Above: Biomedical sciences student Josh Hayes, above left, former president of CSU’s Student Veteran Organization, is pictured with Jared Lyon, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America, and Oren Pierce, current president of the CSU chapter.
Josh Hayes is among hundreds of military veterans attending Colorado State University, but he’s the only former Marine graduating in the rigorous biomedical sciences program with plans to become a physiology professor – inspired, in part, by a high-school science teacher who wore Led Zeppelin patches on his lab coat.
“I got to do a lot of teaching in the Marine Corps and was also able to gain more maturity and perspective on my life,” said Hayes, 25, who grew up for a time in the Pacific Northwest and attended high school in Colorado Springs.
After high school, Hayes enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for two years in Okinawa, Japan, as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense specialist, a role he gravitated toward because of its biological aspects. He then served for two years as a hazardous materials instructor in San Diego, with his final year of active duty focused on course design and teaching.