Brigadier General Chad D. Raduege

In January, I attended a leadership event held by Air Force Brigadier General Chad D. Raduege thanks to the Ohio State University Air Force ROTC program.

“Brig. Gen. Chad D. Raduege is the Director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance, and Chief Information Officer, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He leads a staff and four subordinate units responsible for delivering strategic and enterprise-level cyberspace efforts to increase the U.S. Air Force’s ability to provide combat forces to Combatant Commanders. Brig. Gen. Raduege provides the strategic vision, policy, guidance and advocacy to drive the engineering and integration to build, extend, operate, secure and defend the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense global network. He is responsible to organize, train and equip cyberspace capability and communications for the command’s 34 wings, 700 aircraft, 19 bases and 70 worldwide operating locations with 98,000 total force military personnel.

Brig. Gen. Raduege entered the Air Force in 1994 as a distinguished graduate of The Ohio State University. An Operation Joint Guard veteran, he has commanded eight times at the detachment, squadron, group and agency levels, to include deployed commands supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In addition, he has served as a staff officer at the major command, air staff, joint staff and Office of the Secretary of Defense levels.
Previously, Brig. Gen. Raduege served as the Commander, White House Communications Agency. In this position, he led a 1,200-person joint headquarters and five operational units traveling worldwide to provide assured information services to the President, Vice President, named successors, National Security Council, White House Staff, the United States Secret Service and the White House Military Office to ensure instantaneous secure and non-secure worldwide communications required to lead the nation.”

His presentation was very interesting, I learned a lot about leadership from him.

 

Sources: https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/1938638/brigadier-general-chad-d-raduege/

STEP Expo

On November 20 I attended the STEP expo to see what projects others did in the past couple of years.

“STEP is the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program and it’s for all of the students who live on campus and are in their second year. With the STEP program as long as students go to the meetings and fill out the proposal students can earn up to a free $2,000 for any transformational experience that they want.

This advertisement to prospective students centers heavily on a $2,000 signature project. However, according to university officials, what this statement presents as merely boxes to check before receiving $2,000 in funding, is actually the core of STEP.

The program was founded with the broad goal of second-year success, according to university officials. Participants are required to complete a financial consulting meeting and three professional development co-curriculars of their choice.

The two main components of STEP, however, are group meetings within a “cohort” consisting of other STEP participants led by a faculty member, as well as the signature project, which is defined as a “transformational experience” that the student can earn up to $2,000 to complete. The project must fall into one of six categories: undergraduate research, education abroad, service learning, leadership, internships or creative and artistic endeavors.

STEP participants work to craft a proposal for their project throughout the year, pending approval by administration and provided the requirements of attending meetings, PDCs and financial consultation are met, the student will receive the money.

An analysis of university records showed that on average, 78.5 percent of STEP participants complete a signature project proposal and STEP students have, on average, a 3 percent higher retention rate.

Ohio State officials, though, argue that these numbers aren’t adequate measurements of success. The university instead places an emphasis on the cohort meetings and the student-faculty relationships they intend to foster.

The university’s emphasis on the group meetings is not reflected in faculty testimonials, student experience or the funding breakdown. They indicate that STEP’s primary focus is the signature project.

Both current and past participants also are required to attend the STEP Expo, an event highlighting the projects completed by the outgoing group. The expo is held twice a year and is the largest event put on by the program, adding to the public perception that the signature project is central to STEP.

STEP’s funding breakdown also indicates the program’s primary facet is the signature project.

Since the program’s inception in 2014, 70 percent of STEP’s total budget has been allocated toward signature projects. This amounts to $9.2 million out of a total $13.2 million.

Despite $13.2 million spent and five years of honing the program’s vision, the university seems to lack any clear mechanism for measuring the success of the program.

The university did provide partial data in the form of survey results from the year 2017. Despite requests for the data’s source and the number of participants interviewed, The Lantern was unable to attain such information.

The survey contained responses such as, “81% of students agree that being part of STEP is beneficial,” and “When asked whether they intend to complete their degree at Ohio State, 98.3% agree or strongly agree.”

The top two benefits students reported gaining from STEP “completing a proposal for and their experience in their Signature Project,” and “the fellowship for the Signature Project.”

The university identified faculty connections and peer communities as key determinants of second-year success, but instead, the program seems to revolve around a “transformational experience” and the Signature Project instead of the cohorts, which the university said was the core of the program.

Despite thousands of participants, half a decade of operation and millions spent, it’s impossible to measure STEP’s impact. The program was created to assist second-year students, however, the fact remains that there is little-to-no empirical evidence supporting whether it does so or not.”

Sources: /https://www.thelantern.com/2018/05/inside-ohio-states-flagship-second-year-program//

Liyana-The African Superhero

In January 2019 I had the opportunity to see the movie “Liyana” and have a conversation with the producer, Aaron Kopp. The film is about a “Swazi girl who embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland who collaborate to tell a story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character’s journey is interwoven with poetic and observational documentary scenes to create a genre-defying celebration of collective storytelling.” /Rotten Tomatoes/

My English professor, Cathy Ryan told me about this opportunity, so I took advantage of it. I’ll be honest, when I watched the trailer before the movie, I thought that Liyana was going to be just a “bad literature movie”, that I probably would not like, so I only went because I have never had the opportunity to see a film producer in real life before. After watching it, my thoughts were a bit different. Without the conversation with Aaron Kopp, I would have probably skipped the whole event, and I also have the same opinion after seeing the film.

What I did not like is that the movie is not special at all when it comes to its story, it is just another tale of a superhero. Also, it is sad that the kids who created the story include an alcoholic parent, death, and rape, but other than that, there is nothing much the viewer can do with this information. Furthermore, the animations were as disappointing as in the trailer because they were basically just pictures of an animated world.

Continuing with the positive side, the movie itself is better than the trailer. It amazes me that kids who have created their own superhero have such a vivid imagination. Although the whole story is a cliché, I am sure that younger kids have a much better imagination than most of the adults. The part of the event I enjoyed the most was the director’s talk after the film, because — as I wrote before — I have never had the opportunity to attend something like this before. I did not ask any questions, but others did, so we did not just sit quietly staring at each other, which is a plus. There were some good and also bad questions, but it was enjoyable to see that the director answered every question in a professional way. I was also surprised to see that Aaron Kopp is a relatively young filmmaker because I expected someone who was in their sixties.

In conclusion, I am satisfied that I attended this event, since the film gave me new insights to the African life and culture, and of course I had my first opportunity to meet a real Hollywood producer, which was an awesome experience by itself!

Alexander Hamilton Society

On November 14thI attended a meeting hosted by the Alexander Hamilton Society. I am not interested in politics at all, but my roommate who is majoring in political science convinced me to go. He is a member since September of freshmen year, so I thought it was a good idea to try out something new. The meeting was held in Thompson Library in a conference room. What surprised me was that the meeting was held by students, and not by teachers/professors. During the meeting, we talked about President Trump’s visit to France, Midterm Elections results and foreign policy, OPEC oil cuts and technology in the military.

 

(Trump was more a focus last year because he was a special guest of French President Emmanuel Macron at the annual Bastille Day parade. This time, Trump was among more than 60 world leaders attending events marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Paris has paid more attention to the solemn war memorial than to the American president. Democratic presidents like Barack Obama tend to be more popular with them than Republican ones because of their left-leaning politics. There is something about Trump – the avatar of an “America First” foreign policy who has clashed with Macron and threatened to pull support from the NATO military alliance – that really drives the French up a wall.

Oil markets are oversupplied and need active management by OPEC. The oversupply is largely in the light crude barrels produced by the U.S. as Trump pushes OPEC to keep prices low. Global markets are wary about trade dispute woes ahead of the G-20 meeting in Argentina on November 30thand December 1st, and OPEC meeting in Austria on December 6th.

A controversial Google contract with the U.S. military will not be renewed next year after internal and public outcry against it. The program itself was not particularly distasteful or lucrative but served as a foot in the door for the company to pursue more government work that may very well have been both.Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos has defended his company’s effort to aid the US military with its advanced technology, after the bidding for government contracts by the tech industry triggered a recent wave of employee protests at some companies.)

 

In this group most people were conservative, but there was an extremely liberal student who had an unusual idea. She said it would be great to let China take over the world so there would be no more wars and world peace could be achieved. I was amazed that her opinion was treated with a lot of respect by the members of the Alexander Hamilton Society, and they explained why this would be a not so great idea. But she could not be convinced, and she ended up leaving. I am independent when it comes to politics, so it was good to learn a few things about the conservative side. Next time maybe I will go to a liberal meeting to compare the 2 sides.