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Savannah Asher wearing her flight suit

Student Spotlight: Savannah Asher

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Media Contact: Christy Lang | Manager, Marketing & Communications | 405-744-9740 |

Savannah Asher never thought she would go to Oklahoma State University, let alone be named a Senior of Significance. However, through her time at OSU, Asher has overcome unexpected turns and countless challenges to achieve her dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot.

Asher is the first to admit her journey to OSU was unlike many of her peers.

“It seems like everybody always knows what college they’re going to go to, and for me, it wasn't OSU at first.” 

Like many aspiring pilots, Asher’s dream school was the Air Force Academy. When she wasn’t accepted, her family encouraged her to consider OSU and a scholarship through OSU’s ROTC. Drawn to OSU’s Air Force ROTC program, Asher applied and began pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aerospace administration and operations with an option in aviation management

Asher said the program, which emphasizes leadership, communications and business practices in the aviation industry, gave her a better understanding of the aviation industry overall while working toward a pilot’s license independently. Though Asher was focused on becoming an Air Force pilot, students in aviation management often go on to lead operations at airports and airlines, oversee airplane manufacturing or develop aviation policy after graduation.

“It gives you a good basis of what you can find in the aviation management industry because management isn't just one thing,” Asher said. “It really prepares you for anything.”

Asher said she is particularly thankful for the supportive community in the aviation education program, especially after a difficult freshman year during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I've gotten a lot more than what I expected with their teaching because they don't just teach what's in the curriculum — they give a lot of experience,” Asher said. “They have great attitudes and they want you to succeed.” 

Eventually, Asher became a Student Ambassador for the First-Year Seminar for aviation majors. Tom Joyce, an advisor for the College of Education and Human Sciences, said Asher’s passion for aviation was evident in her work.

“The mentorship she provided to first-year aviation students during their first semester at Oklahoma State University will have long-lasting and significant impacts,” Joyce said. “I could not have asked for a better person for that role.”

Her passion and commitment to excellence were also evident beyond the classroom. She assumed leadership roles in the AFROTC and CEHS and frequently returns to her hometown of Tulsa to mentor students, where she encourages them to pursue their goals regardless of their backgrounds.

“I might look on the outside like I've not lived through the same conditions they have, but I could promise them I have,” Asher said. “It's so funny to go back and talk because you're up there begging and pleading like, ‘Please don't give up on what your dream is. Where you come from, what you've done, it doesn't matter.’

“I love reaching out to them anytime I can help somebody get to where they want to be. I feel like anybody can help you win what you want in life.”

Asher said her community in Tulsa and at OSU inspired her to persevere through challenging courses and a demanding Air Force ROTC schedule. Hard work has been a constant for Asher, who said she feels she had to work twice as hard as her peers throughout her college career.

Asher said she felt unprepared when she first entered OSU and worked closely with her professors to become the best student possible. Beyond academics, Asher also had to balance long hours with the ROTC and worked towards her pilot’s license for years.

Ultimately, Asher’s years of effort and commitment to the AFROTC and aviation management program paid off. In September, Asher learned she was selected to continue training to become an Air Force pilot. 

“I can’t even describe the feeling of that day,” Asher said. “It was unreal.”

Upon graduation, Asher will work as a recruiter for the Air Force before moving on to her pilot’s training. In the meantime, Asher hopes to return to her hometown and encourage other students from her hometown to pursue their passions.

Over her time at OSU, Asher says she has accomplished more than she ever thought would be possible for her: After a career full of challenges, Asher will pursue her dreams of serving her country with the Air Force upon her graduation.

“This is what I want to do,” Asher said. “I’m forever thankful for the AFROTC and this program. I don't know what else I'd be doing right now.”

Story By: Jessica Pearce |

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