military veteran AND motivating mentor

| Denise Olson

All nontraditional Blugolds add a truly enriching element to our classrooms and campus as a whole, bringing with them a range of life experiences that help all students see and learn from different perspectives. Jessica Traw, a human resources management major, brings to campus a lengthy career of active duty military service and a deep understanding of employee relations — a passion she plans to channel into a career helping businesses create the most productive and positive atmosphere possible for all employees.

Before an early retirement after 17 ½ years, Jessica served the U.S. Air Force as a supervising transportation coordinator and dispatcher, charged with ensuring that all pilots, passengers and cargo were transported safely and efficiently in all operations. Through deployments to Spain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Portugal, as well as multiple stateside transfers, Jessica became attuned to the many ways she saw co-workers, especially younger ones, treated unfairly or without sufficient guidance. She made it her mission to mentor fellow workers whenever possible to help all individuals and the team as whole succeed to their greatest potential.

Juggling life’s pressures is essential to military training, and Jessica now enjoys an ability to manage her full schedule of classes, work and family in a way that she hopes her younger counterparts in classes can learn from. True to the U.S. Air Force mission, Jessica is aiming high and helping others succeed as a military veteran AND a motivating mentor ... and that’s pretty powerful!