"I was born and raised in southeastern Kentucky. Both of my parents were educators, but at 18, I joined the Navy after high school, rather than college. The Navy offered me the opportunity to learn several skills, travel, and serve as a part of something bigger than myself. I have had the opportunity to live in Japan and Italy and to travel to over 35 countries and territories across 5 continents. During my eight years on active duty, I found myself in several leadership positions and that led me to pursue a bachelor's in human resource management. I always dreamed of going to UK, even as a kid, so when I heard about the Master of Science in Strategic Human Resource Management Analytics (MSSHRMA) program I was excited, to say the least. This is a one-of-a-kind program developed and being taught by the best in their field. The team that built this program is some of the most experienced and cited in their research in the world. The courses have allowed me to build on existing soft skills while also learning hard skills using several different software for data analytics, network analysis and application. When I heard about this program, I was living in Italy at the time. Because of the option to join via Zoom, I was able to join classes each night with the rest of the team back in Lexington and elsewhere. Classes were usually from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., my time. I was so excited to be a part of the program that the time difference didn’t really bother me. I’m now in my last semester before the capstone and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to go to classes in person. I’ve joined classes from Africa, several countries around Europe, and even Disney World one time, but nothing feels as great as getting to be here in person and on campus. Classmates and professors I’ve been meeting with virtually for the last 2 years now feel like I’ve known them forever. The Gatton College of Business and Economics does an excellent job putting together different events throughout the semester. This is a great way to get to know your professors and peers and another reason I wanted to be on campus. My wife is a Naval Officer finishing her seventh year on active duty and we have two beautiful children. God has blessed me with an incredible journey and family, and I wouldn’t be able to live out my dream of being at UK without their support. I plan to use what I’ve gained here to grow in my career and trust God is going to continue to put me where He wants me to be."


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