To assist in his pursuit of a master’s degree in space systems at Florida Tech, 2nd Lt. Conner Thigpen received a $1,000 scholarship from the Florida Advisory Council for Military Education (ACME) at its Fort Walton Beach, Florida, conference.
“Being one of the recipients of this scholarship is truly an honor and a blessing,” Conner says. “The money will be very helpful in regard to school expenses, however, the recognition of hard work and dedication is priceless.”
Conner recently graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a B.S. in management and is assigned to Eglin Air Force Base as a space operations officer. His responsibilities involve space situational awareness and space tracking.
As an active military member, Conner takes advantage of Florida Tech’s Wisdom Warrior program, which provides tuition discounted to $250 per credit hour for graduate degree programs available at the university’s education center sites and online.
“Wisdom Warrior has been incredible,” he says. “The discount essentially matches the cost of Air Force tuition assistance, which allows service members to attend Florida Tech tuition-free with the promise of an additional two years of service after graduation.”
While programs like this are a perk, Conner joined the military to give back to the country he loves.
“This nation has given me unparalleled opportunities and freedoms,” Conner says. “I believe serving in the military is the best way I can ensure that these freedoms and opportunities are available to generations of Americans to come.”
Having married, moved to Florida and started a new job in the last year, balancing life with his continued education has been tough. His engineering-intensive coursework thus far has been challenging, but he looks forward to the management side of the course next semester and is on track to graduate in summer 2020.
“Ultimately, my educational goal is to never stop learning and always pursue my passions for space, technology, business and, most importantly, our freedoms.”