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Thaddeus Caldwell: Having integrity on and off campus

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To celebrate Augusta University’s third annual Values Week, the university is highlighting students who represent their values in the classroom and beyond.  Meet Thaddeus, an information technology major who represents the university’s core value of integrity.

Where is your spot in JagNation?

My name is Thaddeus Caldwell. My major is Information Technology with a concentration in cybersecurity. I’m involved with the African American Male Initiative. It’s really important for me because working in the security field, you don’t see a lot of people that look like me, so I like to encourage other black males in the cybersecurity program and help them out to get to that next level.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

Definitely the rooftop of the Georgia Cyber Center. I love going there!

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What does integrity mean to you?

It’s doing the right thing, even when no one is there. With me, doing classes online and such, a lot of times I’m in situations where there’s not a teacher there necessarily. So, it’s making sure that the right thing is done even when there’s no one there to pester you or micromanage you. You do the right thing because you know it’s the right thing.

What’s the most interesting thing from your university experience so far?

When I first started at Augusta University, I took some of the classes that were on Fort Gordon, and one of my first instructors was Dr. Morris. He has a degree in quantum computing. One day we finished school early, and we just had a discussion about this, and it blew my mind! It was so much information at once that it honestly hurt my head. It was just really interesting.

What’s your favorite thing about JagNation?

Honestly, it’s just been how well that they’ve been able to work with me and other people in the military. The fact that we do a lot of classes at nighttime and online, specifically for the cyber security program, just really allows people like me to actually be able to take classes and finish on time.

How do you represent your respective value (integrity)?

I just try to do the right thing. To have integrity, you want to carry yourself well at all times. Be the person that you want to be so that other people see you and they try to emulate those same characteristics. I try to be like that.

Watch our student leaders define our core values
What’s something that the average person wouldn’t guess about you?

I’m adopted! Most people don’t know that and when I tell them they’re usually pretty surprised.

How do you like to spend your time outside of campus?

When I’m not at campus or at work, I’m usually learning about computer stuff honestly. I’m on computers 24/7 learning how to use different open source technologies like Docker and Ansible. They made a lot of the things that I do every day and a lot of the things that I’d like to do in the future. I have a little home lab and I’m just running different applications on that because I’d like to learn to be able to apply that in future careers, and in things that I’m doing now.

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What would you recommend to students who want to foster more integrity?

Find a mentor. Mentorship is really important. When I first joined the military, I wanted to find the smartest person that does my job. Watching him and the way that he did things, I always wanted to emulate that. Having a person there who is more experienced than you really helps you out. You learn how to do things the right way and don’t really cut corners at all.

Learn more about Values Week by listening to the latest episode of In the Wild.

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Casey Combs

Casey Combs is a student in the Department of Communication at Augusta University.

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