A UAH Professor headed to the Pentagon as a Naval Reserve Officer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- It's a late November Tuesday, and UAH Political Science Professor, Kathy Hawk is teaching one of her final classes. She has been at UAH for nearly 20 years, but Dr. Hawk is about to take a military leave of absence.

As a Captain in the Naval Reserve, an intelligence officer, she's about to start working on the staff for the Secretary of Defense, on Asia-Pacific issues. "And so I'm going to be right in the middle of everything going on with North Korea, with China, with India. For me, on the political science side, this is the kind of thing I have wanted to do much of my life," said Kathy Hawk.

In Kathy Hawk's office, you can spot souvenirs of her life. Her Diploma from Alabama is on the wall. On a shelf, there's a poster from her time working for the State Department in Egypt. On another shelf, there's a water bottle from her Reserve Deployment to Iraq.  She spent time doing intelligence work there, as well as in another foreign deployment that she can't talk about.

She can talk about this next duty either. "I want to go get up there where I can help do what needs to be done, and deal with some of the very important challenges that our country is facing right now," said Kathy.

The only downside to her Naval Reserve duty is the fact that it takes her out of the classroom at UAH, and she'll miss that. "I love the interaction. I love the questions that students bring, and just curiosity and the why not this?" said Professor Hawk.

Captain Hawk believes her experience as a teacher, her time at the State Department, as a Press Secretary for a Congressman, as an intern for CBS News...all contribute to where she is now. There's something else she believes. "I've had some great opportunities, and I've tried to make the most of things. That's what I tell my students. Being at the right place at the right time usually requires a lot of work, but it also means you have to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves," said Kathy Hawk.

Dr. Hawk is definitely ready for her next job, but she wants to make sure that everyone knows just how much she appreciates her civilian job. She said that UAH has been very supportive through all her deployments.