BSCI Alum’s Auburn Education Takes Flight
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Jalen Rogers began his academic journey at Auburn in 2019.
Initially enrolled as a Civil Engineering major, a pivotal decision in 2021 led Rogers to transfer to the McWhorter School of Building Science, and he graduated last December with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction.
“My time at Auburn has been transformative. Building Science opened up new horizons and opportunities that I hadn’t considered before,” Rogers shares.
As a student, Rogers was actively engaged with numerous organizations and efforts, including the Navy ROTC program, which ultimately shaped his path toward a career as an aviator in the United States Navy, and the men’s club volleyball team. He achieved notable success as a member of the latter, including a third-place finish at the national championship in the 2021–22 season.
“Being part of Navy ROTC for all four and a half years at Auburn has been a defining aspect of my college life, setting the stage for my future endeavors in the U.S. Navy,” he remarked. “And playing for the men’s club volleyball team was not only a source of personal satisfaction but also a testament to the importance of teamwork and discipline.”
Rogers was equally engaged in his academic studies, participating in competition teams, service learning and internships.
Under Rogers’ leadership as project executive, Auburn’s Design-Build competition team, led by Associate Professor Alan Bugg, secured victories in three out of four competitions, notably triumphing in international contests.
“Being a part of Bugg’s team was a highlight of my academic journey,” Rogers stated. “It taught me the importance of effective leadership and collaborative problem-solving.”
His proudest moments, however, were anchored in service learning initiatives. Rogers actively contributed to the construction of a daycare building in Quito, Ecuador, and played a pivotal role in a semester-long program enhancing a home at the Girls Ranch of Alabama, a county sheriff-owned facility supporting children in need.
“Working for the children of Ecuador and Lee County taught me so much about self-sacrifice and how rewarding it is to give back to those less fortunate than myself,” he emphasizes.
Rogers’ diverse experiences extended beyond Auburn’s campus. He interned with a maritime patrol squadron in Jacksonville during his time in ROTC, fostering a passion for the P-8 Platform and solidifying his commitment to aviation within the Navy.
Reflecting on this internship, he remarks, “Interning for a maritime patrol squadron in Jacksonville was a pivotal experience. It ignited my passion for aviation and set the course for my future in the U.S. Navy.”
His immersion in the construction industry included a notable internship with MEB, where he played a vital role in serving the USS Ford, the newest nuclear-powered Super Carrier in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. His experience working on the mechanical systems for the USS Ford led to a keen interest in heavy civil construction.
Rogers is now set to embark on the next chapter of his journey, relocating to Pensacola, Florida, to pursue flight school and his dream of becoming a U.S. Navy aviator.
However, he will never forget his last semester, when he delved into the realm of heavy civil construction, conducting a thesis on the reshaping of the Kissimmee River and the construction of a new spillway in Okeechobee County, Florida. Given the unique nature of his research, he is grateful to Associate Professor Alan Bugg for his invaluable guidance and mentorship during his final academic endeavor.
“Bugg’s guidance throughout my thesis semester was instrumental,” he said. “His wealth of knowledge about heavy civil projects proved invaluable and facilitated the best possible learning during my thesis.”