By Tessa Shockey
As the Baylor Air Force Reserve Officer Training detachment commemorates 60 years of training and equipping cadets on campus, the School of Education highlights two of several cadets who are enrolled in education programs.
"Air Force ROTC started at Baylor officially on the 31st of July in 1948, which was only 10 months after the Air Force became an independent service," Capt. Robert Shipp said. Baylor AFROTC is the No. 1 detachment in the Southwest Region, and it received recognition in November as the No. 1 large detachment in the nation. Baylor's detachment produces 22 new officers each year, compared to typical detachments that average 15 officers a year.
"It's a lot of fun to know we came from something so established and that has been so successful in the past. We get to carry that out and on to the future," said junior cadet Clancy Morrical, a middle school math teacher education major.
Baylor School of Education majors are an integral part of ROTC and diversify the ranks, according to Shipp. "Being an education major myself, the lessons that you learn in education – those leadership lessons – are going to be the same no matter what career you take," Shipp said.
Practice what you teach, a philosophy the SOE embodies, allows Morrical to practice, in a classroom setting, the teaching methods she has learned. Morrical said her professors showed her how to make the frequently dreaded subject of math fun and conducive to different learning styles.
"Without a doubt, I feel like I am getting the best education that a future teacher could ask for," Morrical said. Teacher education majors spend six semesters in schools tutoring, teaching and interning. For fall 2008, Morrical taught math at César Ch vez Middle School in Waco.
Before beginning her teaching career, Morrical proudly will fulfill her ROTC obligation with a four-year commission after she graduates.
Senior cadet Austin Oetken followed a legacy when he came to Baylor. Oetken's grandfather, father and brother all served or serve in the Air Force. Oetken's brother is the reason he came to Baylor.
Oetken is a health science major following the pre-medicine track in the Scool of Education's health, human performance and recreation department. During his time at Baylor, he has been able to participate in research in the Exercise Sport Nutrition Lab and the Exercise Biochemical Nutrition Lab with Drs. Bill Campbell and Paul LaBounty. Oetken had an instrumental role in Campbell and LaBounty's research on branched chain amino acids through activities such as conducting biopsies, analyzing skeletal muscles, and drawing and analyzing blood samples.
"My health science classes have given me the capacity to succeed in the medical field by equipping me with a well-rounded perspective that every good doctor should have," Oetken said. After graduation, he plans to go to medical school and serve his country as a second lieutenant.
Oetken said the cadre, or officers, in Detachment 810 are superior officers, role models and mentors. Baylor allows the cadre to integrate faith and service into their leadership of the detachment.