“I think that sociology chooses you; you don't choose it.”
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Military Service: U.S. Marines, 2002-2006
Degree: BA - Sociology, University of North Texas
Current Academic Pursuit: MS - Applied Sociology
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Expeditionary Medal (Iraq)
- National Defense Service Medal
- Sea Service Ribbon with 1 Bronze Service Star
- Certificate of Commendation
- Certificate of Appreciation
- Rifle Marksmanship Badge
My Military Experience
I served in the U.S. Marines from 2002-2006, and I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and Jacksonville, North Carolina. I was also fortunate to experience other places such as Rome, Egypt and Thailand.
I deployed to Iraq twice, once in 2003 and 2005. The first deployment sent me to Camp Fallujah. The second tour was with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC), a special unit comprised of aviation, ground and logistics components, where I held a supervisory role as a logistics specialist. Our area of operations was in the Al Anbar province. My primary duties included order management and tracking of supplies in support of ground forces and occasionally consisted of convoy operations to forward forces.
Deciding on Sociology
I grew up in southern Dallas in a low income community, where college is not something that you see as accessible. There are very few examples of people who have become successful, outside of the local sports hero who has managed to escape. I knew I wanted to help people in some way, which contributed to my decision to join the military, and I still feel compelled to give back to my community somehow.
I think that sociology chooses you; you don't choose it. After taking a few sociology classes, I felt that it "gets me" and understands what life is like for those less fortunate. I'm particularly interested in the ever growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor and how the middle class is becoming extinct.
Because the nation's prison population and our current criminal justice system are of interest to me as well, I minored in criminal justice when I received my bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas. I had the opportunity to see and touch the state of Texas' execution chamber, or "death house," while taking a death penalty seminar and it was lifealtering. I am a firm opponent of the death penalty.
My EPPS Success
I love how EPPS is steadily evolving and reaching out to students. I have had some wonderful experiences with the faculty as well. The professors are always nice and welcoming to any questions or issues that I may have. I think that the number one reason why I have been successful here is the commitment I see from the professors in helping us, as students, reach our goals. That's inspiring!
Plans for the Future
I hope to someday work with troubled teens and youth, maybe as a counselor or with a community organization that focuses on bridging the gaps between our children. After working in the community, I may seek to further my education. I would love to one day become a professor and help shape young minds.
Advice to Prospective EPPS Student Veterans
EPPS is a great school where you have a diverse set of classmates and may even meet a few fellow veterans, as I have. The education received here is not just a diploma - it delves deeper into subjects to see both arguments. To me, that is most rewarding.
In my free time I participate in 5K races when possible and workout, as I love to stay fit. I also love to read, spend time outdoors and watch movies.