Jackson School MAIS student Kent Oglesby was one of four University of Washington graduate students selected to lead 2014 master’s and doctoral graduates into Husky Stadium for commencement on June 14 as a gonfalonier for the Graduate School.
Oglesby’s experience as a Navy commanding officer inspired him to write his thesis on Germany’s participation in NATO’s post-Cold War military operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Libya. He attempts to answer the question, “Why has Germany’s participation in these missions been inconsistent?”
Associate Professor Sabine Lang said Oglesby has “the curiosity and ambition to dig deep into international contexts for discovery and insight.”
As a senior in high school, Oglesby received an exchange scholarship that allowed him to travel to Germany. That experience moved him to study German at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to study abroad for a year at University of Goettingen in Germany.
Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy, became a Naval Flight Officer, and had a fulfilling 22-year career flying tactical jet aircraft. He was stationed overseas and deployed around the world. After he retired from the Navy in 2012, his experiences as an exchange student and a naval officer led him to seek a second career in the international arena.
After researching programs, he chose the Jackson School at UW. “I’ve very much enjoyed being back in an academic environment,” he wrote. “Working with my professors and fellow students has allowed me to both tap into my experience and expand my knowledge of international topics. I’ve particularly enjoyed the interdisciplinary approach at the Jackson School, which has allowed me to explore subjects as diverse as history, economic development, and security.”
Oglesby was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for Western European studies and plans to start a second career in international education or international relations.