Testimonials | Workforce Education and Development | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Workforce Education and Development


Kirkland AFB, NM+  -

"Certainly the program's focus on adult learning and the assessment and development of training programs tied directly to our mission at the Kirtland AFB Education Center . . . made the WED program unique among the several programs available on Kirtland AFB.

"...the same qualifications that make WED students an excellent fit for military education would apply to positions with the universities and private sector."

The SIU WED students arrive prepared to deal with our adult students and those students interested in furthering their post-secondary education. Their background makes them a good fit for dealing with customers in voluntary post-secondary education programs in our customer service section. Their responsibilities include both educating clients regarding available post-secondary programs and guiding students through the application processes for university admission and tuition assistance.

While I have limited experience in the private sector, the same qualifications that make WED students an excellent fit for military education would apply to positions with the universities and private sector."

John B. Malone – Education Service Officer, Kirtland Air Force Base

"The entire SIUC staff, not only at Kirtland AFB, but al-so at Carbondale, caters to each individual and unique circumstances. Ms. Roberta (Lopez) Garcia, Base Coordinator, did an outstanding job ensuring that every WED student had not only the tools and information to be successful, but she also worked diligently with everyone’s schedule in the event that

Each instructor develops a program that ensures the student’s success in passing the courses. They spent time with every student and give the student the opportunity to develop a professional relationship with them. This relationship allowed me to reach out, especially at the most difficult times, and be confident that I would receive the help needed to accomplish the lesson at hand. With this support, it is very difficult for a student not to pass the WED program.

I have learned to deliver a better and more professional product to my co-workers and audience abroad, such as a quarterly training program that I deliver to a number of Air Force agencies. I am the Administrator for over 180 military members. I train quarterly with a number of different Air Force agencies.”

Andrew Sandoval, MSgt, US
Kirtland Base IMA Administrator (BIMAA)

"I learned in the Workforce Education and Development Program that working in teams is very important, but very difficult to do in the civilian sector. I worked in the Air Force for twenty years and had numerous opportunities to work with others. We worked on aircraft as a team, but we always had a team leader. This person determined what needed to be done and would delegate several tasks to several airmen. We also had technical manuals that told us and showed us how to complete each task.

The WED program taught me that working in teams at work was nothing like working in teams at school. In the WED program, we learned to work in teams from the seat of our pants. Nobody was appointed as leader of the pack.

There are so many different jobs in the civilian sector. The Workforce Education and Development Program will be very beneficial to almost any civilian company."

Daniel Brusuelas
Education Technician
Education Center in Kirtland AFB, NM

Charleston AFB, SC+  -

"The Workforce Education and Development Program (WED) at Southern Illinois University Car-bondale advanced my military career to Superin-tendent of Training. What I did not anticipate was the tangential benefits completing the degree would provide . . . Enrolling in the WED pro-gram was one of the best career moves of my life!

Completing the WED program was a testament to what can happen if a person really wants to succeed. I attended the WED program at the Charleston AFB, South Carolina site. At the time that I was attending the institution, I was living in Fayetteville, North Carolina - 3-½ hours away! In order to complete the program, I had to travel 3-½ hours one way, every other weekend, for approximately one year. The enthusiasm provided by the professor and my interest in the program was enough to keep me focused and intent on finishing the program—failure was not an option. The WED . . . provided a foundation to complete the WED Master’s program without difficulty—I graduated with a 4.0.

WED is a program with maximum latitude in its application and usage. It is flexible enough to allow a person the opportunity function in a training and education capacity or complete addition courses and teach at the high school level. If that same person takes advantage of the full expanse of WED (to include Graduate School), that person would be well prepared to compete at the doctoral level of learning and prepared to continue their academic growth and experience in Higher Education. In every case, the WED program prepares learners for life-long learning and success in any venue.”

Delmar Lee, Ph.D.
Adjunct Instructor for SIU-Charleston AFB and Education Consultant

NAS Oceana, VA+  -

" ... a world class education, which I received from the WED Program ... challenging yet attainable. The staff at Dam Neck was competent, supportive, and helpful in every way. The site was well prepared and equipped.

"I was asked by the then retired U.S. Atlantic Fleet Chaplain to join him to serve as the Executive Assistant to the Bishop of Kentucky."

I had completed more than 20 years in the United States Navy ... I was assigned as the Principle Assistant for Religious Ministries on the Admirals Staff of the US. Atlantic Fleet Headquarters when I realized that I needed to sharpen my skills to effectively equip, train, and support my religious ministry teams. The WED program helped me advance my career due to the competencies that I acquired:

  • Through the WED internship) I became a certified facilitator for two seminars that I completed at a leadership training center.
  • I developed and implemented a Religious Needs Survey which became an ongoing instrument ... completed as a WED project.
  • Got the skills and knowledge to serve within my Commands' Training Teams. I was quickly elevated to the position of Lead Instructor to train instructors and develop curriculum for training events.
  • Developed and taught Suicide Prevention/Intervention and Critical Incident Stress Management for commands throughout the Navy.
  • I was asked by the then retired U.S. Atlantic Fleet Chaplain to join him to serve as the Executive Assistant to the Bishop of Kentucky..."

RPCS(SW/AW/FMF/MTS) Michael G. Hutchins, USN (Ret)
Administrative Assistant to the Bishop
Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky

Naval Station Greatl Lakes (NavStaGL), IL+  -

"When I returned from a fourteen month deployment (Afghanistan), I received great support from the base coordinator and other off campus office staff. They worked with me to catch me up on the program to finish the Major degree requirements.

"I received great support from the base coordinator and other off campus office staff."

I utilized the techniques to develop foodservice curriculum for training Afghan National Army soldiers and in my current position as Chef for a great staff of culinarians at the Pentagon. The WED degree program has taught me how to develop sound training programs that help me articulate on the job training and professional military training better."

Derrick Davenport
Leading Chief Petty Officer/Executive Chef for the Chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff Executive Dining Room
Certified Executive Chef and Certified Executive Pastry Chef American Culinary Federation.
Gold medals in Culinary Competitions. USO's Salute

Groton NSB, CT+  -

"The Workforce Education and Development Program (WED) helped me to focus and define the skills I had learned over my 20 years in the Navy. My most frequent and necessary skill needed is developing staff and correcting their functional skills. This leads to significant losses for many medical practices. WED taught me how to guide Staff to better performance through setting objectives and the ability to document those goals in a highly professional way.

"SIUC prepared me for success in many foundational areas of business."

The WED Program and Dr. Plessman (Base Coordinator) were instrumental in the success I now enjoy. SIUC gave me the confidence to walk into any facility and create success!

One of my greatest skills I rely on constantly is developing operating guides providing Staff simple guidelines for daily operations. Simple tools like these often result in massive gains in financial performance.

Overall, SIUC prepared me for success in many foundational areas of business. I have worked with clients all over the country developing programs helping them create success. I had many skills learned over the years, but, WED brought my game to the highest level possible and I use those skills every day."

Ronald Cline, MBA
Manager of Physician Consulting Services for Quorum Health Resources
Jth Largest consulting firm in the country

"My WED B.S. with SIUC was a contributing factor to my promotions in the Navy and my decision to pursue my Master's Degree. I was a Hull Mantenance Technician First Class when I started the program and retired as a Command Senior Chief in 2008. I was one of 12 candidates selected from a group of 179 applicants for the first Command Senior Chief Selection Board. I was teh first female Command Senior Chief in the Navy.

"My WED B.S. with SIUC was a contributing factor to my promotions in the Navy..."

I am retired with 23 years honorable services, I worked with the Department of Navy, as a Traning Specialist. I am a Type Commander Program Manager for simulation training and for language/culture training for nine different component commands, Active and Reserve. The research and problem solving skills that I learned, practiced and honed in WED have ensured my success in my navy career.

SIUC staff in Groton made going to college FUN and EASY even when it felt hard. SIUC taugth me that it's never too late to attend college; you can accomplish anything that you set your mind toward."

Tanya Del Priore
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)
Deputy of Training Technologies and Siulation

JBLM-McChord Field, WA+  -

"I chose to attend SIU out of determination and convenience. After being married for 10 years and taking care of several children, my husband who was in the military decided to go back to school while stationed at McChord Air Force Base. I decided that if he went, I also wanted to attend and not get left behind in my education… After the first class, I almost dropped out because we had three young children, we both worked full-time, and I found out I was pregnant. The program was tough, but I was determined to finish the program on the Dean’s List – which I did… They (WED) helped me figure out, first that I had skills and then how to take those skills and help others.

My final internship hours were completed at Bates Technical College… I was hired to work at the college doing what Southern Illinois University Carbondale had trained me to do – teach students in business and office skills. Be-cause of someone taking me on as an intern, I decided to help anyone that I could to complete their internship. Since 1988, I have worked with 30+ interns to provide them with an opportunity to complete the required program hours.

After working as an instructor for 12 years, I was selected to serve as the Associate Dean for Academic Instruction. I went on to become the Dean for Instruction and Home and Family Life where I currently work overseeing numerous programs and staff. I still continue to work with SIUC interns for placement in both instructional and administrative internships."

"I know firsthand the value of higher education and have seen how going through the WED program has lead to promotions, raises, self-satisfaction, and further education."

Jacquie Banks, M.Ed.
SIUC graduate 1988 & Instructor

Pensacola NAS, FL+  -

I graduated from Edgar T. Beddingfield High School in 1980 and attended Georgetown School of Science and Arts. In April 1983, I departed for Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, IL and my first duty station was USS PAUL (FF-1080). After spending 18 months as a deck seaman, I was designated as a Radioman. I was transferred to OPNAV TCC in June, 1987 and was advanced to Second Class. I was honorably discharged from the US Navy July, 1989 after six years.

After spending five months as a civilian, I returned to active duty to CRUITRACOM Orlando, Florida for NAVET training. I reported to COMMANDER TASK FORCE SEVENTY-SIX, in Okinawa, Japan. Upon completing a two-year tour in Japan, I received orders to COMCARGRU ONE, Naval Air Station North Island, CA where I advanced to First Class Petty Officer. Subsequent tours include: instructor duty Service School Command, San Diego, CA, and USS DENVER (LPD-9). In September 1997 I was honorably discharged from active duty to pursue the Chaplain Candidate Program (CCPO).

I began my studies at Bethel Theological Seminary in San Diego, CA. In May of 1998, I was commissioned as a Chaplain Candidate (CCPO) and served as the Associate Pastor of Greater Apostolic Faith Temple Church in San Diego, CA until I reentered the United States Navy. I reported to Basic Course Chaplain School in Newport, Rhode Island, in June 1998.

I graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill with a B.S. in Vocational Education in 1995, M.A. in Education from United States International University San Diego, CA 1996 and a Master of Divinity in 2000 from Bethel Theological Seminary San Diego, CA. I reported to Comphibron Six in December of 2000. Presently, I am assigned to Aviation Schools Command, Pensacola, FL and I am pursuing a Masters of Science in Counseling and Psychology.

I joined the Navy because I wanted to do something different. I wanted to get an education and become an officer. A person needs to have a goal, be focused, and be hungry for an education. The weekend format was the best possible path that afforded me to attend classes. All of my professors made me a priority. However, it was a sacrifice and much perseverance on my part. My SIU experience was the springboard towards getting into graduate school and seeking my commission in the US Navy Chaplain Corps. If I had never taken that leap of faith towards getting a degree with SIU, things would not have turned out the way it has in my life today. SIU has opened several doors of opportunity towards my career, educational level and growth as a person, teacher, and lifelong student. I will forever be grateful and indebted to my SIU experience in fulfilling my dream in getting that first degree in Workforce Education and Development. Indeed, that first degree is always put to use in my everyday life, in and out of uniform.

Chaplain Carl Barnes

San Diego NAS & NAVSTA, CA+  -

"I am still very proud to have attended the Workforce Education and Development program at Southern Illinois University."

"When I started the program I was a training director. I discovered that not only had I inherently been doing things correctly, based upon what I was Learning. But I discovered "the reason" of why it was the right way!

There is no doubt about the fact that it took a lot of time and energy but the time flew by and I enjoyed every moment of it. I had a background in training and development, but it was the addition of the knowledge and new skill sets that enhanced my career. I credit WED and SIU with propelling me forward first into a Master's program and then into my PhD. I have my own global consultancy and also teach and mentor for doctoral learners working on their dissertations. I am very active in my community and continue to utilize the knowledge and skills that I learned in WED ... , within my community to either children or adults, or even campaigning for public office .... the information is never going to be wasted because it can be used in so many types of interactions with others, both professionally or personally. WED gave me new insight, provided me knowledge and skills that will last me a lifetime, and inspired me to excel in academia."

Kathleen (Katy) Henry, PhD
Professor and Owner of a Global Consultancy Firm

". . . the WED degree perfectly fit into what I was doing in the SEAL training program. . . . SIUC provided credits for my work experiences . . . I was actually preparing to exit the Navy and needed to knock out my degree. It was difficult at first because I had no computer experience and had to become accustomed to the college regimen.

"There is absolutely no doubt that my WED degree assisted me with my commission in the SEAL Teams."

Working 40 hours plus per week and attending college wasn't easy. SIUC staff realizes that we have a job in the military to attend to and they are very flexible. I always took advantage of that and received a GPA of 4.0.

After getting my Workforce Education and Development (WED) B.S. Degree, I got commissioned and went from a BUD/S training CPO to an Ensign at SEAL Team THREE deployed to IRAQ/Djibouti; then on to being the Officer in Charge at the NSW Cold Weather Training facility in Kodiak Alaska. I have been the Officer in Charge at the SEAL Delivery Vehicle Detachment in Panama City Beach Florida for the last three years.

There is absolutely no doubt that my WED degree assisted me with my commission in the SEAL Teams. From Fireman Recruit to Lieutenant Commander. . . . Thank you Southern Illinois University!"

Steve Schultz
Officer in Charge at the SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV)
Detachment in Panama City Beach Florida

Scott AFB, IL+  -

The Instructional Internship requirement of the SIUC WED coursework at Scott Air Force Base campus provided me with a unique opportunity to expand my horizons. I have thirty years of experience in the environmental testing field; however, it has been limited to providing analytical data to the customer. My employer, Teklab, Inc., granted me an internship with their marketing and customer services department. Field sampling is a relatively new part of Teklab’s customer service and one of my objectives was to provide training in this area. Since meaningful analytical data is limited by the quality of the field sampling technique, this subject was of particular interest to me.

Teklab had been providing only on the job training for their field personnel. I performed a training needs assessment, by traveling to the sampling sites with the field personnel and observing the sampling and field testing. The training needs uncovered from the field observation, preliminary research on the topic, and my background in environmental testing, enabled me to develop a field sampling training course. The development included a plan of instruction and lesson plan, following the guidelines presented in WED 460. The trainees were provided a manual with task listing and task detailing, handouts of the slides, and self-check guides. The training was evaluated by the trainees via lesson/instructor evaluation forms.

Just two weeks after my internship ended, Teklab was audited. Normally auditors limit their review to the laboratory data quality; however, since Teklab had been providing field sampling services for the auditor’s client, the auditor asked if there was any formal training provided for the field sampling personnel. Teklab was able to answer “Yes!” and show the auditor the complete training package I had provided. Teklab was very glad they had used my internship to provide training in this area. Partnering with my employer for my internship assignment provided me with both excellent experience in training and the opportunity to broaden my horizons in the environmental testing field.

Cora L. Fickinger,
Quality Assurance Officer,
Teklab, Inc., Collinsville, IL