Meet the Staff Monday: Sally Richards

//Meet the Staff Monday: Sally Richards

Sally Richards serves as our Senior Program Manager for Co-ops/Internships in Career Services – Daytona Beach.

Discuss your background prior to starting at ERAU.

Growing up in Ohio, I was always fascinated with airlines and air travel. At the time United Airlines had a 12/21 Club for “young adults” to fly stand by for deeply discounted rates.  I took advantage of those benefits over the next few years.  After attending Kent State University, I began my career in aviation working for Cleveland based Commuter Airlines (fleet of Beech 99s), where I managed passenger service at the station which in reality meant it was a one person operation. After a move to South Florida, I was offered a position in maintenance planning with National Airlines (fleet of 727s and DC10s), while hubby was in a college flight program, and subsequently a move to Daytona Beach so he could earn his degree and Multi-Engine rating at ERAU. My credentials also include a position with Miami based Eastern Airlines in pilot and flight attendant recruiting a few years later.

What is your current role within ERAU’s Career Services?

I have over 30+ years of experience in higher education with a track record in Career Services.  I started my Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University career in the Aeronautical Engineering Department located in the two story prefab building now known as Canaveral.  What a great group of faculty and staff we had. Currently as Senior Career Services Cooperative Education/Internship Program Manager, I manage and facilitate operations of the Co-op/Intern Program along with the outstanding team of Program Managers and Director.  I ensure adherence of University Co-op policies and procedures to maintain high standards, while overseeing conflict resolution for student concerns and situations. I am a liaison between students, the University, and employers.

What is the best part of your job?

I enjoy working in a collaborative environment with a wonderful team of energized men and women focused on helping students develop individual career goals in preparation to become future aviation industry professionals. It’s a real thrill seeing students have opportunities for co-ops/internships or full-time jobs with great companies and know you’ve had a little bit of input in that journey. I’ve watched the dreams of many students fulfilled; a student assistant who became a NASA Astronaut, one who was the Florida Launch Coordinator for SpaceEx, another who was the Lead Engineer on the 777 engine for GE besides 1000s of other alums making significant contributions in the aeronautics/aviation arena. Some of the students who I’ve assisted over the years come back to the University to visit, reminisce and give back because they had an excellent adventure/journey at Embry-Riddle. You can see the in them the excitement of living their dream, designing, flying, crunching numbers, inventing, and innovating technology.

What is your favorite quote?

Two of my favorite quotes:  “The needs of the many outweigh those of the few.”  (Spock)  Who knew that one besides the Trekkies!  The second is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and almost everything is small stuff.” (my son) Good philosophy, but not always easy to practice.

What is your favorite movie and why?

When I go to the movies, I like to be entertained or intrigued whether it’s comedy or mystery or drama.  In other words, be transported out of reality once in a while. Some of my favorites are “Under the Tuscan Sun” because of the beautiful Italian scenery and lifestyle, “Good Will Hunting” feeling empathy for the struggling genius who can’t move forward in life because of his psychological issues, and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” because Paul Newman and Robert Redford could definitely keep your attention even in the midst of a Western.

What is your favorite music?

I like many genres of music from pop to oldies, smooth jazz to reggae. Songs by Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, Edie Brickell, Tracey Chapman.  There’s even a few older Heavy Metal bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen with songs like Stairway to Heaven and Bohemian Rhapsody that I listen to and it reminds me of my son constantly playing that music.

Why should students use career services in your opinion?

Students need to know how to demonstrate and communicate their skills, abilities and knowledge so employers see the value and strengths one can bring to a company. As long as a student is proactive, and takes advantage of the various resources and events sponsored by Career Services, a student will have every opportunity to learn and become that person who gets selected for a co-op, internship or full-time position.

What are some of your hobbies when not working?

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed boating (don’t they say the two best days of owning a boat is the day you buy the boat and the day you sell the boat!), recreational biking, exercising, street skating now has been modified and looks like walking. Passive hobbies include attending air shows (especially if the Blue Angels are performing), car shows and art shows in many local communities.

What is a cherished childhood memory you want to share?

When I was a child, my sister and parents and I took a 3 week cross country train trip from OH across the U.S. through the corn fields, to the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam. We saw the geysers and bears in Yellowstone, swam in the Great Salt Lake, went to the Grand Canyon, Disneyland (since  Disney World wasn’t even a twinkle in Walt’s eyes yet). We returned home according to my father with only $5.00 left in his wallet (What a crazy thought, “No credit cards.” At that time…had to use CASH or travelers checks which you got from a bank with CASH!)

What is a unique fact about you?

My husband graduated from ERAU in the early 70s and I was awarded a special Ph.T. degree from ERAU at the same time. The only educational buildings on campus at the time were the ABC Building which housed the library, the Student Center, Maintenance Building and some structure at the flight line. Administration was in the two old Navy barracks on the road to Daytona Beach Regional Airport. McDonalds was on “Volusia Avenue” and students (mostly male) hung out to do homework there or in the Student Center. Touch football games and beer on the lawn in front of Doolittle were weekend events. I’ve had the privilege to watch ERAU transform its footprint over the years to the beautiful college campus that we all know today.  The superior reputation, academic excellence, and accolades throughout the industry should make any alum, student, families and friends of the University proud to be affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, past, present, or future.


2018-08-01T13:18:55-05:00August 6th, 2018|Meet the Staff|

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