She may not fly an F-15 or Stealth bomber, but Beth Fiorica soars according to the members of the RIT Air Force ROTC program. For her outstanding support of the cadets and the corps, Fiorica was recently named the Northeast Region AFROTC Civilian of the Year.
"We could not get our job of training America's future air and space defenders done here at Detachment 538 [RIT’s campus designation] without the work from outstanding performers like Beth. She is just one more example of the great all-around support RIT gives to AFROTC and towards the defense of the United States," says Col. David Easley, RIT AFROTC detachment commander.
Fiorica is an administrative assistant for the RIT Air Force ROTC unit and has served with the group for four years. She is involved in day-to-day office management of the AFROTC business as well as academic support to the 60 cadets in the program and the officer staff. Referred to as the ‘detachment mother,’ Fiorica says, “It’s the students that make the job enjoyable. I love working here.”
Toward the end of last year she was instrumental in having a new flag pole erected in the quad are near the AFROTC office, located in the Lewis P. Ross Building. Fiorica worked with the cadets to advocate for the flagpole, helping to organize the planning, financing and construction of the site. The raising and lowering of the American flag is a time-honored ritual of the military services, and the RIT cadets share in this tradition on a daily basis, she says.
Sharing these traditions are important to Fiorica, who briefly mentioned the graduates of the AFROTC who are serving overseas. “They keep in touch,” she says, “and you get very attached to them.”