Position: Senior aerospace science instructor, Jones Senior High School, Trenton
Degree: Bachelor’s degree in biology
Hometown: New Bern

“It is easy to say that my days at ECU helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. Why? For many reasons but I think ECU has always had
an underlying ‘chip-on-the-shoulder, never give up’ mantra that says, ‘Oh yeah, well we can do it just as good as you and probably better!’

“So, after four years of Air Force ROTC, I was commissioned as a second lieutenant and went to pilot training. It was unbelievably tough, exceedingly intimidating and extremely competitive. I can vividly remember getting to know the other folks in my flight class. They were incredibly sharp and attended top-notch universities/military academies throughout the country: U.S. Air Force Academy, Texas A&M, Washington, Kansas, Colorado, VMI, Norwich. But I used the mindset I learned at ECU and steadily progressed through the ranks during my 23 years as a pilot/officer in the Air Force. I’m proud to say that only two officers in my flight class were promoted to the rank of full colonel, and I was one of them.

“After retirement, I moved back home and became an AFJROTC instructor at a local high school. Now, I try to share some of the lessons learned throughout my career and teach them the importance of taking responsibility for their own actions. On a daily basis, I ‘preach’ the importance of character and integrity so these young folks can build positive habit patterns … now. And, of course, I’m hoping a little of that ECU ‘never give up attitude’ will rub off on them as they transition to compete in today’s globally competitive environment.”

We want to hear stories from alumni about how their experiences at ECU shaped them today and how they pass those lessons to others. Send us an email at easteditor@ecu.edu.