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(Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

(Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

April 25, 2018

Geography degree helps deepen Moser’s global perspectives

After four years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force, Aaron Moser wasn’t sure of his career path, but he knew he needed to pursue a college degree and he wanted to do that in his hometown at Northwest Missouri State University.

Moser, whose parents, Coy and Robin Moser, are long-time employees of Northwest’s Facility Services department, grew up in Maryville and knew firsthand that the University was a place he could thrive.

“The guidance that you get, the encouragement that you get and the support that you get, really sets Northwest apart from other institutions that I have experienced, even inside the military. The staff and the people that make up Northwest are the core of Northwest.”

Now, Moser has earned his bachelor’s degree in geography while studying a minor in history. He says Northwest helped him develop the tools he needs for a successful career path.

“Attaining a degree allows you to add to your plethora of tools,” he said. “It allows you to think critically, and it allows you to combine all the tools that you have into one big purse and use them in a way that makes you someone you would not have been had you not gone to college.”

When he enrolled at Northwest, Moser wasn’t sure what he wanted to study, but he found a mentor in Assistant Professor of Geography Brett Chloupek. Moser enjoyed courses like geopolitics that prompted him to reflect on global history and the ways in which societies have interacted over time.

His military experiences also helped him navigate college with a different perspective while providing context for his coursework. Moser’s Air Force service included deployments to Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014 and Sicily in 2015. He worked with drone weapon systems.

“It doesn’t sound like geography would be very interesting, but once you get into the geopolitics side of it and why doesn’t one country like the other, it gets really cool,” Moser said.

Chloupek also mentored Moser on a paper he wrote and had published in the department’s academic journal. Moser turned an assignment from Chloupek into a 20-page paper he titled “The American Exception,” which took a critical look at the world systems theory and traced America’s ideology and its evolution as a world power influencing global issues.

Moser’s learning at Northwest helped him develop strategies to organize and argue his research in a clear, concise manner. He honed his time management skills, too, balancing his academic work with employment at Midland GIS in Maryville and his duties as a member of the Missouri National Guard.

“It definitely provided me with not only the tools to do that research but to think critically and discover connections that might also affect those situations,” he said. “This education really allowed me to become a holistic person and really work on the areas that I struggle as well.”

As Moser completes his bachelor’s degree at Northwest, he’s confident in his abilities to explore a variety of career paths. While he has hopes of returning to the Air Force, he’s starting his post-graduate career with Northwest’s University Police Department. He is exploring career opportunities with the FBI and in the foreign relations field.

“I definitely have a passion for what’s going on in the world, and being able to find what I’m passionate about in college enabled me to dive into not only the situations that are going on in the world but learn how to research those situations,” Moser said. “So whatever I face, whether it be as an intel officer in the Air Force or if I end up working for the FBI or as a cop, it enabled me to have the tools to be able to think critically and assess the situations that I might find myself in.”


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215