Shaping Role Models

Chaze, Public Administration

Ask any Marine what they believe in and they’ll unanimously agree it’s semper fi—Latin for “always faithful.” For USI Masters of Public Administration (MPA) student and former Marine Chaze Patrick, semper fi is a way of life that he sees reflected in USI.

Chaze, who learned to lead in the Marines, now serves as a leader for fellow veterans and students attending USI. Coming to USI, he discovered the camaraderie he missed in the armed services and was intrigued by the challenges, academically and socially, that college offered. Joel Matherly, manager of Veteran’s Support Services, provided Chaze with the inspiration and incentive to embrace his leadership by involving him in the Student Veteran’s Association (SVA). “One of the major lessons learned in the service was to develop myself based on the mentors around me. Take a page from their book and add it to yours,” Chaze says. “This not only builds valuable information for you to use, but you can use it for a lifetime to enrich others.”

As president of SVA, Chaze twice organized a team to compete in the Student Veterans Association Business Plan Competition in San Antonio, Texas. Both teams won grants to support their chapter, enriching the veterans community at USI. 

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Chaze's official military portrait

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Chaze was one of 25 students nationwide to represent USI in Washington D.C. for the Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative.

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Chaze and his mentor, Joel Matherly, ahead of Chaze's graduation ceremony

While at USI, Chaze has taken part in multiple volunteer opportunities to continue serving his community. He organized successful chili cookoffs for the Ronald McDonald House with USI’s SVA and Reserved Officers Training Corp (ROTC), competing over bragging rights for the best chili.  “SVA won the first trophy, but ROTC won it this year. I’m positive SVA will get it back next year,” Chaze says.

Chaze participated in the Connect with Southern Indiana program as a way for the Chicago native to network with other southern Indiana professionals. The program immerses professionals from nine southern Indiana counties in the entrepreneurship and brainstorming process as a way of problem solving. He took what he learned and began applying it outside the classroom to his own life.  

Everything you do amounts to something. The connections you make, the lessons you learn, it all serves a purpose greater than yourself. I believe in inspiring the next generation for greatness.

During his time at USI, Chaze has taken countless students under his wing, helping them see how to make the most of their college experiences. He spends hours with struggling students helping them understand that focused volunteer opportunities and internships build their resumes while offering valuable opportunities to network. “I’ve always aimed to live up to my greatest potential every day. As Norman Vincent Peale said, ‘Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.’” 

Chaze’s dream job is one where he would make a difference in others lives and help the underserved reach their potential. Upon finishing his MPA, he plans on beginning work on his Master’s in Business Administration. He urges all veterans to take advantage of the GI Bill. “Go to school for something you have a passion for,” he says. “You served your country, now it’s time to add more tools to your toolbox and make a difference in the world.”

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Chaze and another volunteer at USI Spruce Up day

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Chaze and his son

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Chaze was recognized as the 2017 Graduate Student Volunteer of the Year

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