Rutgers Law School Student Earns Inaugural Rotary Club of Haddonfield Student Veteran Scholarship

By Tom McLaughlin

As a cryptologic linguist in the U.S. Air Force for four years, Brian Noble put his thorough analytical skills to the test serving as an Arabic translator and intelligence analyst for the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.

Noble photo (2)But for all of the extraordinary – and often top-secret – experiences that he had serving in an “awe-inspiring” operation, Noble never got the chance to travel.

“Unfortunately, I never deployed; that was pretty common for linguists,” explains the Rutgers Law School student and Riverside resident. “I always wanted to have that experience of seeing the world.”

Noble will now finally have the chance to enhance his global perspective, as he has been named the inaugural recipient of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield Student Veteran Scholarship. The $2,000 award supports study-abroad opportunities for a student veteran from Haddonfield or the surrounding areas.

”We congratulate Brian as the first to receive this award,” says Vincent Mayher, fundraising chair of the Rotary Club of Haddonfield Foundation. “This scholarship really fits in nicely with the historic, global mission of Rotary Club International and signifies our club’s support for our veterans. When we considered Rutgers–Camden’s vibrant student-veteran population and the dedicated support shown by the university’s Office of Veterans Affairs and its director, Fred Davis, we jumped at the chance to partner with them. We hope to continue offering international academic opportunities for student veterans like Brian.”

Noble will use the award to support his participation in a study abroad program in South Africa offered through the Rutgers School of Business–Camden. During a 12-day study trip over spring break, he will travel with a cadre of Rutgers–Camden students who will visit government and business institutions to learn about management and marketing practices in the region.

Noble says that he is eager to delve into the mechanics of South Africa’s constitution – an ambitious document drafted in the 1990s that reflects a dramatic shift in the nation’s government.

“Comparing it to the U.S. Constitution, which is more than 200 years old, there is an incredible difference,” says Noble, who served in the Air Force from 2006 to 2010. “Their constitution gives individuals a lot of liberties, but it has also been fraught with many problems.”

Upon arriving in South Africa, the Rutgers Law student will meet with Supreme Court of South Africa justices, who will detail how their constitution and court system works.

Noble will share his experiences of the trip during the Rotary Club of Haddonfield’s annual scholarship dinner in May.

“I hope that Brian’s experience learning abroad will be nothing short of life changing, and he gains a deeper understanding of the Rotary Club’s mission and its commitment to lifelong service,” says Mayher, who “fought the battle of tooth decay” as a dentist in the U.S. Navy.

According to Noble, he is eager to supplement the skills learned in the Air Force as he prepares to enter a second career in the military – serving in the Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, perhaps focusing on environmental or international law.

As he recalls, he had initially enlisted in the Air Force in 2006 with plans to learn Chinese and embark on a career in international business. His plans quickly changed, however, when he was assigned to learn Arabic and successfully completed a 63-week course in Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., followed by eight weeks of intelligence training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas.

As it turned out, learning Arabic was a perfect fit. “With everything going on in the Middle East, there are many ways that I was able to – and still can – contribute,” says Noble, who proudly notes that he also met his wife, Nicole, a fellow U.S. Air Force veteran, in his Arabic class.

After being honorably discharged from the Air Force in 2010, Noble earned a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern and North African studies at the University of Arizona the following year, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade-point average.

A year later, Nicole completed active duty and the couple moved to Riverside to be closer to family. Shortly thereafter, they welcomed the arrival of their first child. Noble then worked in the insurance industry while still harboring a long-held dream to enter a law career. That’s when the young father – to children Adalyn and Jackson – got thinking: if he was to instill in his children the importance of following one’s dreams then it was important for him to follow his own advice.

In 2014, Noble enrolled at Rutgers Law School and, a year later, was accepted into the U.S. Air Force’s Graduate Law Program, a two-year Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for law school students. He is currently serving as a contracted Air Force ROTC cadet out of Detachment 750 at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He is then slotted to enter the JAG Corps upon successful completion of law school, tentatively set for May 2017.

But while he becomes even more well-rounded to take on new responsibilities, perhaps Noble’s greatest asset remains at his core.

“I genuinely like to help people,” says Noble, “and these academic opportunities will open the door to do something I’m good at.”

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