Pierceall’s Education Journey Includes Four UMGC Degrees

Like many teenagers who did not excel in high school, Tanner Pierceall looked to the military for a career path. Admitting that he almost did not earn his diploma, he left his home in Bloomington, Ca., and enlisted in the Marines four months after graduation.

Yet now, 10 years later, Pierceall has finished his fourth University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) degree, counting on his newly minted MBA to help propel him higher in his work for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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UMGC Opens Permanent Education Office at Morón Air Base in Spain

Following a tradition that spans more than seven decades of providing education to U.S. military personnel serving overseas, University of Maryland Global Campus has opened a new permanent office at Spain’s Morón Air Force base, which often serves as a jumping-off point for deployment to Africa.

It becomes the university’s 51st permanent location in Europe, and the second in Spain.

“Expanding in Europe demonstrates UMGC’s commitment to providing the best opportunities for American service personnel to access higher education while they are deployed,” said Tony Cho, the university’s vice president and director for Europe. “This is just the latest example as we continually look for additional ways to improve our services on the continent.”

The base is crucial to the American military capability in the Mediterranean and North Africa, he said.

Morón, which is shared with the Spanish Air Force, is located in Andalusia, the country’s southern-most region, near the town of Morón de la Frontera. It is less than an hour away from historic Seville and 75 miles northeast of Naval Station Rota. Its massive flight line, in-ground refueling system, long runway and prime location near the Mediterranean and the Middle East make it an important link in any U.S. operation moving east from the United States.

In 2015, the Spanish government granted the U.S. military a permanent presence on the base, allowing up to 3,000 American troops and civilians of the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Taskforce – Crisis Response – Africa and the 496th Air Base Squadron to be stationed there with up to 40 aircraft.

In the past, UMGC’s presence at the base was using university personnel from Rota to occasionally set up a table to answer questions and to sign up students. This agreement allows for a permanent office, Cho said. The university sought the expansion after Girlie Ann Barcinas, who had worked with UMGC in Bahrain, moved to Morón when her husband was appointed principal at the base Middle School.

The UMGC Europe division was established in Germany in 1949, as the first university to send faculty to educate active-duty U.S. military personnel overseas after WWII. The division provides services to approximately 14,000 students annually in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa (europe.umgc.edu).

New Collaboration with Amazon Web Services Preps Service Members for Post-military IT Careers

Under a new corporate collaboration with University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), a group of service members has been going through the Amazon Apprenticeship program since early November. The apprenticeship is a U.S. Department of Labor-certified program that offers a combination of paid immersive learning and on-the-job training with Amazon.Continue Reading

Alumnus Credits His US Navy Experience, UMGC Education, Mentors with Helping Him Land Prestigious State Department IT Fellowship

One thing Darius Michael ’20 looked forward to most after being awarded a coveted U.S. State Department Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) fellowship last May, was traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet with Director General Carol Z. Perez and other ranking officials of the U.S. Foreign Service. But, courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic, orientation became a four-day virtual happening instead; The change of plan he said did not dampen his enthusiasm one bit.Continue Reading

2021 DoDEA Teacher of the Year

UMGC alumna Lachanda Garrison, who grew up attending DoDEA schools, wins high praise from the organization that inspired her to teach.

Lachanda Garrison ‘03 is a firm believer in the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DoDEA) mission to “educate, engage and empower military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world.” She should know. As the daughter of a U.S. Marine, she grew up in Okinawa, Japan, where she attended DoDEA schools and ultimately graduated from Kubasaki High School.

Today, she is the one at the front of the classroom teaching children of military personnel who are stationed abroad, and she has made her mark on the institution that helped mold her own mind. This year, she is being honored for her work with the 2021 DoDEA Teacher of the Year Award.Continue Reading

Prince George’s County Executive Alsobrooks Commends UMGC’s New Class of Leaders at 2020 Winter Commencement

“I’m not just addressing graduates, I’m addressing a class of leaders,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks told University of Maryland Global Campus degree recipients in a commencement address delivered via video during the university’s 2020 virtual winter commencement program, which launched Saturday, Dec. 19.Continue Reading

Pillars of Strength Scholar Finds Silver Linings in the Pandemic

For Lauren Warner, the agony of the Coronavirus pandemic has had at least a couple of silver linings.

Warner, who cares for her wounded Army veteran husband, completed a UMGC Master of Science degree in management this semester with the financial help of a Pillars of Strength scholarship aimed at caregivers like her.Continue Reading

University of Maryland Global Campus and Apex Systems Team Up to Increase Upskilling and Reskilling for Apex Consultants and Employees with a Focus on Military Veterans in Cybersecurity Careers

Adelphi, Md. (Dec. 9, 2020)—University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the largest online public university in the country, and Apex Systems, a world-class technology services firm, announced today an alliance that aims to increase upskilling and reskilling Apex consultants and employees with a focus on military veterans getting jobs in the cybersecurity field.Continue Reading

University of Maryland Global Campus Selected as Partnership School to Help Launch the U.S. Naval Community College

UMGC to Take Part in Pilot Project to Inform Course Design, Student Support Services and Transfer Credit Policies

Adelphi, Md. (Nov. 24)—The newly formed U.S. Naval Community College (USNCC) announced today that University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is one of five institutions chosen to participate in a six-month pilot program to gather data and inform the USNCC’s development as it prepares to welcome its first students. The pilot program will be conducted from January to June 2021.Continue Reading

UMGC Honors Veterans, Marks 75 Years Since WWII’s End, With Virtual Ceremony

To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the University of Maryland Global Campus annual Veterans Day ceremony saluted that generation of GIs—and those among their ranks who also were the originators of the university and its commitment to educating veterans and active duty personnel the world over.Continue Reading