Recent history grad discusses academic journey and future plans
Roland Brad Au ’19
Gold Bar Recruiter, U.S. Army (2019)
Honors paralegal, Federal Trade Commission
How did you initially develop an interest in the military and ROTC?
“My family has a tradition of military service. My maternal great-grandfather was a general in the Philippine Army and a World War II guerilla leader; another great-uncle survived the Bataan Death March. Two of my uncles were also generals, and my cousin was a U.N. general who commanded peacekeeping forces in the Golan Heights. Three of my great-uncles served during WWII in the Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Another uncle served as an intelligence officer in the Pacific Theater. I am very aware of the importance of military duty and serving my country, as well as the immense personal growth that comes with military service.”
What did it mean to you to be commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate?
“When I got to Lafayette, I competed for a campus-based scholarship, which covers full tuition and fees. The Army looked at my GPA, physical fitness test score, and input from officers when deciding to award me the three-year scholarship. I’m proud to have been commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate because it showed my hard work as a cadet paid off and continued my family’s tradition of military excellence.”
What did you take from your Lafayette education that you are applying to your current role?
“My assignment as a recruiter was for the fall 2019 semester. I taught military science classes at Lafayette and helped train cadets at Lehigh Steel Battalion. I finished training at Fort Lee, Va., in May, which put me in the Army Reserve. I am currently working at the Federal Trade Commission as an honors paralegal. I had such wonderful classes at Lafayette that I tried to format my military science classes like them, and to emulate my professors. I also learned the importance of diligent, hard work.”
What did the support of your mentors at Lafayette mean to you?
“Professor [Rachel] Goshgarian was my academic adviser and faculty adviser at McKelvy House, and she offered me great counsel when picking classes, in my personal life, and in forming my own ideas. Professor [Jeremy] Zallen was my thesis adviser, and he too provided me with great advice when I was researching and writing my thesis. I could not have completed it without his sage direction and patience. It meant a lot to me to have a good personal relationship with my professors. When things were tough, they provided a listening ear and encouragement.”