, he does corporate aviation. So he didn't keep 10:00up with his license after graduation. But we fly commercially a lot because of my flight privileges.

CD: That definitely sounds like a perk.

HN: Yeah. Well when there is an open seat, we are standby.

CD: Do you still communicate with the University of Dubuque? Do you come back? Do you go to homecoming or are you in contact with any of your friends, classmates or professors?

HN: I have not been back for quite a while. I do keep in touch with classmate through Facebook but that's really about it.

CD: Do you have any type of message for women who are looking to get into the aviation world?

HN: Well if they are interested in it, they should do it, it's exciting, it's fast-paced, you get to see the world and meet fun people.

CD: Perfect. Well that's all I have for you. I'm really glad I was able to talk 11:00to you and get a different perspective on some of the other people that we have interviewed it's been very flight heavy so I am glad we got into the background or the cooperate part.

HN: Is that ok?

CD: Oh no it's perfect. Is there anything you would like to add in regards to the other side of aviation not just the flying but the management part?

HN: It really is a fun industry to be in. It's exciting, it's different all the time. Sometimes you hear bad things about the airlines because they only show the bad stuff on the news but of the most part it's a great industry to be in.

CD: You said you see it changing all the time, what are some changes that you have seen for the positive?

HN: Just with technology it's just, it's crazy. I mean back when I started we had paper tickets and you had to have a piece of paper to get on the plane. Now 12:00you don't. You just show them your phone and they scan it. So it's just all of these things through the years and technology and it's just amazing what we are going to be able to do.

CD: Have you gotten into the drone stuff at all?

HN: No, no. We joke about it. We see them all the time in our neighborhood. Flying above our neighborhood. But we really haven't.

CD: Have you heard that the University of Dubuque has a helicopter program?

HN: No I did not know that.

CD: Yeah we keep on expanding. That's the reason why I asked about drones too because now I know we have to include drones in the program too because it's taking up airspace and you have to be aware of them and now we have a new helicopter program and we are getting new students for that.

HN: How big is the program now?


CD: I wish I had a number for you.

HN: It was relatively small when I was there. I know you guys have a lot of planes now.

CD: I wish I had. I have the exact data but it is not in front of me now. Throughout the years it's has kind of been going up and down, up and down, but it's definitely on an upswing right now. Recruiting a lot new students, especially because of the new helicopter program.

HN: Well and we got a huge pilot shortage and I'm sure you knew that. It's bad, we talk about it, and it's one of the main hot topics at my office. We need more pilot, we need more pilots.

CD: I know a lot of the programs that we have here-- Have you heard of apex at the University of Dubuque?

HN: No, what is that?

CD: It is a program, put together to spotlight or showcase some of the scholarship of the students and the aviation department is very involved with 14:00it. So they have this safety management class and for their senior seminar class they have to make a poster and present the poster to the rest of the community and the mayor comes in and other people from Dubuque comes in to look at these posters and that's definitely one of the hot topics that a lot of people are making posters about. The pilot shortage and what to do about it. And I ask them why are you getting your degree if there is a shortage? Everyone says that getting the degree is a very important aspect of it. If you want to move up. They don't care if the standards are changing the degree is still important. It's something that they are all very concerned about.

HN: Yeah, it's good for everybody to worry because my husband sees it on the corporate side too. What happens on his side of it is that he got these corporate pilots and once they get enough hours then they go over to the airline 15:00and work for the airline for a while. So he is constantly looking for people.

CD: Well I enjoyed speaking with you did you have anything else you wanted to add?

HN: Yes. Does Maryanne still work there?

CD: Funny you ask. She just retired on June 1st.

HN: No way!

CD: Yep thirty-eight years working at the library. You have some Maryanne stories you would like to share or how do you remember her after all these years?

HN: Because I worked at the library. That was my worked study.

CD: Well do you have some memories at the library then?

HN: Oh yes. Yes. In fact my husband still calls me the library lady. I got some very fond memories of the library. Especially Sunday mornings to open it up, to nobody there.

CD: I think we have remolded it since you have been here. Have you seen it?

HN: No I have not been back since you have remodeled it but I have seen some pictures and it is something else.


CD: Yeah, it's something else. It's still kind of weird coming into work and Maryanne not being here.

HN: Yeah, good for her. Her kids are married now aren't they?

CD: Yeah. They are off not living in Dubuque so that's part of the reason. She wanted to go out and see them more often. And I guess since we brought up Maryanne, I know that another person who is still a bi figure on campus that you know is Polly. Do you have any memories of her?

HN: Yes. Polly and I were roommates for a summer.

CD: Do you have any dirt on Polly?

HN: Noooo.

CD: Okay.

HN: So Polly and my other roommate Clare works there too.

CD: Oh that's right. Well you have to come back for sure now, since you have known all these people.

HN: I know, I know. We also had this other roommate, she was also in the 17:00aviation program Candace Denver is she on your list?

CD: No.

HN: I'm trying to think of her married name, I can't remember. She married her college boyfriend, I think she went into the military, I think that's the route that she went.

CD: After this, I'll try to find her and look her up.

HN: Polly might now where she is at. Or where she ended up. But I know after graduation she went into the military. Well very good. After this tell Polly it's her turn, she needs to get through this.

CD: I will make sure Polly does this, I will twist her arm.

HN: Okay. And do you want me to send this release thing to you.

CD: Yes please.

HN: Okay. I'll do that when I get into the office tomorrow.

CD: Okay.