Veteran Spotlight

Veteran Spotlight

James Smith

James Smith

Class Level:


Degree Objective:



Criminal Justice-Legal Studies

Hometown/Branch of Service:

Paso Robles/Army


Why did you choose CSU Stanislaus?

I knew the campus, as well as some of its students, due to my sister attending the campus while I was in high school. Compared to other campuses CSU Stanislaus is one of the smallest, which meant less walking time between classes. The classes with the exception of the lecture hall classes have normally around 30 students. The fact that the student to teacher ratio was smaller than my other options made CSU Stanislaus an appealing choice.  

Smaller classes, meant more interactivity with your professor, you have more time to ask questions. Professors know you by name, rather than number. You are more inclined to ask questions, because you only have give or take 29 other students looking at you versus 100+ students.

What advice would you give Prospective Students?

Make use of the small classes, know that you’re more than just a number, and actively engage with your professors. Get involved with your campus, either with ASI, USU, Greek Life, or the various clubs on campuses. College is a new habitat, do what you can to find resources. Network with others whether they are the same or different. Learn to become more diverse, take in what you can from the ‘melting pot’.

What has been your favorite academic or student life experience so far?

At one of my fraternity meetings we had about 40 members decide unanimously to give all the proceeds that we obtained from a fundraiser to the Alzheimer’s Association. The accumulated amount was about $250. The money could’ve been used for us, yet they decided to help others. Seeing that there was no gripe or opposition to the decision, made me extremely proud of my organization.

What is your career objective?

I plan on going into active duty after I get my degree and become a warrant officer in the field of Intelligence, and further my intelligence analyst skills. From there I’ll request to either work for the CIA, or with the FBI as an investigator. I’ve also considered looking into becoming either a financial or political analyst.

Do you plan to attend Graduate School?

Possibly, after doing my time in active duty.

What clubs, sports, and activities have you participated in?

Tau Kappa Epsilon, Student Veteran Organization, Homecoming candidate for spring 2012. 

Who are your most influential personal and/or University mentor?

Not to sound like a suck-up, but I would honestly have to say my Supervisor Michael Igoe. Being under his wing since last spring, I’ve come to learn that he has a general concern for not only Veterans, but for any student that walks into his office. He’s a person who has great ambitions for the Veteran community here on campus. Within my college experience, I’ve never had to seek an advisor for any critical decisions, until recently. The advice that was given to me was invaluable. So Veterans, if you haven’t met Michael Igoe yet, he’s located at the Advising Center at MSR 180.