Thursday, January 20, 2011

Military couple stays committed to higher education

Our country's military personnel are a big part of the Post University family. Our military program is directed by Ed Lizotte (LTC-ret.), and was created with the help of faculty and staff who have also served in our Armed Forces. We have so much to share about our military program and the students in it, so I thought we'd start with the story of one of our soldiers stationed in Kuwait.

Sergeant 1st Class Bryan Donisi has served in the Army full time for 11 years as an armament and equipment inspector. He started at Post University in June 2009 to earn his bachelor's degree in business administration. His wife, Verlean, would help him study, and it wasn't long before she decided to attend Post too to earn a Human Resources Management Certificate.

The Donisis are one of Post University's military couples

SFC Donisi and Verlean are now enrolled in Marketing 101 together, which just started about a week ago and runs through Feb. 14 (Valentine's Day!) and into March. SFC Donisi is taking the course online from his barracks in Kuwait, while Verlean is taking it from their home in New Hampshire. SFC Donisi is due to return to the states in April.

We always like to keep in touch with our students -- present and past, wherever they are! I have been talking with SFC Donisi over e-mail to learn more about his story, and I thought our readers would find it particularly interesting. I asked SFC Donisi if I could share his latest note with you on our blog, and he agreed.

Here it is. I edited it only for typos for clarity, and added a few notes in brackets to help you understand the people and programs he refers to. I hope to hear more from SFC Donisi soon!

Hello Kristen, This is the NHNG magazine that may give you the dates and times you are looking for as far as our deployment. My Unit is Charlie Company, Task Force 3/197th, Camp Buerhing Kuwait. I am a CET Leader (Convoy Escort Team) and we provide security for the supply convoys in and out of Iraq.

To recap.. I am a Sergeant First Class/ E-7/ Platoon SGT. Been in the NH Army National Guard for 11 years, work full time for them as an Armament/Equipment Inspector. My unit before deployment was Bravo Company, 3643rd BSB, which is the one I will go back to after deployment. This is my second deployment. First one was in 2004-2005 in Iraq.

At Ft. McCoy, the Internet was horrible, so I had to drop MKT 101. BUT, Nicole DePaola [Academic Adviser for Post's Accelerated Degree Program] ensured that I would be able to retake the class, because of the lack of access at McCoy and the training requirements of the Army.

I usually take 2 courses per mod [each "mod" or module is eight weeks long], as the "at your own pace environment" is ideal, as my schedule for the Army varies, but I always know at the beginning of the week about the assignments, and I can schedule that into my time.

Before I enrolled at Post, I was searching for a school. I was looking for a reputable one around NH, because I was always under the impression that the schools offering online degrees were "diploma mills." You pay, you get your diploma in an "accelerated time frame." I am a person that believes "if it's too good to be true, it probably is."

One of the guys I work with had come back from a conference with Ed Lizotte's card, said he had talked to him in depth... and all looked good. He took a couple of courses, SO I called down there and talked to David Renza [Post's Military Enrollment Representative], who said, "let me help you make the right choice," explained about the school, that he was the Military Rep, and let me know everything Post and he could do for me, and my benefits that I earned through the Army I could use, to include TA, GI Bill and Waivers. Just that personal dedication said to me, "this is a real school, not a diploma mill." Dave also explained that spouses were just as important to Post, and they extend the same rates and benefits to them. That was amazing.

I did a few courses. I was really enjoying it, and my wife started watching and helping. She said she wanted to get enrolled and get a certificate in Human Resources. So I called Dave, told him, he called her that same day, and she was enrolled. She was doing good, til this deployment, where with me being gone, her study partner, she dropped out of the class.

I am enrolled in MKT 101 right now. I am hoping she will be able to get in, because of her schedule, and we can take the opportunity to study and be in the same class, and complement each others' work and have the together time and connection of doing things together, although we are very distant.

The thing that made me choose Post, and stay, is the personal attention from Dave Renza, Amanda Hartis [Tuition Planner for Post's Accelerated Degree Program] and Nicole DePaola. My wife and I know we can call them, and it's not just a "platonic" what do you need. It's "Hey Bryan, how are you doing? How is Verlean doing? Get much snow? Went to a baseball game up there near ya'll, went to Weirs Beach" or " I am coming up to NH this weekend, I will be here at this Armory, stop in and say hi"... A friendship if you will.

More to follow,

SFC Bryan J Donisi
C Co TF3/197th
APO AE 09330