Clarkson University Air Force ROTC cadet Allie E. Day '16 is passionate about serving her country and understanding other cultures around the world.
It's those passions that allowed Day, an electrical engineering major from Yarmouth, Maine, to study Arabic this summer through Project Global Officers (GO).
Project GO is a Department of Defense program that teaches language and intercultural communication skills to future military officers. Day will spend her summer, from May 28 to July 26, studying Arabic at Indiana University with other ROTC cadets from around the country. Project GO is paying for Day's tuition, books and some of her living expenses, a value of more than $7,000.
Day plans to combine her engineering expertise with the foreign language skills and serve her country overseas when she graduates. Speaking Arabic will be an important tool during deployment, she said.
"We have quite a presence in the Middle East right now," Day said. "The more people that can communicate and understand their culture, the more it's going to help in our diplomacy with them."
She also looks forward to meeting other ROTC cadets from around the country at Project GO. Military service runs in Day's family; her father, Thaddeus '90, was an Army ROTC cadet.
"I personally think it's important for everyone to give back in some way, whether it's to their community, state or country," Day said. "We're one of the world's leading powers, so why not contribute to that?"
U.S. Air Force Maj. Christopher Victoria, assistant professor of aerospace studies, praised Day's dedication, discipline and work ethic and described her as a "go-getter" who excels in academics, athletics and community service. Day is ranked third of Clarkson's 36 freshmen cadets and holds the highest physical fitness test score among Clarkson's female cadets, near 100 percent, he said.
Day's placement in Project GO is especially impressive because of the national competitiveness of the program, Victoria said.
"We have every confidence that she's going to do well and let the rest of the nation know that the ROTC at Clarkson is a top-tier program," Victoria said.
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.