What makes you a Difference Maker?
I went back to school because I wanted to gain a better education and create a better future for my family and myself. As a husband, parent to two toddlers, engineering intern and full time student, I juggle a busy home life, full study schedule and a busy workload every single day. I could have never gotten to where I am right now without the wonderful advice of some key people in my life that helped me make the right choices along the way. Now, I want to pay it forward by sharing my experiences with fellow veterans and students on campus, by offering advice and guidance should they need it. I want to make a difference not just in my own life, but in the life of others by putting my knowledge and experience to good use both on campus and after I graduate.
I made the Dean’s list two consecutive years. I have recently been asked to join Tau Beta Pi and am in the process of becoming a member of this Engineering Honor Society. Last year I received a merit based scholarship. However, my greatest achievement so far has been connecting with other veterans on campus and helping them navigate the resources available to them on campus. I feel fortunate that I have made many friends this way. We help each other out and challenge one another to always do better. We form a community dedicated to offer friendship and support to any veteran leaving behind the community that is familiar to them to join life on campus.
During my time in the Marine Corps I had junior Marines under my charge. I would help guide them and ensure they made the right decisions and performed to the best of their ability, knowing that their achievements reflected on me. On campus I try to encourage those same virtues onto my peers, by always being there whenever someone needs help, be it with a word of advice or actual help understanding a concept or problem. As a parent I strive to be both a mentor and a friend to my two children, gently teaching them the same values and how to navigate life’s choices as they are presented to you.
What is your Dream Career?
When I graduate, I want to work in the communications field. I first got involved in this during my enlistment in the Marine Corps as a radio operator. I really enjoyed it and what’s more, I was good at it. I always liked to imagine the radio signals coming out of my antenna as ripples, created from wiggling electrons, sending a wave of information as it would wiggle the electrons in the receiving antenna. That was a radio signal and the idea of it got me interested in engineering. As an electrical engineer I can take this much further and possibly develop new ways of sending and receiving encoded messages over longer distances than what we are currently capable of. I want to help further develop and improve the radio systems that the Armed Forces currently uses.
What was your Most Defining Moment at UM-Dearborn?
When I made the Dean’s list. Up until that point, l hadn’t been completely sure that leaving the Marine Corps was the right choice. Leaving after 8 years to go back to school was a huge leap of faith, completely outside of my comfort zone. For the longest time, even as I studied hard and did my very best, there was always that niggling fear that perhaps I shouldn’t have taken that chance, that perhaps school wasn’t for me and maybe I wouldn’t make it. The day I found out that I had made the Dean’s list put all those fears to rest. It made me realize that all those hours of pouring over textbooks and endless evenings of solving one math problem after another had paid off. I could do this. I am doing this.