Army veteran earns Bachelor of Arts, sets out on path to MSW degree

July 02, 2020

The following content first appeared on the news page while UMass Global operated under its former name of Brandman University.

IRVINE, Calif. (June 2, 2020) – Staff Sgt. Mark Matthews, an Army veteran, National Guardsman and soon-to-be Brandman University graduate student, is looking forward to a new career guiding young people toward fulfilling lives.

“I want to be able to help at-risk youth,” Matthews said.

Mathews, 35, recently completed courses for a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies degree. He is set to continue his education by entering the university’s Master of Social Work program this fall. He’s motivated, he said, by a drive to pay forward the benefits of the wise advice he himself received in his own youth.

“Luckily, I always had someone that was able to get me on the right track,” he added. “Without those people in my life, I don’t know where I would be right now.”

Born in Torrance, Matthews grew up in Orlando, Florida with his adoptive family. He enlisted in the Army in 2006, serving as infantryman. He deployed to Iraq for 15 months in 2007-08 and separated from active duty in 2013.

Matthews continues to serve in the California National Guard. Having the freedom to enroll in a blended bachelor’s program was among the benefits of enrolling at Brandman. He studied at the Irvine campus and online.

“It makes it a little more helpful for me, because if I know I have training coming up on the weekend, I know I can knock off my classwork for that week,” Matthews said.

Matthews also credited the university’s Office of Military and Veteran Services with helping him track use his veterans benefits, and also praised the work of his instructors. His favorite subjects he studied on his way to his bachelor’s degree included professional ethics, team building and math.

“Definitely, in those three classes, I learned a lot and the instructors were people I’d remember,” Matthews said.

Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative programs and support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs designed to be relevant to more than 90 career paths. Brandman serves about 22,000 students, about 14,000 of whom are degree-seeking students, at 25 physical campuses in California and Washington, as well as online. Brandman offers fully-online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For additional information, visit the university’s website.

Media Contacts:

Terri M. Carbaugh, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs: [email protected]

Andrew Edwards, Senior Multimedia News Writer: [email protected]

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