Photo of Kenneth Rowe

GRADUATES: Make Their Mark - Ken Rowe '12

Setting a Course to “Fly, Fight and Win” Inside the Classroom at Scott Air Force Base

For Kenneth Rowe studying Computer Science at McKendree’s Center at Scott Air Force Base, “Responsible Citizenship” means not only helping others, but also improving yourself, as well: “I decided to further my education to fulfill a goal I set for myself many years ago, and after my son joined the Air Force, I found I finally had time to do it. I feel I can always do better...”

I had to relearn how to learn."

An Air Force veteran juggling a full time job and three grandchildren, Rowe knew going for round two of his education wouldn’t be easy. He said, “I had to relearn how to learn. You can’t expect to just go to class and do well; you still need to apply yourself, [just] as a daytime student would. I am pursuing a BS in Computer Information Systems, and - if I pass my history final! - I will graduate in May of this year.”

Fortunately, McKendree’s Center at Scott Air Force Base was designed with work force individuals like Ken in mind. “I like the personal attention I received from the entire staff. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed a couple [of] non-computer related courses taught by Dr. Dusold and Dr. Holht,” Ken noted. “My favorite course was Systems Design. I learned more in that class than I did in any other course. It surprised me to learn as much as I did, having done system design in my career.”

"I enjoyed assisting other students when they got stuck."

His work force experience added a unique asset to the educational experience of his fellow students as well: “I was fortunate to have programmed in one of the languages that was being taught in a class I was required to take. I enjoyed assisting other students when they got stuck.”

Of course, helping others is just something that comes to Ken naturally. He described, “You would be hard pressed to find an airman who doesn’t [work] to give to the community that supports them. I volunteered with Rebuilding Together – St. Louis, a group that rebuilds homes for those that can’t afford the work to be done by paid craftsmen. They mainly do tasks like repairing ramps to homes, fixing walkways and some plumbing and electrical, when it is within our group’s capability.”

"The McKendree attitude of community service ..."

McKendree’s equally dedicated commitment to responsible citizenship is another reason Ken has been so happy with his decision to pursue his second degree here: “The McKendree attitude of community service and [its] often advertised opportunities reaffirm that it has the same commitment as I do to the community as a whole.”

What exactly does “responsible citizenship” mean? As Ken puts it, “‘Responsible Citizenship’ is the person that will stop and pick up a piece of trash and throw it in a trash can. They don’t need to be thanked; no one needs to be looking - they do it because it’s the right thing to do. Doing little things without looking for the payday for them.”

‘Payday’ may have seemed a long way off, but when Ken receives his diploma in May, he can be proud to have flown, fought and won inside the classroom at McKendree’s Center at Scott Air Force Base.


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