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Meteorology graduate lands position with U.S. Air Force

When Nathaniel Shearer of Berea entered WKU’s Meteorology Program in the Department of Geography and Geology in Fall 2007, he had his sights set on adding to the military tradition within his family by becoming a Weather Officer for the U.S. Air Force.

Nathaniel Shearer

Nathaniel Shearer

The program is delighted to announce that, as a recent graduate of the WKU Meteorology Program, Shearer has beaten the odds and achieved success with an offer to become a Weather Officer by attending Officer Training School with the USAF at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.

“The strong educational background I received from the WKU Meteorology Program, in addition to the many leadership opportunities I took part in, were an extremely important factor in my selection for Officer Training School,” Shearer said. “Serving our country is not a right, it’s a privilege. I can think of no greater honor than serving as a Weather Officer representing this country and Western Kentucky University.”

Like many other jobs in today’s economy, the field of meteorology is incredibly competitive, especially for recent college graduates with Bachelor of Science degrees. This means even the highest quality graduates are not only competing with each other, they are competing against those with graduate-level degrees, as well as those who are already in the work force looking for a new role or position. For these reasons, the focus of the WKU Meteorology Program has been to offer unique, professional experiences and training in order to produce high quality students who are well-prepared and competitive to continue on to graduate school and/or seek employment.

One highly respected area of competitive employment includes the United States Air Force. The USAF typically hires for the position of “Officer,” which is a leadership role whereby the applicant is placed based on the degree earned. However, like most employers, if the needs are met by current employees, no positions are offered. When these jobs do become available, only the top percentile of applicants is considered from a vast applicant pool.

“The WKU Meteorology program is tough, competitive, and focused on training students for these types of workforce opportunities,” said Dr. David Keeling, head of the Department of Geography and Geology. “Nathaniel’s success is not only a testament to his dedication to his studies but to the structure of the program that prepared him well for this opportunity. The entire faculty congratulates Mr. Shearer on this appointment.”

Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555.

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