Student Leadership Spotlight- Kelsey Brewer

Kelsey Brewer is a Criminal Justice major and student in the Honors Program at EKU. She is currently working on completing her Senior Thesis for Honors. Kelsey is also in EKU”s ROTC program, and when she graduates from Eastern she will be a commissioned officer in the Untied States Army. Kelsey took the time to answer some of our questions about student leadership and the ROTC.

  • Why did you decide to join the ROTC at EKU?

My junior year of high school I got this crazy idea in my head that I wanted to join ROTC. I did my research about which schools had Army ROTC and a criminal justice program, and applied for and received a 4 year scholarship on the national level from ROTC. So, my choice to come to EKU was influenced by my decision to join ROTC. If EKU didn’t have ROTC (and such a beautiful campus!) I wouldn’t be where I am today.

  • As a member of the ROTC, what challenges have you faced? How have these challenges impacted your perspective on what makes a good leader?

Being a female in ROTC has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced, along with learning to balance school work and ROTC. As a female we have to prove ourselves much more than the guys do; we have to prove that we can not only keep up, but excel. It’s a very competitive field to begin with, and then being female the competition gets even stronger. Learning to balance school work and ROTC has also been a challenge because both things take up and enormous amount of time. While ROTC is integrated into our school schedule due to MSL classes and labs, we have ROTC events that often take up our weekends as well. By facing these two challenges I have learned that a leader must not only be flexible/ resilient and be able to handle anything and everything that is put on their plate, but also that a leader must be confident in their ability to get things done and headstrong enough to keep pushing through to get the job done, no matter how hard it gets. Also, time management!

  • You have been a member on EKU’s award winning Pershing Rifles team. What has helped your team succeed? 

I think the biggest factor that has helped us succeed in winning 2 national titles is the fact that the team members are extremely dedicated to the team. We practice at least once a week, but up to 3 times a week. This really helps us come together as we learn to work together and adapt to each others’ strengths and weaknesses.

  • How do the leadership skills that you have gained through the ROTC reveal themselves elsewhere in your student experience?

The leadership skills that I’ve gained in ROTC allow me to really work well on group projects when I need to. Because I’ve learned to not only be a leader, but also a team player, I feel that I am able to accomplish goals much more efficiently.

  • What advice do you have for young women who are interested in pursuing leadership roles? How do you think that the EKU ROTC experience might be beneficial to them in their pursuits?

My advice for young women pursuing leadership goals is to believe in yourself and never compromise your morals and ethics in the pursuit of your goals. Be confident in yourself and you can do anything you set your mind to. Because EKU ROTC is one of the most prestigious programs in the country, I feel that it offers a great opportunity to anyone who thinks that it might be the right path for them. Despite the fact that we usually have 50 or more cadets at any given time, we are really a close knit community that watches out for each other, and is always there to help a buddy out.

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