Dean College was proud to welcome Lt. Colonel Alyce Pagliarini as our latest speaker in the Leadership in Action Series. Pagliarini graduated from Rhode Island College and became an officer in the Rhode Island National Guard, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. She was selected for pilot training flying the C-130 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which she served three deployments. In 2005, Lt. Colonel Pagliarini began her career transition to cybersecurity within the Air National Guard. She is now employed at CVS Health in the role of Senior Manager responsible for Global Security Awareness while also remaining an active member of the Air National Guard. 

Lt. Colonel Pagliarini spoke to the Dean community about her journey overcoming barriers in order to succeed at her dream of becoming a pilot.

After struggling to afford to finish college, Lt. Colonel Pagliarini applied to join the National Guard. She was listed as seventh alternate, but was ultimately accepted to flight school in Texas. She did not realize at the time that she was in for the hardest two years of her life. The environment was very stressful, and after failing flight testing, she returned home to Rhode Island feeling defeated. A few months later, she received a call from someone who had reviewed her files and was asked to return to flight school, this time in Mississippi. When she finally graduated and received her wings, she cried, knowing that this was her accomplishment, and no one could take it away from her. 

“I know you are all going to face many different challenges than I did, and things are very different now then they were back then. We communicate differently. We connect differently. We build our relationships differently, especially with social media. But the one thing that does stay the same is our core values,” said Lt. Colonel Pagliarini. 

She continued by sharing the Air Force core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all you do. “You don’t have to be a serviceman or woman to incorporated these into your life,” she emphasized. 

She closed with important advice – “Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less that you are…you all know who you are and what you are made of. All you have to do is believe it.”

For more information on past and future speakers visit the Dean Leadership Institute page.