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Student Spotlight

ty webber

 

Ty Weber

Name: Ty Weber
Branch: U.S. Army Reserves
Degree:DNP – Nurse Anesthesia 
Graduation: May 2024
What are your plans after graduation?: After graduation, we are heading back home to Morton, Illinois after graduation. I will be working as a CRNA at OSF. St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL. I look forward to getting back to life outside of school and plan on spending a lot of time with my wife, Claire, and two boys, Cal & Beckham! I am eager to serve my local community as well as our soldiers and their families. 
What do you do in your off time? Hobbies?: I love playing and watching baseball. My oldest son & I like to go out to the ball fields and practice hitting off the tee. One of his favorite things to do is "hit dingers," and one of my favorite things to do is watch him learn new things. The last three years in CRNA school have been somewhat of survival mode for my wife and I. After graduation, I expect us to do a lot of things outside. I am also excited to get back to fishing, camping, hunting, reading and traveling with my family. 
What are some of your fondest memories at WCU? CRNA school is full of adversity. Many of us came out of COVID ICUs prior to starting school, so we've been in a high stress season of life for 4 or 5 years at this point. Getting through this program & facing adversity together will be my fondest memory. 


Wendy Suttles Photos

 

Wendy Suttles

Name: Wendy Suttles
Branch: U.S. Army (veteran)
Degree: BSBA Accounting 
Graduation: May 2023
What are your plans after graduation?: After graduation, I plan on taking a semester or more off and getting work experience in my field. Maybe read a book that is not a textbook. Graduate school is still in my thoughts.  What do you do in your off time? Hobbies?: I enjoy bead weaving in my off time, using very small beads and thread to create jewelry and other items. Another hobby my husband and I have is riding our motorcycles, with many road trips in the future.  
What are some of your fondest memories at WCU? In the end, I believe, minus the possible loss of life, going to college has to be more mentally challenging than going through the military, at least for me. No matter your age or where you see yourself in the coming years, go for your dreams and dream big.  


Sydney Gallant Photos

 

Sydney Gallant

Name: Sydney Gallant
Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Dependent)
Degree: B.S., Traditional Mathematics, Health Sciences (MBA)
Graduation: May 2023
What are your plans after graduation?: Upon graduation from my graduate program and in May 2024, I will commission into the United States Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant.
What do you do in your off time? Hobbies?: I am a pole vaulter on Western Carolina’s Track and Field Team. I also work as a personal trainer. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, backpacking, and traveling.
What are some of your fondest memories at WCU? Some of my fondest memories at WCU are adventures in the Appalachian Mountains, especially the Blue Ridge Parkway. Of course, track meets and setting a new PR are memories I hold dearly.


Ronnie Clark Photo

 

Ronnie Clark

Name: Ronnie Clark
Branch: U.S. Army Reserves
Degree: B.S. B.A. Financial Planning (Campus Student, Undergrad)
Graduation: May 2023
What are your plans after graduation?: I started working for Haywood Community College as a Human Resources Development Instructor on April 1.
What do you do in your off time? Hobbies?: In my spare time, I like to travel (going to Europe at the end of May), hike, and watch American football.
Anything else you want to say?: I have really enjoyed the experience at WCU.


Joshua Justice Photos

 

Joshua Justice

Name: Joshua Justice
Branch: Air National Guard
Degree: B.S. B.A. Financial Planning (Campus Student, Undergrad)
Graduation: May 2023
What are your plans after graduation?: I plan to sit for the Certified Financial Planner exam in July before pursuing a career planner role in the Charlotte, NC area.
What do you do in your off time? Hobbies?: Riding motorcycles, drinking whiskey, and sailing; (Not all at the same time!).
What are some of your fondest memories at WCU? Attending football tailgating events with the rest of the Student Veterans Association members and spending time talking and hanging out in the Veterans Resource Center.
Anything else you want to say?: To those who have served, don't be afraid to share some of those experiences with classmates.  To those that haven't, don't make quick judgements or assumptions about a veteran's military experiences.  Each of us had unique and sometimes vastly different perspectives and roles over the course of our military careers.


Marissa Manfro and father as Marissa was child and now

 

Marissa Manfro

Name: Marissa Adrianna Manfro
Branch: USMC
Degree: Natural Resource Conservation & Management
Graduation: May 2023
What are your plans after graduation?: After graduation, I am moving to Phoenix, Arizona! I will be working on Luke AFB with their Outdoor Recreation team ensuring that dependents of deployed active-duty members as well as single airmen have the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy what the area has to offer. As a military dependent myself, I can relate in many ways to those participating in these particular events and I can't wait to get working with them!
What do you do in your off time? Hobbies?: I really enjoy to get outside and explore new places... especially now that the weather is starting to get warmer.
Anything else you want to say?: I am truly honored that I have the opportunity to work with military personnel and their families with my career in Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation! 


Justin & Jason McGee

Jason and Justin McGee standing beside each other and the WCU catamount

 

Name:   Justin McGee
Branch:   Air Force Dependent
Degree:  Finance with minor in entrepreneurship 
Graduation:  2024
What are your plans after graduation?   My plans after graduation would be getting a full-time career job at a bank or in the finance department 
What do you do in your off time?  Hobbies?In my off time my brother and I run a sports memorabilia

business. I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends. 
Anything else you want to say? I want to thank my parents for their service as well as thank everyone else who has served or is serving!

Name:  Jason McGee
Branch:  Air Force Dependent
Degree:  Finance with a minor in entrepreneurship 
Graduation:  2024
What are your plans after graduation?  To work in a higher financial institution department in banking or a similar field doing finance work 
What do you do in your off time?  Hobbies?  In my free time I am usually visiting family or hanging with friends by also keeping busy with school . A fun hobby I have with is my brother and I running our small business dealing with sport memorabilia and meeting celebrities. 
Anything else you want to say?  Thank you to both my mom and dad for serving and helping me be where I am today. Being a part of a veteran family and being close to other veterans due to my mom working with veterans, has shown me how grateful I am and always loved giving back or helping the veterans.  A big thank you to all the other veterans that have served and those who are active and still serving. Thank you to non-profit organizations such as Veterans Bridge Home for always helping us and others. One of the things our mom cared about was always being willing to help everyone and she would put in countless hours making sure these veterans were getting their benefits they deserved.


Sommer in military uniform and Sommer and boyfriend

 

Sommer Rector

Branch: United States Air Force
Major: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Graduation: Spring 2024
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation I would like to get my paralegal license and work with veterans either at the veterans' treatment court or within my community. 
What do you do in your off time? In my off time from school, I have three kids, a set of twin girls who are 6 and a newborn who will be three months old on the 29th of this month, so free time doesn't really exist at my house but I like going to the park with the girls and going to the rivers we have all around us where we live. I am also a big fan of history channel shows when I get a moment to watch them. 


Courtney in military uniform and also in civilian clothing

 

Courtney M. Courtney

Branch: United States Marine Corps
Degree: Nutrition and Dietetics
Graduation: 2025
What are your plans after graduation? On to graduate school with hopes to pursue a career as a Physical Therapist or an Athletic Trainer
What do you do in your off time? In my off time I am either at the gym, playing disc golf or spending quality time with my husband and our pets.
Anything else you want to say? Semper Fi


Asia Vue in Military Marine uniform and civilian WCU clothing

 

 Asia Vue

Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
Degree: Parks and Recreation Management 
Minor: Forensic Anthropology
Graduation: Summer 2025
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I want to hike either the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.  For a career, I hope to work as an adventure travel guide or at a city/county parks and recreation center.  I also hope to work with military personnel and help them recreate outdoors.
What do you do in your off time?  On my off time, I like to read and watch movies, go hiking and camping, do crafts, and spend time with my dog.  
Anything else you want to say? WCU is a beautiful campus that offers many nearby outdoor recreation opportunities as well as amazing courses and events. 


Picture of WCU student John Hoover

 

John R. Hoover

Branch: U.S. Army Deep Sea Diver
Degree: Natural Resources Conservation and Management (BS)
Graduation: Spring 2021

What are your plans after graduation? 
I hope to work in federal service and out of doors, ideally with the USDA or the Department of the Interior.  I am still learning what all my options are, however I would prefer to continue to serve my community and nation.

What do you do in your off time? 
As the newly elected president of the WCU Student Veterans Association, I spend my off time bemoaning my fate, directing Soldiers is like herding cats, whether they are in or out of service.

Anything else you want to say?
WCU is a wonderful school, both it and the SVA have provided me with the perfect place to begin the next chapter of my life, while creating a community I care about.


*The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement*

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