Hope Jenson working with ROTC cadets.

Hope Jenson’s commitment to excellence runs deep.

A senior from Clifton, Hope joined the ASU Honors Program as a way to maintain her academic rigor.

“I’d always done well with my studies in high school, and I wanted to make sure I continued that in college,” she explained. “The Honors Program interested me, and it was going to force me to push myself. Honors has expectations, and I had to make sure I was meeting them.”

Hope Jenson working on research in the biology lab.

When Hope first began her journey at Angelo State, she planned to become a doctor. This led her to become a biology major, but also peaked her interest in ASU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 847.

“I just want to help people. I know I can make a difference in the military, even if it is just for a few airmen.”

“I had already picked Angelo State as my university before I even realized there was an ROTC program here,” she said. “I happened to discover it while I was touring. I didn’t have any experience with the military, so I went in completely blind. I didn’t even know how to put my hair in a bun.”

Hope Jenson working with ROTC cadets.

“I joined ROTC as a way to pay for medical school,” Hope continued. “And then, as I’m in ROTC, I’m realizing a little bit more from shadowing other doctors that medicine isn’t really for me, but I still want to be in the military.”

And as it turns out, while medicine wasn’t her thing, ROTC is. So much so, Hope worked her way up to detachment wing commander, the highest-ranked cadet.

Hope Jenson working on a computer.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we are a cadet-run detachment,” she said. “Most of the planning and training and teaching is decided by cadets. My main job is to ensure we have a plan for training, and that we’re meeting the objectives set for us by the Air Force.”

While her passion may have shifted from medicine, Hope is still active within her biology major, but from a research perspective.

“I’m doing research with Dr. Dowler from the Biology Department,” she said. “I am researching the presence of Trichinella, a parasite typically found in wild boar, in skunks here in West Texas.”

Hope Jenson and biology professor Dr. Robert Dowler working on research in a lab.

And Hope understands how special it is to be able to pursue her passion for research, as well as her passion for ROTC.

“It’s really hard for undergraduates to get research opportunities at other universities,” she said. “If you do research, often you can’t do other things. Whereas at ASU, they want you to do research; they want you to branch out; they want you to ask questions and push yourself.”

Hope Jenson working on research in the biology lab.

Upon graduating this spring, Hope plans to commission as a second lieutenant and continue her career into the U.S. Air Force.

“I just want to help people,” she said. “It might not initially be in the way I thought I would with medicine, but I know I can make a difference in the military, even if it is just for a few airmen.”

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