Jennifer Gillette ‘10, ’12, From Athlete to Aviator

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Jen Gillette has shown promise as a leader for her entire life. As a youth and high school soccer player in the Ormond Beach, Florida area, she was fearless, impossible to get over or around, and a fine reader of the game. She brought that quiet, indomitable influence to Fidgi Haig’s soccer team and Adam Thorstad’s rowing team at Florida Institute of Technology.

Jen originally wanted to be a veterinarian, even taking courses to prepare her for that career. At some point, she found a higher calling and decided that wasn’t the life for her. She took her commission in the Air Force, and after graduation from pilot training, First Lt. Jennifer Gillette is flying the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft.

Gillette spent three years in the Women’s Professional Soccer League, where she was an all-conference player, having led a non-professional team, the Chesapeake Charge, to the United States Adult Soccer Association National Championship in July 2013.

Jen also rowed for two seasons at Florida Tech. In only her second year as a rower, she was awarded Division II Pocock All-America First Team and All-Sunshine State Conference. Upon concluding her career as a student-athlete, she was an assistant coach for two seasons.

Jen graduated from Florida Tech with her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2010 and her MBA in 2012. Of her time on campus, she says, “Florida Tech is my school. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my coaches and the support from my friends. I’ll never forget my time there.”

Gillette was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.

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