Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2023
Evan Erickson started his time at The Polytechnic School, initially hoping to pursue a degree in aeronautical management technology with a concentration in professional flight. But his interest soon evolved to pursue a degree in unmanned aerial systems — the first of his three majors.
Erickson’s academic aspirations expanded when his friend, mentor and fellow triple major, Kyle Butler, introduced him to the air traffic control simulators on ASU’s Polytechnic campus. That experience sparked his decision to pursue two additional degrees in air traffic management and air transportation management.
“I initially thought when I added my additional two majors that this was the right path for me, but it was not until I stepped into my first air traffic control lab for Terminal RADAR Approach Control, or TRACON, that I knew this was where I was meant to be,” Erickson says.
Erickson’s interest in unmanned aerial systems led him to become a member of the Drone Devils student organization. In time, he would serve as the club’s treasurer, vice president and president.
“A great part of being in a club at ASU is that we have the opportunity to complete community service,” Erickson says. “The Drone Devils’ choice for this is working at the Mesa location of Feed My Starving Children, where we get to set aside time to pack meals for children. In our packing sessions to date, we have packed more than 2,700 meals, which will feed seven kids for one year.”
Erickson is considering working with the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller or becoming an aircraft dispatcher with a local air carrier to build experience before going to a major airline. Regardless, he still plans to pursue that professional flight degree down the road.
“I would like to serve in any one of the above roles for an extended period before saving enough money to work on my pilot ratings so that I may become a professional pilot, which I have recognized as wanting to be since I was a senior in high school,” Erickson says.