Adams State helped Basagoitia reach the next level
As a Monte Vista High School student, Alexandre Nicholas Basagoitia wanted to attend either West Point or the Air Force Academy. Although he wasn't accepted, initially, Basagoitia kept his goals in mind and enrolled at Adams State University.
"I had several choices about where I wanted to attend, however, I chose ASU because I had quite a few scholarships offered to me and I was also able to stay close to home," Basagoitia said. "I planned on reapplying to the service academies and did so only to be denied again. However, the third time was the charm and I got accepted (to West Point) my second year at ASU."
He believes the two years at Adams State prepared him for the rigors of West Point. "Primarily, I was able to find my weaknesses in academics and correct them before I move onto a much more demanding environment. I was also able to make some great friendships while at ASU, my best friend and roommate (JC Henderson) is also attending a Service Academy next year (United States Merchant Marine Academy). Overall, I was able to improve myself, make new friends, and become more mature before entering a new demanding environment."
Taking classes and remaining close to home, kept Basagoitia satisfied with his decision. "I was also able to take classes that will be beneficial to my future at USMA, even though I will have to retake them there, I now have experience with the course material. Unfortunately, right out of high school I was not as prepared for college as I had first thought but, I was able to learn from my mistakes and improve myself while at ASU and will now take those skills that were hard learned to USMA."
All his professors in the mathematics and science fields were important to his success. In particular, he is grateful to Dr. Tony Weathers, professor of mathematics; Dr. Matthew Nehring, professor of physics; Dr. Robert Astalos, professor of physics; and George Sellman, assistant professor of computer science.
"Dr. Weathers really helped me find my weaknesses as a student and helped me see what I needed to improve to succeed. His classes were difficult, however I felt as if I was always learning something new and interesting and was always able to explain the subject material in many different ways to help increase understanding."
Nehring improved his math skills in physics and Astalos really impressed him "by being able to explain physics inside out and backwards. I was also always interested in class and looked forward to each lesson."
While at Adams State, Basagoitia was a member of the Robotics Society and spent the majority of his free time building and programming robots with his friend and Sellman, including competing at a NASA grant challenge.
"Mr. Sellman made me incredibly interested in computer science. He forced me to take all of my lessons from all my other technical classes and use it to create computer programs. He was able to make class actually fun and I spent large amounts of time outside of class creating programs or working on extra projects because of the interest he generated in the class. He helped me decide to pursue the computer science field more, even if I do not major in it."
Once Basagoitia graduates from West Point, he will spend five years as an officer in the Army. "I will complete my years of service and then decide whether or not I want to continue my career with the Army or if I will want to become a civilian again. Part of me wants take the engineering degree I earn and work to develop equipment for the military and part of me sees myself as a service member for the rest of my life. I have not decided what I want yet and probably will not until I have more experience with that life style."