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The School of Public Service hosts academic programs that, in part, train Boise State students to become responsive and innovative leaders in public service careers. The young men and women enrolled in our Army ROTC program exemplify discipline, sacrifice and service to our country. 

In this issue of Public Interest, we’ll introduce you to Lieutenant Colonel John Hawbaker, Professor of Military Science at Boise State. You’ll also meet two outstanding ROTC students who will tell you what public service and experiential learning mean to them. 

We’ll also share scholarship written by one of our ROTC instructors detailing how his time in a remote base helped him deal with the boredom and social isolation brought about by COVID19. We think his experiences may be helpful for many who are struggling with the current crisis. 

And we’ll even take you to the International Space Station for an ROTC swearing-in ceremony! 

Thanks for reading as we introduce you to – and salute – our ROTC program. Dedicated men and women working in the public interest. 

Andrew Giacomazzi
Interim Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

SPS Interim Dean Andrew Giacomazzi interviews Ltc. John Hawbaker

Academics talking academics in elevators

In an exciting new edition of Academics Talking Academics in (Virtual) Elevators, School of Public Service Interim Dean Andrew Giacomazzi interviews Ltc. John Hawbaker of Boise State Army ROTC, who is our first guest with a helicopter in his elevator. Military Science/ROTC is hosted by the School of Public Service. They discuss:

  • How did a Lieutenant Colonel wind up as a Professor of Military Science at Boise State University?
  • Boise State cadets being sworn in from the International Space Station? What!?
  • If a student joins ROTC, does this mean that they’ve volunteered to join the army?
  • How ROTC trains Boise State students to be public servants.

Swearing in from Space

Colonel Andrew Morgan is an Active Duty Army officer currently serving as an astronaut in the middle of a nine-month deployment to the International Space Station. On February 26, he swore in over 1,000 cadets and future soldiers across the United States via video from space, including members of Bronco Battalion!

Watch the video on Boise State Army ROTC's Facebook page
Two cadets who represent Boise State well! Taylor Albaugh and Jacob Santillan

Meet the Bronco Battalion!

Jacob Santillan and Taylor Albaugh of Boise State Army ROTC discuss:

  • Why they decided to join ROTC
  • What is the most important thing they’ve learned during their time in Bronco Battalion
  • What kind of hands-on learning experiences they’ve had in ROTC
  • What “Public Service” means to them and how ROTC builds it
  • What they would say to someone who is considering joining ROTC
  • What are their future plans after graduation

Taylor Albaugh

Watch our interview with Taylor

Jacob Santillan

Watch our interview with Jacob

Battlefield Boredom

Struggling with boredom and isolation due to the pandemic?

In The Blue Review, Boise State University’s Ltc. Joe Heaton discusses lessons learned from his experience of seclusion at a Forward Operating Base in Iraq. He also examines ways to increase personal resilience during relative seclusion.

“On one level, everything that the Army does is about being ready for the next fight. On another level, we realized the almost paradoxical notion that readiness is best achieved when we take care of our own people because it is the right thing to do, not simply to achieve readiness. This conforms to my own experience that the most powerful and effective way to compensate for suffering is to turn your focus outside of your own problems.” 
Lieutenant Colonel Joe Heaton is graduate of the United States Military Academy, Class of 2000, where he majored in Arts, Philosophy, and Literature, with an emphasis on Just War Theory. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Military Science and is studying for a Masters Degree in Political Science at Boise State University.

Read Battlefield Boredom in The Blue Review