Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Loren Bymer

Public Affairs Officer: 16 years in the U.S. Army
Major: Journalism & Mass Communications

What Journalism & Mass Communications students say about online classes

What prompted you to return to school?

“I deployed twice and missed nearly half my son’s life. My wife and I agreed that if I returned to Nebraska to take on a master’s program it would allow me to have more time with my family and get back in the groove of life in the United States.”

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?

“Campus life verses military life was somewhat of a difficult adjustment. After two deployments, a child on the way and one already born, there was a little generation gap and disconnect between what I’d experienced and what some of the students I was sitting in class with had experienced.”

What has your experience been like at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

“My time at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been outstanding. The people are great, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about each of the professors I’ve had. The atmosphere with not only football and the other sports, but academics as well has been bar none.”

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

“My advice is to do your homework, get in contact with the faculty advisers early, and make sure they have the program that supports what you want to do in life. Let the military take as much of the financial burden off you as possible and look for other scholarships.”

How has your military experience made you a better student?

“My military experience has instilled in me a high level of discipline. Military experience gives you the understanding that you have tasks that have to be completed and the drive that you need to sit down and complete them, even if you don’t want to.”

Elizabeth H. Foley

Elizabeth Foley

Pest Management: 10 years in the U.S. Air Force
Major: Entomology

What prompted you to return to school?

“Education has always been very important to me. I’m the first in my family to attend college as well as graduate school. For as long as I can remember education has been a priority for me. Higher education is also important for being able to do my job.”

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?

“My degree is available completely online. I’m active duty and never know when I’ll be moving or away on training. Right now I’m taking classes while stationed overseas and I‘m also a mother of two children under the age of 5. Going into a traditional program was just not practical.”

What has your experience been like at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

“UNL has been wonderful. It’s a little intimidating completing an entire program online without meeting any of the students or professors. Fortunately, my advisor is very accessible and helpful. UNL staff members are always courteous (and patient!), making sure I find the correct person to get my questions answered.”

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

“Veterans returning to school should treat their education as a job. I found it easiest to focus at the library where it was quiet and others were also studying. Veterans have the discipline to get any job done; they just need to believe they can do it.”

How has your military experience made you a better student?

“My military experience has definitely made me a more confident student. I’m more willing to speak up and lead. It also helps put things in perspective. Once you’ve been out in the ‘real world’ you know that going to school is just a stepping stone to a greater picture.”

Additional Comments:

“My degree coincides with my job so the information is pertinent and practical. One of my fears entering an online program was that it wouldn’t be as fulfilling as a traditional classroom setting. I was pleasantly surprised when the lectures included PowerPoints with audio and video of the professor teaching, and student questions. Classes are small, so I frequently run into the same people, which is nice.

One of the biggest things you learn in an online environment is accountability. You need to be ready and focused to learn. Thanks to this experience, I’m more confident in my learning abilities.”

Amanda Homes

Amanda Homes

Platoon Leader and Lakota Helicopter Pilot: Army National Guard
Major: Business Administration (MBA)

What prompted you to return to school?

"I wasn’t satisfied with my undergraduate degree and wanted a master’s degree that would broaden my opportunities on both the military and civilian sides.”

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?

"It wasn’t a challenge but you do notice a difference between the relationships and camaraderie established in the military contrasted with those among students. It’s also interesting to observe the big differences between attitudes and priorities of the two."

What has your experience been like at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

"It has been great, the faculty and staff have been extremely helpful and accommodating when I’ve had scheduling conflicts due to my military commitments."

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

"Absolutely do it! It will improve you personally and professionally and in all aspects of your life, be they military or civilian. I find myself applying things I’ve learned in my classes to areas of my life I would have never expected."

How has your military experience made you a better student?

"It has certainly forced me to manage my time and priorities better, and in the long run I have become much more disciplined and accountable."

Additional Comments:

"I am really happy that I chose to go back to school to get my master’s degree at UNL. I feel that my education is of a high quality and it will really open up a lot of doors for me in the future whether in the military or in the civilian world. I would recommend UNL to anyone, because they really go above and beyond for all of their students, military or not."

Rolando Mancha

Rolando Mancha

Environmental Science and Engineering Officer: U.S. Army
Major: Entomology

What prompted you to return to school?

“I have always enjoyed learning. I had heard that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offered a Master of Science in Entomology degree completely online through their distance learning, and I was sold.”

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?

“Being in the Army does not always allow me to attend classes. I’m frequently out of town, so the flexibility of an online program is important, and logging into courses from anywhere is very convenient. Being able to do coursework when I have time makes it a significant bonus.”

What has your experience been like at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

“My experience with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been tremendous. My professors, the VA coordinator and everyone who answers my questions at UNL have been great. My degree advisor is truly an asset to the program and does a superb job managing the distance program.”

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

“The most important point I would make is to set aside time for the courses and create a balance between work, school and family. Once the balance becomes a routine, it becomes easier. I would also let them know that it will be challenging but very invaluable.”

Additional Comments:

“My educational goal was to become more proficient with the entomology aspects of my job. Through the degree program, I’m learning a great deal about insects and their management, so it has been invaluable. I’m able to put into practice what I learn in my courses routinely.

In this technological era it’s become easy to build relationships through an online environment. I’ve e-mailed, messaged and spoken with professors and classmates in reference to group projects, questions and socially via similar interests. The professors challenge students the same as if we were in regular classes.

I believe the online environment is just as challenging as attending on campus classes. The key is the amount of effort you put into learning. I would recommend this program.”

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