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Steve Mihalacki: Economics

Johnstown, Pa.
Major: Economics

When Steve Mihalacki leaves the IUP and the Honors College "Community of Scholars," he will find himself in a very different, much older, highly honored community – accepting a well-deserved commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army!

I have been heavily involved in ROTC and, as Resident Advisor, in the day-to-day concerns of residence life at IUP. As I prepare to accept a commission in the US Army, both activities will help me to be a better officer and leader/role model to soldiers wherever I serve.

Steve Mihalacki isn't kidding when he says he's been "heavily involved" in ROTC. The depth and the demanding nature of his activities during his four years at IUP might surprise most college students. Among Steve's internships, he spent the summer of 1999 at Airborne School, winning an army parachutist's badge and, for the summers of 1999 and 2000, receiving the Superior Cadet Award. In the summer of 2000, Steve took Cadet Troop Leaders Training and attended the ROTC Advanced Training Camp (for officers). In 1998-99, Steve was appointed Cadet Command Sergeant Major. And all the training, the classes, the study, and the work he did as an Economics major – where does that fit in with Steve's plans?

My economics degree helps tremendously. My major has taught me to think critically and analytically, which will be beneficial in the future – when I am responsible for the lives of many soldiers and millions of dollars worth of equipment. Not only that, one thing I learned in the Honors College – the ability to write effective papers, to express myself clearly and concisely – has already proven extremely valuable to me. It's one of the things about the Honors College I'll always be grateful for! That – and how much I enjoyed the community of scholars. Overall, as I look back, it's the people I will miss the most….

And once he has his commission, where does Steve Mihalacki hope to go and what does he plan to do?

For starters, I'd like to get stationed in Germany – or somewhere exotic. Once I've met my military commitment, I may go on to graduate school and take a civilian job. Or, who knows? I might just stay in the Army and make my career right there!

Steve’s Accomplishments

Academic Distinction/Awards

  • ROTC Scholarship
  • AFSCME Union Scholarship
  • Central Labor Council Essay Scholarship
  • Superior Cadet Award
  • Sons of the American Revolution Medal Academic Award
  • Army Parachutists Badge
  • Battalion Commander's Award
  • Programmer of the Year (RA) for Whitmyre Hall
  • Air Defense General's Coin
  • Phi Kappa Phi (National Honors Society)
  • Delta Omicron Epsilon (Economics Honors Society)
  • Phi Eta Sigma (Freshmen Honors Society)
  • Summa Cum Laude
  • Community Service
  • Rho Tau Chi (Social Service Fraternity)
  • Adopt-A-Highway
  • AIDS Quilt
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • American Red Cross
  • Hurricane Relief Fundraisers


  • ROTC, Cadet Battalion Commander, personnel manager
  • Head Resident Assistant/Student Manager, Whitmyre Hall
  • Economics Club
  • Student Security


  • US Army Airborne School, Ft. Benning, GA
  • ROTC Advanced Camp, Ft. Lewis, WA
  • Cadet Troop Leader Training (101st soldier support unit), LT Training, Ft. Campbell, KY


  • George C. Marshall Conference, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA

Undergraduate Thesis

  • "Determinants of Individual Military Enlistment Decisions" Director: Dr. James J. Jozefowicz, IUP Economics Department