Not many people get the opportunity to know the President of the United States of America on a personal level. University of Northern Iowa senior Jeremy Rosel did.
Rosel was a member of the Navy from 2005-10, spending his first two years of service stationed in Washington, D.C. Rosel, a Clear Lake, Iowa, native, served as an aid to Admiral Mike Mullen for a year before moving into a role at the White House under former President George W. Bush.
In his stint at the White House, Rosel was one of five individuals who were responsible for setting up the White House for President Bush’s speeches. The position involved situating flags, polishing seals and making sure everyone in attendance was where they needed to be. Rosel even had to memorize the President’s speech to know his different cues during the event.
In addition, Rosel had the opportunity to interact with Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Some of the highlights included getting quizzed by the President about upcoming speeches, helping the First Lady find her lost purse and making a cameo on CNN.
“I had a lot of interaction with the President and the First Lady, and it was interesting to see them on a personal level,” said Rosel. “He’s a normal guy who is trying to do a job. When you meet the individual on a personal level, everything changes. You get to the point where you put politics aside and you’re just trying to help that individual do the best job they are capable of doing.”
Rosel enrolled at UNI in the fall of 2010 after completing his commitment to the Navy. Rosel is involved with multiple organizations and jobs around the university, including working at the President’s House.
At the President’s House, Rosel sets up for events, makes sure everything runs smoothly during the occasion and puts the house back in order after the guests depart -- similar to what he did at the White House.
“My job at the White House was really meticulous, fine-tuned work,” Rosel said. “That’s how I got onto the job with President Ruud. I already had that mindset of detail. There is a certain level of detail you have to pay attention to when you are doing a job like that.”
Rosel is also the President of the UNI Veteran Affairs, where he works to make the UNI campus more appealing to veterans like himself. Rosel, a history major at UNI, has created an outreach program to market the university to veterans statewide, something that had never been done at UNI before.
“Through every meeting and email, it seems like UNI continues to move forward to being the place for veterans,” said Rosel.
If it wasn’t for scholarships, UNI would not be able to take advantage of Rosel’s skills. While Rosel does receive funding for his education via the GI Bill, scholarships provide him with the flexibility to thrive in different positions around campus.
“My scholarship has given me the ability to enjoy my college experience,” Rosel noted. “If I didn’t have scholarships I wouldn’t be able to work in the UNI Foundation or at the President’s House because of the hours and the pay. I have the leeway to not feel the money crunch.”
Rosel is one of five recipients of the UNIPA Scholarship. If you are interested in providing scholarships to students like Jeremy visit www.uni-foundation.org.