UWF degree and year of graduation:
BA Accounting, ’80
BS System Science: Business, ’82
Why did you choose UWF?
I had several relatives who attended UWF and they were very happy with their experiences. I am from Pace, and UWF was a more attractive alternative than going to a distant university, either in-state or out-of-state. I wanted to continue my education in Northwest Florida. Being able to continue to work on the family farm while in college was a great way to help finance my education too.
What were your goals as a student?
I was exploring the job market. I thought I wanted to go into accounting, but once I got into the field, it was completely different than what I had expected. I thought that I could use my imagination in building computer systems with a Computer Science degree.
What is your best memory from your days at UWF?
It’s hard to pick just one. The instructors and the faculty were always very good. I was involved in the Finance and Accounting Club, so I really enjoyed the social gatherings and sports events that I participated in with that group.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
I remember a particular professor who was very challenging – Gregory Yost. He really made us work hard in his accounting classes. The hard work wasn’t fun, but looking back, I can see that he was preparing his students for the real-world work environment. He made our time in class worthwhile. In Computer Science, I remember Richie Platt. He really made the coursework challenging, and he taught his students to give that extra effort that is required to succeed. His classes separated the serious students from the casual students, but he made the classes fun. I always felt at ease to ask him any questions.
How did UWF help you progress to this point?
When I graduated, it was the early ’80s when there was a depressed job market, similar to now. But within a month, I had a job. It was a grant-funded project here at UWF. Our office developed an interactive, computer-based training system which was groundbreaking at the time. It was a really neat job, but after a year and a half, the grant ended. It just so happened that there was an opening in the Computer Services department at UWF. I was at the right place at the right time.
I owe a large portion of my career skills to UWF. Everything that I learned as a student, I have used on the job. I continue to take courses to renew and refresh my job skills. Just last semester, I enrolled in Java programming for software engineering - not for a degree, but just to learn new skills. These new skills will be beneficial going forward.
What do you do now?
I wear multiple hats. I’m the database administrator for student systems, and I’m the primary financial system support person at UWF. I use both my Computer Science degree and Accounting degree.
What are your hobbies?
I’m an avid runner. I enjoy watching college football, gardening and tinkering with old farm tractors.
What quality makes UWF unique or special?
The size and the fact that students know each other. You’re not a number here. We have a very friendly atmosphere for students, faculty and staff.
What do you like most about working here?
It’s so rewarding when former students get a degree, find a good job and eventually come back to see you. It’s great to see all of the alumni who have gone on to do important things. Having the opportunity to work for my alma mater is great.