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SoE Honors Military Students

SoE Military family
Kristin Duncan with her Navy husband, who's stationed in England, and their two children.

Philadelphia, September 11, 2013

This year, Drexel’s School of Education and Drexel University Online launched a special partnership to honor military students through the Excellence in Education Award for Military Students. The unique award recognizes all military students (veterans, servicemembers, spouses, and eligible dependents) who excel academically in Drexel University’s education programs online. To qualify for nomination, students must have completed at least 18 quarter credits at Drexel and maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better. Forty students were nominated, eight finalists were honored, and three were selected for additional awards, including two diploma frames and an iPad Mini.

The eight honorees represented a number of the School of Education’s programs, such as Higher Education, Special Education, Mathematics Learning and Teaching, and Educational Administration. They are currently completing, or completed, their programs online from five states and three countries overseas including Germany, England, and Japan. The honorees represented spouses, active duty and retired servicemembers, and a mother, from two of the five branches of service.

The winner of the iPad mini was military spouse Christopher Mills-Winkler, who took advantage of Drexel’s Yellow Ribbon Program to complete the M.S. in Educational Administration with Principal Certification. Now a certified vice principal, Mills-Winkler says he plans to use the experience gained in his supportive role as a military spouse to “start a military family support group at my campus in order to make sure military students and their families receive the support they need to ensure that their students remain successful in school.”

Also honored was Captain Paul Lee Young, a commander for an aviation support battalion in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who recently returned from a seven-month tour of Afghanistan. He completed the M.S. in Higher Education program while on active duty, and will put his degree right to work at his next assignment as an ROTC instructor.

“I have used the skills I learned through my academic coursework to advise Soldiers on what schools they should attend,” says Captain Young. I have helped them find military friendly programs, ensuring I steer them towards schools that are regionally accredited.” says Captain Young.

Major Mary Jayne, another honoree, says, “My teachers had a huge impact on my ability to survive, and thrive, throughout my military career. I’d like to do the same for my students, to prepare them the best I can for whatever lies ahead of them when they leave my classroom.”

With nearly 100 students, the School of Education has the second largest number of military students online of all 14 colleges and schools at Drexel University.

This award was developed by Wendy Elliott-Pyle, Patience Ajoff-Foster, both program managers and graduate academic advisors at the School of Education, and Alicia Murphy, marketing associate at Drexel Online. The students were honored during the School of Education’s annual Honors Day ceremony on June 14, 2013.

Drexel University has been named a “Military Friendly School” five years in a row by GI Jobs Magazine. Get more information about the School of Education’s programs.