Program/Year of graduation: Master’s of Health Science, Occupational Therapy (Distance Learning), December 2006
What I’m doing now: I serve in the United States Army as an Occupational Therapist with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.
My favorite UF memory: My favorite memory at UF was attending graduation. I was unable to attend my graduation in 1997 at the University of Pittsburgh because I was stationed as a military Occupational Therapist in Germany and was unable to return to the United States. When I graduated from UF in 2006, we were stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., about five hours away. This was an easy commute for my family. My wife and kids were able to come to my graduation and see daddy walk across the stage in the HPNP Complex Auditorium. The importance of education and having my kids see that you are never too old to continue the pursuit of education was special. It was also special for my parents, Keith and Linda, to be able to attend. It was they whom instilled the importance of education in building a strong foundation.
A second memory, although not a favorite memory, was when I was on a trip to West Point, N.Y., during our Neuroscience semester. Somehow my $1,000 17-inch laptop computer and case with airline ticket, car keys, etc. fell out of the trunk when the latch did not latch properly. The light on the dash board did not show that the truck was not secured. About 130 miles later, I arrived at West Point without my computer case, computer, and pertinent items, to include all of my data for the current semester. Luckily, the professor understood my situation and I was able to turn in my assignments once I returned home. I was fortunate that I had most of the work in a file on my home desktop computer. Back up your information frequently. This may also be a best lesson learned as well.
Best lesson learned at UF: Communication, communication, communication. Communicating with professors, students, colleagues through a distance learning format was rewarding and challenging. When proper communication took place (through posted assignments, directions, outlines, due dates, and special circumstances), everything went smoothly. When things were unclear, assumptions, stress, and panic often followed. When in doubt ask, but also, it is tough to ask a question if you do not know there is a problem.
People would be surprised to know (little known fact about you): I do not think people are too surprised about anything with me. What you see is what you get, good, bad, or indifferent.
Family: I am married to my beautiful wife Marcia for 13 years. I have an adorable girl Amber who is 11 years old and a handsome young son, Blake who is 9 years old. I am an assistant coach for the kid’s soccer team and all three of us take Tae-Kwon-Do together. My wife has a Master’s in Education but enjoys selling real estate instead. We enjoy golf, tennis, and volleyball. Fitness is a family theme. I am also an avid runner and Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
In the future I hope to: be able to serve with the Rangers for the next 5 years before retiring from military service. I would like to golf full-time, work as a hand therapist part-time, and spend the rest of my time embarrassing my kids on a daily basis during their high school years.