Another day of sun and warm weather in the Northwest for nearly 70 Brandman graduates as they took part in Joint Base Lewis/McChord’s Combined Graduation Recognition Ceremony in Lakewood, WA. Thirty-six institutions were represented inside the Sharon McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College. Brandman had the second largest contingent of graduates.
Among the graduates was Anthony DiMascolo who received his bachelor’s in organizational leadership. The retired U.S. Air Force E-8 needed just three years to complete his degree, managing to finish with a 3.9 grade point average.
“Grueling,” explained DiMascolo as he described his efforts to complete ahead of schedule. “But now it’s wonderful. I love Brandman. It was challenging, which I like, and there was a lot of research, which I like.” DiMascolo graduated summa cum laude.
His degree is quickly paying off. DiMascolo is currently managing a cloud based project, in conjunction with Microsoft, for his current employer Lockheed Martin. “I would not have received my current position at Lockheed Martin without my degree.” DiMascolo pursued his bachelor’s after serving 27 years in the U.S. Air Force working in communications. He plans on using his tuition reimbursement from Lockheed Martin to work on a master’s at Brandman. “The rest of my GI bill will go towards the college education of my daughters,” said DiMascolo.
Retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant Jason Williams received his master’s in organizational leadership a few months after receiving a promotion at work. The former air traffic controller is now a supervisor at a State Farm office located just outside the gates of JBLM. “I am an anomaly because they [State Farm] took a chance on me ahead of their usual promotion schedule,” said Williams. “My promotion came because of my extensive leadership experience in the Army, as well as having my master’s.”
Williams was one of a handful of civilian students who would venture onto JBLM to take classes at Brandman after his retirement from military service. “I loved my Brandman experience. The blended courses fit my schedule. You get to share ideas and share concepts, and work as an amazing team. I worked with people deployed in Afghanistan and had superb instructors who were caring and knew their stuff.”
JBLM Campus Director, Mary Ann Bardoni-Barbe, had this to say about this special group of graduates, “We prepare our students to go forward into the job market with degrees that are marketable.”
Brandman’s commencement season now moves south and will continue on May 21st in California at NAS Lemoore.