Profiles in Passion
Tyler McAlpine, sophomore aviation management student
A singular ambition drew Tyler McAlpine to the aviation program at Marywood University: “I just want to fly.” His passion about flying is as contagious as his stated purpose of seeing the big picture.
Tyler said, “I was looking at the bigger picture. I knew that I could have played football in college, and earned a degree by doing so, but, for me, I was looking to grow as a person, with a goal in mind of maturing and finding what I was most interested in pursuing.”
Tyler is not the typical traditional undergraduate student. He attended Norristown Area High School. While there, he played a number of sports, but excelled at football. Although he was recruited by numerous colleges for football, when it came time to sign, he found himself gravitating towards the military. As a result, Tyler signed with the United States Marine Corps.
Tyler served as a Marine Corps sergeant in Aviation Operations and was a drone pilot. Enlisted from 2012-2017, he was stationed in California, deployed to the Philippines for nine months, and served the remainder of his tenure in Hawaii.
As Tyler was nearing the end of his Marine Corps service, he was researching colleges and programs. He wanted to return to his home state, and he discovered that Marywood is the only school in Pennsylvania that has an aviation management program. From there, the choice was simple. .
Currently, Tyler is in his sophomore year in Marywood’s aviation management program, and has switched from the management side of training to the pilot track. He is a member of the Aviation Club, the Student Veteran Alliance, and the Student Government Association.
There are times when he misses extracurriculars and sports, such as football, swim, track, band, and theatre, but Tyler explained that, to reach his end-goal, he needs to stay focused on his program and his work schedule.
“Just recently, I allowed myself to walk through the Center for Performing Arts,” Tyler said. “I avoided it during my freshman year, because I thought the draw to perform or play the trumpet would be too great.”
Tyler, who currently works for Brink’s Inc., continues to soar as he follows his passion of “just flying.”