Monday, February 14, 2011

Military couple connects through online education not just for Valentine's Day

The Donisis
Many military couples won't have the chance to see each other together today to celebrate Valentine's Day. That includes Sergeant 1st Class Bryan Donisi and his wife, Verlean, who we recently introduced on our blog.

But while SFC Donisi is stationed in Kuwait, and Verlean is home with their three youngest children in New Hampshire, they've still found a way to stay connected.

SFC Donisi and Verlean are taking Marketing 101 together at Post University. The online course requires them to participate in an online discussion board, responding to the professor's prompts and feedback, as well as to their classmates' input.

This is not only how the Donisis are fulfilling their course requirements, it's also how they are staying in touch today despite being thousands of mile apart. They often respond to each others' comments and help each other out whenever they can.

Suddenly, those thousands of miles are reduced to a few mouse clicks and keystrokes.

I talked to the couple recently about how they've been able to keep in touch while SFC Donisi is overseas. Here's more on their story.

Military Couple Stays in Touch through Shared Online Course at Post University

Overseas soldier and his wife bridge the distance gap with online course

WATERBURY, Conn. (Feb. 7, 2011). Sergeant First Class Bryan Donisi and his wife Verlean may not be together physically this Valentine's Day, but they will be able to connect in an unusual way: through an online course. Both are enrolled in Post University's online Principles of Marketing course.

"It's great to have the opportunity to be in the same class," SFC Donisi said. "We can complement each others' work and have the together-time and connection of working together, although we are so far apart."

SFC Donisi of Charlie Company, Task Force 3/197th, stationed at Camp Buerhing, Kuwait, is a Convoy Escort Team (CET) leader, providing security for the supply convoys in and out of Iraq. This is SFC Donisi's second deployment in his 11 years with the New Hampshire Army National Guard. Back home, he is a Platoon Sergeant with Bravo Company, 3643rd BSB, and works full-time as an armament/equipment inspector at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop. He is pursuing a degree in Business Administration.

Verlean resides at the couple's home in Franklin, N.H., caring for their three youngest children and working part-time at a local school cafeteria. She and Bryan typically speak once every 3-4 days, usually over the phone, she said.

"We don't have many opportunities to connect, so having this class together has been a really cool experience," she said. "We're constantly commenting on each other's discussion board posts and helping each other out when we can."

As part of all online courses at Post, students are required to actively participate in an asynchronous online discussion board, not only responding the professor's prompts and feedback, but to the input of their classmates.

SFC Donisi first started at Post University in June 2009, taking two courses each eight-week module. He first heard about Post through a co-worker's recommendation. After speaking with Military Enrollment Representative David Renza, Donisi said that the program was a perfect match for his objectives.

"The at-your-own-pace environment is ideal, as my schedule for the Army varies," he said. "I always know at the beginning of the week about the assignments, and I can schedule that into my time."

After completing a few courses, Donisi said his wife started watching and helping, and decided she wanted to enroll to earn a certificate in Human Resources. "I called Dave, told him, and he called her that same day," Donisi said. "Renza also explained that military spouses were extended the same
military rates and benefits at Post. That's amazing."

Donisi says it's the personal attention he gets from faculty and staff that make this program doable.

"My wife and I know we can call them, and it's not just a platonic 'What do you need?' They really take the time to get to know you on an individual level; a friendship if you will," Donisi said.

SFC Donisi will be home for a brief vacation in April and returning home in September. The couple plans to enroll in other courses together in the future if their schedules allow. "It's great that Post offers this opportunity, and I would highly recommend it to other military couples," he said.

To learn more about Post University's military programs, visit

Post University
Founded in 1890, Post University is a student-focused, career-driven university committed to providing students with the knowledge, personal skills and experience required to be leaders in their chosen fields. Located in Waterbury, Conn., Post University provides a wide array of degree programs for on campus and online students of all ages. It is known for its quality, career-driven academic programs, small classes, and competitive NCAA Division II athletics. Its more than 6,000 full- and part-time students come from the United States and abroad, and are supported by faculty whose mission is to prepare students to compete and succeed in today's global workplace. To learn more about Post University, visit or call 800-345-2562.