College of Engineering Senator Candidate

Ian Williams

Ian's photos were captured by:

Dylan Kowlessar / The Avion

Ian Williams

Sophomore, BS Aerospace Engineering

"I am Ian Williams, a sophomore pursuing a BS in Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Astronautics, and upcoming finest engineer in the galaxy! Engineering has been in my blood since I was young, and ERAU has been my dream school since ninth grade. My experience covers ERPL project Odyssey as a fluids engineer, the CKI service committee, and undergraduate research at the Thermal Sciences Lab. I am a recipient of Eagle Scout, the ERAU Presidential Scholarship, and thrice-consecutive Dean's List. I will also serve as an engineering intern over the summer, lending me direct engineering experience in the industry. These factors are most vital to student success. As such, it is my duty to extend professional development opportunities to the student body. Most importantly, I will expand access to research opportunities that are both engaging and scientifically important. Students should feel like they are making a difference. Research is one of the most important ways to achieve this and is a vital part of the college experience. Inaugurate Ian, and let’s change the world together!"

  • What makes you a qualified candidate for this position?

    "My two strongest characteristics are my dedication and attention to detail. I am not a one-and-done type of person. I have found that the most valuable connections come from persistence, and I love the satisfaction I feel from seeing something through, beginning to end, despite the hassles and hardships that may come with it. I have survived the ‘gauntlet’ of my engineering program, and I am ready to prepare new students to tackle this challenge when it comes their way. I am also well-known for my attention to detail, and I leave no stone unturned. Finding my inner peace and relentlessly pursuing success wherever I may find it has equipped me with the necessary leadership skills and propelled me into the position I am in today. I am well-connected with students and faculty in my department, so concerns in these areas would be most effectively handled. I am goal-oriented and have achieved tangible results in my involvement, such as helping to propel the Experimental Rocket Propulsion Lab to its most powerful engine test fire and the first in over 6 years. My work in additive manufacturing research at the Thermal Sciences Lab in MicaPlex has given me an exclusive look into the Office of Undergraduate Research and arms me with the ability to establish a bridge for students to cross between student life and professional life. Given my broad scope in leadership with a variety of different age groups and disciplines, I am well-suited to listen to the individual needs of students and faculty, which will make me a perfect fit as an ambassador to represent the ERAU student body."

  • What is the purpose of the SGA Student Senate?

    "When I was petitioning for signatures and filling out the application for this position, the two most common questions I got from students were “What are you going to do that everybody else isn’t?” and “SGA Senate? What’s that?” The SGA Senate is comprised of a handful of representatives from each college at ERAU; the COE, COA, COAS, and COB, as well as representatives of veteran students, international students, graduate students, housing and residence life, and student life. Together, representatives pass bills that improve the quality of life and education on campus, much like the unicameral legislatures of some world governments. In addition to policymaking, the Senate also allocates the budget of the various RSOs and other ERAU-funded organizations on campus. The Senate also communicates extensively with department heads, faculty, club executives, and university administration to communicate student issues and resolve conflicts directly with them. Most importantly, the Senate hears the concerns and opinions of individual students. Each Senator has open office hours in which students can meet one-on-one with their representatives, and the Senate assembly meetings are open to the public."

  • How do you plan to elevate and communicate issues that your constituents are concerned about to the Senate?

    "Part of being an effective leader is being in touch, grounded closely to the people which I represent. I don't like being an average politician or some other faceless bureaucrat who never delivers effectively, simply because they don't understand what people want or need. Forming this line of communication between students and their representatives is one of the greatest challenges the Student Senate faces. Nobody knows better about an issue than the people who are facing it, which is why one of my goals is to set up a streamlined and centralized method of communication in which students can voice their own thoughts for improvement. For example, the power that social media has should really be tapped into. I found out about this SGA candidacy opportunity through it, as well as the research project that I'm currently on. I want to facilitate the development of an account on a well-known social media platform, such as Instagram, X, or YouTube, that is solely dedicated to anonymously collecting the comments, questions, and concerns of students. Centralization and ease of use are critical to making this succeed, otherwise it would just be another tool lost in the noise that nobody ever uses. This way, data can easily be compiled and presented to the Senate, and it is also a channel through which people who are very busy or not adept at speaking in person can make their opinions considered."

  • How will you improve the ERAU experience for your constituents?

    "As a senator, I would like to expand professional development opportunities for students in the industry and expand the reach of various research opportunities, clubs, and other RSOs that the College of Engineering has to offer. One thing that I've learned since coming here is that the aerospace industry is highly competitive. I've known students who just try to get themselves through classes with little to no involvement in research or club involvement. These are vital pieces of the college experience, and it disappoints me to see these resources going unused by many. I want to change that. By encouraging students to do what excites them early on, they will be better situated to face other applicants when seeking full-time job opportunities after graduation. One of the best ways to do this is by joining a club and dedicating themselves to it for long enough, with long enough being the issue. I have noticed that many students only become aware of clubs or research opportunities through professors, flyers taped to the walls, or to fulfill class requirements. These incentivize students to merely 'try' something out briefly and then quit early in the semester. I intend to take a closer look at student retention rates in clubs and organizations and analyze ways to get students more involved. By doing so, I can form a closer connection with club executives and students themselves to get a look at what makes students excited, which can keep club executives in touch with the needs and interests of prospective members. In addition to the industry opportunities it will unlock, students will also develop soft skills such as communication and leadership, as well as form a network of other talented students that can truly make them stellar College of Engineering students."