ROTC graduate first in Michigan to receive military award

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KALAMAZOO--A recent Western Michigan University graduate is the first in the state to receive a prestigious national award for students serving in the military and excelling in electrical or communication engineering.

Lt. Justin Soeder of Sterling Heights, Mich., was recognized by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, a nonprofit membership association serving the military, with the Major Gen. Robert E. Sadler USAF Award. The AFCEA award is given to the top graduating electrical or communication engineer in Air Force ROTC in the nation.

Soeder, who earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from WMU in April, was accepted at the Air Force Institute of Technology in one of just 11 slots awarded nationwide. After obtaining a master's degree, he plans to continue as a developmental engineer in the U.S. Air Force. His aspirations also include earning a doctoral degree and returning to academics as a professor.