Student spotlight: ROTC student shares military experience with CIMS
This student spotlight is a monthly feature highlighting student success stories at RIT.
RIT is known for its combination of in-class education and real-world training, which help create well-rounded graduates who succeed professionally. For James Bagg, a fifth-year industrial and systems engineering major in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, his experience at RIT has given him skills to tackle larger tests that he will face after graduating.
Bagg is a Marine Corps ROTC midshipman who will be commissioned a second lieutenant and go on formal active duty next May. He completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School last year in Quantico, Va.
Bagg feels his RIT education and co-op experiences combined with his military training will make him a better Marine and, ultimately, a successful contributor to society.
"I decided to join the ROTC because I was interested in joining the military, but I also felt it was important to get an education," Bagg says. "RIT's strong engineering program and partnership with the University of Rochester, which has a top flight Marine ROTC program, has allowed me to truly get the best of both worlds."
Bagg has also gained significant skills from his unique cooperative-education experiences. When first investigating co-op placements, Bagg looked into research programs at the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, which employs a number of co-ops and student employees in a host of projects.
"CIMS does significant engineering work relating to the Marine Corps' light armored vehicles, and I was very interested in the opportunity to get extensive engineering experience with the equipment," Bagg says.
He would ultimately do two co-op rotations with the light armored vehicle research team and travel with CIMS engineers to Camp Pendleton, Calif., to assist in field tests of a state-of-the-art sensor system being developed for the vehicles.
Bagg is currently in the middle of a third assignment with the center and is working with its industrial programs team to assist companies in enhancing efficiency and environmental quality. He recently returned from a site assessment at a Long Island remanufacturing company and is participating in a facilities design project for the firm.
"CIMS' combination of defense and private-industry research efforts has greatly enhanced my skill set and given me opportunities to be directly involved in project work, which is very rare for most students," he adds. "These experiences will definitely make me both a better engineer and a better leader."
Bagg has served tours on the USS Nebraska and the USS Anzio and hopes to serve as an infantry officer helping train and lead Marines in the field. He hopes his success at RIT will serve as an example for future students.
"RIT really does offer a wide range of opportunities to learn a great deal and gain high-level experience while you are still a student," Bagg notes. "I urge everyone to take advantage of these opportunities whether it is in business and industry or right here on campus."