Rocky Mountain College freshman Tommy Whitford, who is following his father into aviation, shares what he likes about Rocky and how his autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) channel is an outlet for his quirky creativity.


Where are you from?


Ogden, Utah


What do you study?


Aeronautical Science (flight operations)


What year are you? 




Do you have a primary memory of when you felt a connection to planes or aviation? 


The first time I remember flying on an airline was when I was about 5 or 6. I asked my dad (an airline pilot) hundreds of questions about how the plane worked, what the pilots were doing at different times, etc. I just remember being in awe of the fact that a huge metal tube could fly through the air. I distinctly remember the feeling of watching out the window as the plane rolled down the runway and took off. I felt pure joy like nothing I had ever experienced before. That was definitely one of the deciding moments in my life where I knew I wanted to be a pilot.

I know your father is a pilot, what was it like being brought up with that, and what is it like having that resource now?


My father has always been a great inspiration and role model to me. He’s an endlessly compassionate and driven person, and he always leaves a positive impact on the world and the people around him. As I grew up and began seriously pursuing a career in aviation, he happily shared stories of his journey and advice to avoid pitfalls along the way. He never attended college, and always told me that it was the one thing he wished he could do if he had the chance to go back in time. He really encouraged me to look at higher education as a way to build myself as a well rounded person and  find interests beyond aviation.

What about Rocky’s aviation program  attracted you? Now in your second semester how do you feel about your choice?


I originally intended to enroll at my mother’s Alma mater Westminster College before they closed their aviation program. I was forced to look elsewhere, and Rocky stuck out to me because of the community here. It reminded me in many ways of Westminster because of the small, tight-knit student body and low student-faculty ratio. I wanted to be more than just another face in the crowd to my professors and to have the opportunity to build better connections with the people around me. I definitely feel that I made the right choice in coming here. In my short time here, I have met some incredible people that have challenged me to become the best version of myself.

How do you balance the severity of flying with the college experience and social sphere? Is it hard to make time for yourself?


Making time for everything can be pretty difficult, especially since I tend to overcommit myself to extracurriculars. At some point I started to feel burneded out, but I have learned to assess/manage my time more effectively and seek support from friends and faculty to ensure that I stay on top of work, school and my relationships with others.

What do you do outside of flying?


I am a huge outdoors person (hiking, skiing, camping, climbing, the whole 9 yards). I love to be in the natural world and explore what it has to offer. It’s a great way to keep myself healthy in both the physical and mental sense, and being outdoors is just really fun in general.

You run a successful ASMR channel, what got you into that? 


I do run an ASMR channel called TommyDoesASMR (

. It initially started out as an inside joke with my friends in high school and ultimately snowballed into what it is today. I use it as a unique way to express my creativity. I enjoy the unconventional so it’s perfect for me.

What do you enjoy the most about Rocky?


My favorite part about Rocky is being able to engage in student organized events and activities. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to connect with people from different walks of life and spend my time in a fun and constructive way.

Favorite cafe food? 


 Hands down, the loaded baked potato chowder is a gift from God. I would eat it every day if it was available.


What would you tell someone entering into the same path you were being through the initial part of it yourself?


I would tell them to find other people to connect with. Good friends are priceless, and they make your life better in every way, from spending time with them to working through frustrations or uncertainties you may face.


You participated in the 3v3 basketball tournament, how was that? 


 I was never a basketball enthusiast, so it really opened my eyes to how much fun the sport is, and the unique challenges you have to consider when playing. It’s very rewarding.


Favorite place on campus?


My favorite campus space is the Fortin Center. The gym is a great place for me to get my mind off the world for a little while, especially if I’m in need of some alone time and don’t want to spend it locked away in my room. 


Anything we should know about you that we don’t? 


I am a huge fan of jazz music; jazz music is the best music.


What’re you listening to?


I am currently listening to “Pick Up The Pieces” by Average White Band. It’s a very funky tune.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *