Student Profiles - Aaron Clevenstine
Class: 2001 & 2012
Major: Undergraduate, Earth Science & Graduate, Emergency Management
Hometown: Lancaster, Pa.
What organizations were you involved with on campus?
Geology club and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). As an undergrad, I was treasurer for the geology club—we went on trips to Canada, Denver, San Francisco and Toronto. Being involved with IAEM, I had the opportunity to attend the Keystone Emergency Management Conference in Lancaster, Pa.
What set you apart from other Millersville University students?
I have always been a continuing education student, both as an undergraduate and graduate student. I always lead from the front and enjoy mentoring other students.
Was there a specific professor at MU that mentored you or inspired a greater interest in your field?
Dr. Yalda. She has a passion for teaching, great respect for students and an outstanding personality that makes you feel special.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working as an emergency manager in an international disaster organization.
What influenced your choice to attend Millersville University?
Millersville University’s quality education for a low cost.
How does your experience in the military give you a unique perspective into emergency management?
My experience is in logistics, and the masters degree helps me to understand emergency management. My military experience helps me understand how to live and work in difficult situations, while providing support to an emergency event. My military experience also gives me a unique perspective into organizational relationships in the sense of planning and executing disaster events.
Was it a big adjustment to transition from active duty in Iraq to college life at Millersville?
In both my undergraduate and graduate experiences I was a non-traditional student coming from the military. During the online graduate program, I worked a 40 hour work week. The online course allowed me the time to plan my semester work load around my work schedule and family life.
Are you hoping to use your masters of science in emergency management degree to work for the military again or will you choose a civilian job?
I was recently hired in the logistics management directorate at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters as a quality manager specialist. As a quality assurance specialist, I work within the property management division evaluating process, storage and care of FEMA disaster response and recovery stock. The division is responsible for providing agency-wide management, oversight and guidance of personal property used in disaster operations; augmentation of existing workforce, as needed, during disaster operations; and the conducting of agency-wide audits to ensure policy compliance. Millersville University filled a gap in my experience while my career as a logistician gave me valuable experience and knowledge going into the field.
Tell us about the speech you prepared for the 2012 graduate commencement at Millersville?
My selection as the graduate student moment of reflection speaker was a great honor. I have given speeches in the past to small and large groups. The largest group was during the 2008 Barack Obama visit to Pennsylvania at the Lancaster, Pa train station. There I introduced then Senator Barack Obama and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. This speech will be even more memorable because of my love for Millersville University and what it means to be a student and alumni of this special and unique University. I am proud of my service to my country; I am proud of my service to family, but Millersville University has shown me how important culture and a vision are to creating an outstanding organization. My experience at Millersville University tells me that a common purpose or cause will always stand out more than one person’s idea. In leading an organization you must develop a culture and a vision for your people to follow or your idea will be short lived.
How has Millersville helped you succeed?
The University has helped me continue to serve family, friends, the community and the nation… for that, I am grateful.