Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers achieve academically
The Soldier and Family Assistance Center has been busy celebrating the educational accomplishments of several of the Soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion.
Soldiers enrolled in the SFAC-Park University Education Program participated in a meet-and-greet Jan. 11. The event was held at the SFAC, located at 887 Marshall Road. The meet-and-greet afforded the SFAC staff, Park University staff and instructors, and the WTB Soldiers and family members to meet each other while enjoying refreshments.
Park University has agreed to partner with the SFAC to provide four college level courses to the WTB Soldiers. The courses, basic English, basic mathematics, government and public speaking are all held in the SFAC Monday through Thursday from 2 to 5:30 p.m. All four courses are accredited in semester hours and can be applied toward a college degree.
John Noriz and Nadia Morales, both instructors at Park University, were the first instructors to participate in this program and are part of the reason for the program’s success. Noriz teaches basic college mathematics while Ms. Morales teaches a basic English course.
In attendance were Mark Cauthers, director of the Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and Maj. Juan Moreno, executive officer for the WTB.
“I’m glad they did this,” said Spc. Sandra Jasso. “This way we get to know our professors before the class starts and kind of get to know what they are like and what to expect. This is good.”
Sgt. Angel Moreno elaborated on the opportunities.
“It’s perfect,” said Moreno. “The classes are just what we need and the instructors are awesome. I think this session is going to be even better than the first.”
Everyone was welcomed back for the first Academic Recognition and Rewards Ceremony Jan. 17. Nancy Thomas-Mainor welcomed everyone to the SFAC and thanked Park University’s Cliff Ferby, academic director for full-time faculty, and Robert Holguin, academic adviser, for their support and dedication to the educational mission and program.
She also welcomed and thanked the school representatives who came out in support of the program and Park University. Those in attendance were Art Rodriguez, American Military University; Chuck Watkins, University of Maryland University College; Dee Reardon, Coastline Community College; Julie Smith, Webster University; Tom Kelt, Western Technical College; April Rhodes, Universal Technical Institute; and David Oropeza, University of Phoenix.
The WTB students recognized for successfully completing the 2011 fall II session were Master Sgt. Alphonso Hoke, Staff Sgt. Robert Ornelas, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Devora, Sgt. Christian Rincon, Sgt. Angel Medina, Sgt. Edward Delafuente, Spc. Leslie Beaumont, Spc. Sandra Jasso, Spc. Hector Villegas and Spc. Nicole Escalante.
Thomas-Mainor presented plaques to the top three academic achievers for the session. These student Soldiers achieved the highest grade points for the session.
“Initially, we were going to recognize the top two achievers, but because these Soldiers were so motivated to do well, we had two of them achieve the same exact score, so we are recognizing three instead of two. I think that is a true testament to not only the students’ initiative and motivation, but it is a testament to the top level of instruction being presented by the instructors, ” said Thomas-Mainor.
Award plaques were presented to Rincon, Moreno and Beaumont. Moreno was enrolled in both the math and English courses for the session. Arianna Moreno, spouse of Sgt. Moreno, was given a special recognition for her support to her husband. Moreno praised his wife by saying, “She is awesome and very special to me. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She’s beautiful and I love her.”
Classes for the spring I session began Jan. 16 and will be completed March 11. Currently, there are 25 WTB Soldiers enrolled.
Mini-fairs will be held the last Tuesday of each month until August from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of the SFAC. A total of six colleges, universities and vocational-technical schools will participate in providing information and educational opportunities to the Soldiers and their family members. Trident University International, Grand Canyon University, Excelsior College, Excel Learning Center, Western Technical College and University of Maryland University College are the first group to represent their schools and programs.
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