With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. At least once each year we hope to publish brief “Alumni Updates” where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we are posting interviews with some of our alumni. This month we are excited to post an interview with Capt. Laura LeFevre (’08). This interview was conducted during the spring semester of 2015 by Katie Zamora (’18), current BIC student. We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.
What year did you graduate from Baylor and what did you study?
I graduated from Baylor back in 2008! I can’t believe it was that long ago, because I feel like I just left! I studied International Studies with a concentration in Eastern Europe (mainly Russia). I studied Russian while I was there and was fortunate to be able to study abroad in Voronezh, Russia. It was a great experience.
When you began your undergraduate did you know exactly what you wanted to do? If not, did the BIC help you discover your passion?
Ever since I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to do something with International Affairs. I really loved my Global Studies class that I took freshmen year of high school. I knew that was the area I wanted to work in, but it wasn’t until a trip I took to DC that I met some State Department Ambassadors. It was then that a world was opened up to me.
When I arrived on campus, I visited the AF ROTC booth at orientation and decided that military service not only could help pay for college (we all know how expensive Baylor is) as well as give me federal service time, while I was trying to apply to the State Department.
What was your favorite part of the BIC? (So far mine has been the field trips we’ve taken to the Hindu Temple and the Mosque)
You have great taste. World Cultures was not surprisingly my favorite class. Everything about the class was enjoyable, especially the field trips. I often refer back to those times at work. There is so much that you get to learn and take away from those classes that you’ll get to share with your co-workers and friends.
Can you tell us some about your professional journey since graduating from Baylor? What are you currently doing for a career?
After graduation from Baylor, I commissioned in the United States Air Force. It has definitely been one whirlwind adventure and I’ve loved every minute of it. There is a lot of trust and faith that the Air Force places on its young Airmen, both enlisted and officers. Every job I’ve had within the Air Force has been a challenge in different ways; in my first assignment, they entrusted me with leading a group of over 30 individuals who supported some amazing operations, such as assisting the Haitian government after the earthquake in 2010, and eventually I was put in charge of a flight of 120 individuals at 26 years old. Of course, I had a strong group of individuals, Non-Commissioned Officers, that helped guide me through a very busy time. Some of them had 15 or more years of experience, and as a team we got through some very difficult times. I’ve also been fortunate to deploy multiple times, where I had the honor of supporting and working with amazingly talented US Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers, as well as, other countries’ militaries. Even though it has been almost 7 years since I graduated, there isn’t a day I am not able to glean some insight from what I learned during my BIC days. From my experiences within world religions or from the reading the many great texts we were exposed to, all this knowledge has definitely shaped how I handle the diverse and complex issues that arise while at work.
Do you think the BIC has contributed to your development as an Air Force Officer?
It absolutely has. From critical thinking to writing, all of the classes that I took in BIC really set me up well for my career. I’d say BIC helped out with more than just my work. Because BIC goes back to the foundations and basics of learning, I am able to tackle many different tasks and problems in my life. It allows me to relate to many people and cultures. I have lived and spent time in over 10 different countries since I joined the military.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I have always wanted to know that I contributed to more than just myself, given more than I received. Right now, serving in the military gives me a very real picture of what I contribute to and the lives that I am able to help. It also gives me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and learn from them, and understand their perspectives. The Air Force has given me many priceless experiences, and I know that I want to continue affecting the international community, and only God knows whether that is within the federal government or the private sector, I’m still not quite sure where this journey will take me.