Alum Pecha Promotes Creighton/Bellevue ROTC Partnership
U.S. Army Major Dan Pecha, Professor of Military Science and head of the Army ROTC program at Creighton University, recently visited Bellevue University’s C&A Industries Intelligence Systems Lab. Pecha has an interest in Bellevue University for several reasons. First, the two schools partner to offer ROTC opportunities including scholarships for Bellevue University students. Secondly, as 2001 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Pecha wanted to get a look at the latest and greatest at his alma mater.
Pecha was invited to campus by JR Richardson, Director of the Military Veteran Services Center (MVSC) and also met with Doug Rausch, Director of the University’s Cybersecurity programs, to learn about what the Intelligence Systems Lab had to offer.
“I'm absolutely amazed,” Pecha said. “It's just awesome to see the growth of the University and how much it has expanded. Cybersecurity is a critical skill set that we need to expand upon so to ensure that we are properly securing and defending our networks.”
The ROTC partnership between the two Omaha-area schools allows Bellevue University students to receive college credit for ROTC participation and to be eligible for ROTC scholarships. ROTC course work includes classes such as United States Military History, Introduction to Officer Professionalism, and Military Professionalism and Ethics.
“Bellevue University students can contact their student coach to enroll in ROTC classes that are currently instructed on Creighton's campus,” Pecha said. “They get all the same privileges and access on Creighton's campus as long as the events are related to ROTC.”
Two Bellevue University students are currently taking advantage of the ROTC option and Pecha would love to add more.
“It's an excellent opportunity for gifted young men and women,” Pecha said. “It's just amazing to see the quality of individuals that come through the program. These are students who are already challenged in their current curriculum, but yet they are going over and above and taking three credits of ROTC and dedicating on average seven to 10 hours a week toward ROTC-specific events.”
Pecha was a more concerned with baseball than ROTC back in 1997 when he enrolled at Bellevue University. He had completed two years at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, but an injury derailed his baseball career there and he took about 18 months off from baseball and school. Former Bellevue University Coach Mike Evans saw him pitching in a summer league game.
“I’d played for Coach Evans starting back when I was 10 years old,” Pecha said. “He approached me and said ‘I want you to come down to Bellevue, complete your education and play for my baseball team.’ ”
Once at Bellevue University, Pecha thrived in smaller classes that allowed him to interact more closely with his professors.
“The student-teacher ratio was such that it really allowed you to communicate with your professor,” he said. “You weren’t just a number. You had a voice.”
Following graduation from Bellevue University, Pecha embarked on a career in the U.S. Army. During his Army career he was deployed during Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as an assignment to Djibouti, Africa.
A graduate of Millard South High School, Pecha now lives in Murdock, Nebraska with his wife, Janelle, and their two children, 8-year-old son, Cadene, and 5-year-old daughter, Brynn.