Air University Announces Candidates for Air Education and Training Command Educator o – aetc.af.mil | Team Cansler


MAXWELL AFB, Alabama– Air University announced the 2022 nominees for the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Educator of the Year award on November 7, 2022.


The award recognizes individual faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to AETC’s educational mission during the academic year for teaching excellence and the Discovery, Integration and Application Scholarship. Through the Discovery Scholarship, Air University (AU) faculty spends significant time creating knowledge, connecting that knowledge, and teaching students through the application of knowledge.


Each year, AU leadership nominates and recognizes officers, soldiers and civilian faculty for this prestigious Main Command award for their incredible support for the education and development of air, space and cyberspace warrior leaders in support of the National Defense Strategy.


AU faculty provides the full spectrum of Air Force training, including pre-commissioning programs for new officers; graduate programs in specialized military disciplines; progressive, career-long professional military development for officers, enlisted and civilian aviators; and specialized programs for U.S. cabinet officials, senior civilians, and general officers.


Please join Air University in congratulating our 2022 AETC Instructors of the Year!



Colonel Kathryn Cantu receives the 2022 AETC Educator of the Year award, Officer category.



Col. Cantu was recognized this year for her work as an instructor on the Leader Development Course for Squadron Command (LDC). She worked with other military and civilian instructors to create unique LDC connections, content, deliveries and environments, resulting in a deeper affective and effective growth experience for officers, enlisted, civilians and spouses. In this role, she brought this experience to hundreds of leaders approaching their leadership choices, empowering them to sharpen and focus their leadership skills in the people realm, inspiring and equipping them to succeed as leaders. She has inspired the next group of Air and Space Force commanders with over 384 hours of human-field leadership skills and has taken the LDC to new heights in leadership development. Her expertise was the right choice to redesign commander courses for five major Air Force commands across the Department of the Air Force, resulting in over 16 hours of world-class leadership instruction that empowered 630 command readiness leaders.

Cantu has reinvested her leadership skills in LDC course improvements to ensure that more than 1900 future squadron commanders can be prepared for command. She not only instills leadership skills in students, she applies those qualities directly to the organization, doubly fulfilling her duties as an instructor by assuming the role of operations manager. By applying a wide range of visionary approaches and enhancements to coaching, professional development of students and instructors, Cantu has become prominent in DAF leadership development in the vital role of LDC within the Air University and throughout the Air Force.







Senior Master Sergeant James receives the 2022 AETC Educator of the year award in the conscript category.



Senior Master Sgt. James is an instructor at the USAF First Sergeant Academy. As the #1 Instructor at the First Sergeant Academy, she led 7 flights and taught over 300 hours in 28 weeks to certify 84 new Air Force First Sergeants. She regularly trains outstanding graduates of her courses and develops committed leaders who excel both inside and outside the classroom to foster an enhanced sense of leadership. James regularly uses her experience and perspective to drive the growth of diversity and inclusion in this critical career space that will be responsible for mentoring our future Airmen. Her amazing confidence enabled her to facilitate the preparation of 77 Majors and Lt Cols to combine first sergeant responsibilities and development with their command roles. James worked with various agencies within the Department of Defense to facilitate, revise and overhaul resiliency-based leadership programs, delivering orientations and preparing stakeholders on critical life skills and integrated perspectives that have impacted the entire Air Force. She brought together more than 2,500 First Sergeants from the Joint Forces through social media to develop a “Hold the Line” brand. Her immense passion for ensuring the development of the future First Sergeant translated an updated curriculum from top leadership’s Orders of Action. James reduced staffing shortages by interviewing, training and evaluating two new academy instructors, increasing training by 25% to develop 641 prospective first sergeants.







dr Amy Baxter receives the 2022 AETC Educator of the Year award in the civilian category.



dr Amy Baxter is Director of Research for the Global College of Professional Military Education. As an Air University Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) expert, she was selected as the D&I subject matter expert to present a presentation on Diversity & Group Performance at the US Army’s Strategic Leader Symposium 22 to 87 Army officers. As Director of Research, she regularly guides students to publications on Air Force Chief of Staff priority research topics as well as the development of research awards for the faculty fellowship program. dr Baxter leads multifaceted presentations, lectures, workshops and course activities that modernize programs, provide advice on improvements and guidance for strategic diversity and military resilience efforts. She is constantly tapped to share her insights, teach students, advise military leaders, and implement initiatives that ultimately led to her selection to lead the CSAF Prioritized Resiliency Task Force. dr Exceeding all shared PME goals, Baxter continues its excellence in research writing, reviewing and oversight of the GCPME faculty research program, reviewing over 270 research papers that resulted in 8 research award-winning papers. dr Baxter was also selected to be a judge in the National Defense University Chairman’s Essay Contest for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which reviewed 97 national security research papers that received 9 awards. As President of the AU Faculty Senate, she champions faculty development in 12 AU schools and expertly led faculty development workshops on topical issues that advance scholarship with the 25 Senate members representing over 300 faculties. As a global education leader, Dr. Baxter is regularly called upon to train and guide organizations in the DOD and in over 100 nations to advise, modernize and develop innovative solutions for D&I and resilience programs.

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