The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 16, 2024

Texas A&M baseball sophomore RF Jace LaViolette is known for his bat — and for good reason. LaViolette ranks sixth in the country in home...

Advertisement
The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

Aggie women welcome Michalke

Michalke+was+a+guest+speaker+at+Messina+Hof+for+the+Aggie+Women+organization.
Photo by Sam Scott

Michalke was a guest speaker at Messina Hof for the Aggie Women organization.

 

Aggies met at Messina Hof Winery Thursday to celebrate Alyssa Michalke, the first female Corps commander.

Hosted by Aggie Women, also known as the Women Former Students’ Network, the event was located at the Messina Hof Winery and Resort in Bryan and featured Michalke as a speaker and guest of honor.

Before the reception, Michalke said she was excited for the opportunity to meet some of the women who made her success a possibility.

“It’s a great honor and a great privilege just to be able to meet some of these inspiring women who blazed the trail 40, 30 or 20 years ago,” Michalke said. “[These women] came here and made great strides for women at Texas A&M University.”

Molly Underwood, president of the Women Former Students’ Network, said the event was held to celebrate and recognize Michalke’s attainment of such an important position as an Aggie woman.

“I think people can get inspiration out of this and a sense of camaraderie,” Underwood said. “When you look around, you’ll see all class years, people that could be considered Alyssa’s peers or very recent graduates, and you will see a lot of earlier class years because people are very excited for her.”

Delia Duffey, Class of 1985 doctoral graduate, said Alyssa’s position is particularly important to her.

“From high school there was really only one place that I wanted to go to school, and it was Texas A&M, and they were not accepting women at that particular time,” Duffey said. “I’m here tonight to really celebrate Alyssa’s accomplishments, and I got my picture with Reveille and now maybe I can get my picture made with [Alyssa] too.”

In her speech, Michalke said there were only two colleges she applied to — Texas A&M College Station and Texas A&M Kingsville. While Kingsville offered her a full ride in natural gas engineering, Michalke said her mother influenced her to reconsider the College Station campus. 

“She said, ‘Alyssa, you need to think about Aggieland a little bit more. Yes it’s more expensive, but you need to think about it,’” Michalke said. “She said, ‘The traditions are great — the experiences you’ll have are so much better than any other college you’ll go to.’”

After visiting A&M’s College Station campus with her mother, Michalke said she decided she would attend her mother’s alma mater.

“On the way back home I made up my mind that I was going to come to A&M, and I told my mom and she was super excited,” Michalke said. “I’m glad I was driving, because if she would’ve been driving I might not be here today, she might have driven off the road.”

After three weeks, Michalke said she received a letter from scholarships and financial aid with details of a multi-year scholarship with the Corps of Cadets. This convinced her to give the Corps a try.

“People kept asking me, ‘So why are you joining?’ and I said, ‘Oh, it’s a great leadership organization and it’s a challenge,’ but the blatant answer was they were giving me a scholarship and I wanted to give it a shot,” Michalke said.

Michalke said she was in for a quite a shock when her first fall semester came around, but her parents inspired her to keep going. 

“I made the call to my parents multiple times saying ‘hey, mom and dad, I don’t know if I can do this, I kind of want to quit,’” Michalke said. “And they never really told me to quit, or tell me to stay, but there was always a tone in their voice that said ‘if you quit, you know you’re going to regret it, and you’re going to wonder what if.’”

Michalke said she had a typical, challenging sophomore year in the Corps, but she also had mentors who influenced her to apply for leadership positions for her junior year.

“I only wanted to apply to be a low level leader, a first sergeant responsible for about 50 people in the Corps of Cadets and that’s actually all I wanted to apply for,” Michalke said. “But they said, ‘Check all the boxes, go all the way up to Sergeant Major of the Corps.”

After applying for higher leadership positions, Michalke received an interview and was told she would be selected to serve as Sergeant Major of the Corps her junior year.

“That was just really a huge shock — [I] was kind of thinking, ‘Woah, how did I deserve this position?’” Michalke said. “I was just a sophomore two weeks ago and now you expect me to lead 2,400 cadets my junior year — this is a huge jump.”

After she honed in on her leadership skills junior year, Michalke began to apply for positions for her senior year in the Corps. A week after her interview for the position of Corps Commander, she found out she had been selected.

“When the Commandant called me into his office that afternoon and told me, ‘Hey, Alyssa, I want you to be my Corps Commander,’” Michalke said. “My heart dropped, my stomach went up into my throat and it took me about a minute before I could actually breath again and say, ‘Yes sir, it would be an honor.’”

Michalke said her life has been a whirlwind of events ever since — planning for this year, recruiting cadets, speaking at events and dealing with the quad and dorm renovations.

At the conclusion of her speech, Michalke said she was looking forward to a great year.

“We start monday with just over 2,500 cadets, making it the largest Corps in over 40 years,” Michalke said. “A Corps that’s over 15 percent women, which is the largest we’ve ever had on record.”
Michalke said the Corps hopes to be 20 percent female by 2020.

Aggies met at Messina Hof Winery Thursday to celebrate Alyssa Michalke, the first female Corps commander.

Hosted by Aggie Women, also known as the Women Former Students’ Network, the event was located at the Messina Hof Winery and Resort in Bryan and featured Michalke as a speaker and guest of honor.

Before the reception, Michalke said she was excited for the opportunity to meet some of the women who made her success a possibility.

“It’s a great honor and a great privilege just to be able to meet some of these inspiring women who blazed the trail 40, 30 or 20 years ago,” Michalke said. “[These women] came here and made great strides for women at Texas A&M University.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *