Brooke Johnson

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Brooke Johnson

Position: Special Ed Aide

Location: Ramstein AB, Germany

College Degree(s): An Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, and now working on an Early Childhood Degree (Associate in Applied Science).

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: Currently enrolled in CDEC courses through CTC at Ramstein.

How CTC influenced my future education and career: CTC courses have helped me to better understand the development of children and how to promote positive learning experiences. This is an important part of my career as I work with elementary school children.

Jerry Pinchinat

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Jerry Pinchinat

Rank: CPO/ E-7

Position: Force Protection Leading Chief Petty Officer

Location: Naval Station, San Diego

College Degree(s): BA Criminal Justice, MA Criminal Justice, MA Public Administration.

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: Took courses with CTC while on deployment.

How CTC influenced my future education and career: I am now teaching Criminal Justice Class at Naval Air Station North Island & 32nd Street Naval Station.

I never dreamed of going to college until I met a CTC PACE English Instructor ( Mr.Ragsdale) on board the USS Missouri BB-63 in 1990. I've been taking classes ever since and 7 years later, I earned a bachelor degree. I earned 2 master degrees and CTC gave me the opportunity to be a Criminal Justice PACE Instructor while I'm still on active duty. I am the first enlisted sailor to be a PACE instructor on the very same command that I'm currently attached to. Once I returned from deployment, CTC extended the privilege by offering me the golden opportunity to teach multiple criminal justice classes at Navy Region Southwest installations. Today, I'm still in the NAVY, teaching criminal justice for Central Texas College and ITT Tech.

Travis Finlay

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Travis Finlay

Rank: E-4

Position: Army Engineer

College Degree(s): Working on an AA in General Studies.

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: Took courses with CTC while deployed to Sinai South Camp.

How CTC influenced my future education and career: I began college with CTC this year. I took a Business Management class because it looked interesting. The class sparked a genuine interest in learning for me, at the perfect point in my life. I have now taken full advantage of the Army's TA program and have earned 18 credits in my spare time during the last 12 months.

Michael Bradford

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Michael Bradford

Position: Counselor Aide, Test Examiner, Local Program Manager for CTC

Location: South Camp, Egypt

College Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: I am a CTC employee

How CTC influenced my future education and career: While working on the Sinai Peninsula, I had the opportunity to take an online History of Religion class with CTC-Europe. Before taking the course, I felt rather ignorant when it came to organized religion. But living and working in a region which is rich in the history and culture of three major religions finally compelled me to learn about the topic. The online part of the course enabled me to successfully enrich myself while living in Egypt. Now that I have finished the course I am able to walk on this soil while appreciating its historical religious significance. Thank you, CTC-E.

Roque D Parreno, Jr.

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Roque D Parreno, Jr.

Rank: E-7

Position: Food Service Manager at NAS II galley

Location: Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy

College Degree(s): Associate of Arts in Marine Transportation Technology

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: Presently taking class for an AA in Criminal Justice

How CTC influenced my future education and career: I am preparing myself for civilian transition after retirement and plan to work in one of the many fields of homeland security.

Aviation Electronics Technician Senior Chief

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CTC Europe Student

Position: Aviation Electronics Technician Senior Chief, Quality Assurance Supervisor and Mother of a 15-year-old.

Location: Sigonella, Italy

College Degree(s): AAS in Electronic Technologies from SW Tennessee Community College (formerly State Technical Institute at Memphis.)

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: I have taken classes in Sigonella with CTC-Europe over the last 15 or so years.

How CTC influenced my future education and career: They remind me of going to college right out of high school. They challenge me in that I get to learn things which I have always been interested in, such as taxes and automotive work. They have made me a more well-rounded person and have connected me to many friends I would have never had the chance to meet.

Although I am working on a BS from Excelsior, and may never get a degree in automotive or work in that field other than as a hobby or out of necessity, the experiences I have had and friends I have made have been most beneficial.

Bernie Wolf, Retired US Army Military Police Sergeant First Class

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Bernie Wolf (top right)

Position: Criminal Justice Instructor for Central Texas College at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall, UK.

College Degree(s): AAS Law Enforcement, Central Texas College, December 1982 BS Liberal Arts, Excelsior College, June 2001

First College Class: Psychology and typing, May 1971

When I think about how I arrived at my present teaching position, I realize that anything is possible if you have the right support, and are provided the right opportunities. And in my case, as is usually true, education really was the key!

I was fortunate enough to start taking advantage of educational opportunities early in my military career. After high school graduation in Chicago in 1968 (ah, the 60s!), I worked for a couple of years, got bored and joined the Marines. I wasn't bored after that! But at my first duty station in California, I wanted to get out of the barracks - so I took a couple of college classes at a local junior college. I'll never forget my typing class - the old manual typewriters, and I was the only guy in class.

In the late 1970's, after leaving the Marines and joining the Army, I discovered Central Texas College while assigned as a Military Police Investigator in Karlsruhe, Germany. A number of us in the MP company wanted to take classes, and CTC provided an excellent instructor - one of our own! Wayne Brock was also an MP Investigator, actually my first MP partner, and he taught the classes for CTC. I'll never forget the flexibility CTC provided; we were always being called out to crime scenes or sent on short temporary duty assignments. But Wayne knew what we were going through since he was part of us - it was an awesome fit, and it worked! I'm proud to still be a good friend of the Brock family, and also that Wayne recently received his PhD. Another example of life-long learning.

I received my AAS in Law Enforcement from Central Texas College in December 1982 after finishing up courses at El Paso Community College. It felt strange to have a degree from a school when I had never visited the campus, but that is the great thing about CTC - they are where you need them to be. Talk about user friendly!

An assignment as an Army Recruiter in Texas made me realize, at the ripe old age of 35, that I wanted to be a teacher. Being around young people, talking to them, helping to influence their future just seemed like the right thing to do and I loved it! Then I discovered that you can teach Criminal Justice classes in Texas high schools without a college degree under their vocational program. Wow! Didn't need any more college to fulfill my dreams! I couldn't wait to retire and get started.

Then - reality check. I retired from the Army in 1991 and immediately applied to teach - only to find out that for every occasional opening there were dozens of applications. So I enrolled in four classes at University of Texas, El Paso - my first on-campus big school experience. They weren't real glad to see me - kept throwing up obstacles to enrollment, and not recognizing credit for many of my courses and military credits. They are not a Serviceman's Opportunity College, which was a big surprise since I figured all schools would make it as easy as possible for former military. Wrong. Four weeks later I dropped all my classes.

About this same time my Mom got involved. Yep, here I am, a retired Army Sergeant First Class, 45 years old by the time I started teaching, and Mom starts giving me advice. Well, why not? I mean, if she can't, who can? But the advice was not what I wanted - she told me to go to school, to finish up and get a Bachelor's degree. Can anyone relate to this?

So what do you do - you go back to school. I had finally realized that traditional classes are not for me - not after having staff and faculty from Central Texas College show me how a student should be treated. So I found a non-resident program that, like Central Texas College, caters to the military student and is willing to work with the unique living and working conditions we often deal with. I took the college challenge exams, took online courses with several other schools (my final transcript has 9 separate schools on it), and in June 2001 was finally awarded my Bachelor's Degree.

Not long after this my wife, who is English and works as a manager for AAFES, got offered the transfer she had always wanted - back home to England. A year after we arrived, I wandered in to the education center on base. I saw the vaguely familiar Central Texas College sign on a door, so I walked in. CTC offered me a position as instructor soon afterward, and now, two years later, I still go into that same friendly office several times a week to check on students, schedules, and just to chat.

I look at my job as a Central Texas teacher as one that has a special type of responsibility. Many, if not most, of my students have never taken a college class before. If I give them a positive experience, if they feel they have learned something, been treated well, been a part of something that is going to help them in the future, well, they just might stick with it. They just might be back next term, and the one after that. If I had not had those early positive experiences with college mainly due to the way Central Texas College operates I doubt that I would have ever stuck with it over all those years and have the opportunity to teach now. How can I pay that back? Well, I'm trying now. I'm making a difference and having the time of my life doing it! Thanks CTC for being there for me 30 years ago, and still being there for me today.

Civilian Investigator with C.I.D.

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CTC Europe Graduate

Position: Civilian Investigator with C.I.D.

Location: Heidelberg, Germany

College Degree(s): Associate of Applied Science - Central Texas College. Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, Columbia College of Missouri. Master's Degree in Criminal Justice - Troy University (9 courses left to go)

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: I took classes with CTC while stationed in Kitzingen, Germany form '93 to '95, and graduated from CTC in 1995 with a degree in Law Enforcement. At that time there were no online courses, so I did my degree in the classroom. I took 9 credit hours per semester, usually two classes that met evenings during the week, and one weekend seminar. I'm a great believer in using the G.I. Bill, as it covered books and expenses as well as the 25% of tuition that we had to pay out of pocket back then.

How CTC influenced my future education and career: I had entered the Army in Personnel Management. My degree with CTC was one of the reasons I later joined Military Intelligence, and started my present career in Criminal Justice. After leaving the Army, I entered the reserves, finished my Bachelor's degree, gained a commission and worked as a Florida State Fraud Investigator. I was called to active duty in Feb 04 for a year, and while deployed to Iraq I started work on a Master's degree, completing all courses online. CTC was one of the best stepping stones / opportunities for me and my career. I would still give anything to walk the beautiful property of home campus one day. I am very proud to see what CTC offers now, and how far the college has come.

Brady Lee Porter Jr.

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Brady Lee Porter Jr. with daughters Janine and Sarah

Position: CTC Test Examiner at Wuerzburg Education Center

Location: Leighton Barracks, Wuerzburg, Germany

College Degree(s): Associate in General Studies - Central Texas College, 1992, Bachelor of Science - Excelsior College, 1996

Connection with CTC Europe Campus: While stationed at Larson Barracks, Kitzingen, Germany, I completed an Associate's degree with CTC.

How CTC influenced my future education and career: After high school higher education was not part of my plan. Upon joining the Army I asked my Squad Leader what was the best way to get promoted. The first thing he said was, "Get a two-year degree." When I started taking classes with CTC I realized quickly that an education not only helped me get promoted it also gave me knowledge that expanded my horizons. At many different levels I began to see a larger picture of the world which sparked my curiosity. I was maxed out quickly on promotion points in Civilian Education and was picked up for SFC my first look in the primary zone. Later in my career I earned a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Sociology and have traveled to over 35 countries. I plan to start work on a Master's in Social Services in the spring of 2006. What does the future hold? I like the following quote: "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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