Military and Veteran Testimonials

Colin McNulty

Colin McNulty 
(History)

I applied to Villanova while deployed to Afghanistan.  I studied history as an undergraduate and wanted to continue to pursue my passion for the field. When I learned about the Revolution concentration at Villanova I was intrigued by the versatility of the program.  While in the MA program I have studied European Historiography, Public History, The US Civil War, Tolstoy’s War & Peace, 19 Century Ireland, 20th Century Europe, as well as a Student Teaching Internship for the course Empire, Violence and Revolution.  A real life dream came true Summer 2012 when I went to Egypt with Villanova students and faculty to study the History of the Armarna Revolution. There are simply just so many amazing opportunities in the history program at Villanova. The MA degree opens doors well beyond that of undergraduate studies.

Alicia Lacy
(Public Administration, Online)

What can I not say about Villanova’s MPA program? Though extremely challenging, the program has been a great addition to my learning and professional development. Being in the military with an erratic schedule, I loved the ability to attend class from anywhere in the world. This has been tremendously beneficial as I did not have to miss class, fall behind, or take time off from school.  The administration and professors are very understanding and without them or the flexibility of the online program, I would not be preparing for graduation right now. The diversity of classmates and their experiences, in addition to the wealth of knowledge and insight the professors provided was a beneficial aspect of the program and added to my knowledge of the public administration field. 

Leo Spaeder

Leo Spaeder
(Political Science)

After graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.  I deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom iand Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  In Iraq, I worked with local civilian contractors to transfer Marine battle positions to the Iraqi Police as part of the U.S. withdrawal.  While in Afghanistan, I coordinated the deployment of a battalion of soldiers.After returning from Afghanistan, I was transferred to a Marine Corps Reserve unit where I currently serve. 

I  have been pursing a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science part-time at Villanova.The opportunity to study at Villanova has not only made me more competitive for promotion but also has provided insight on the processes that lead to the deployment of the U.S. military throughout the world.  The faculty and fellow students here at Villanova have been nothing but supportive and their diverse opinions have expanded my outlook on a variety of issues.  It has been a rewarding experience that undoubtedly has made me a better Marine Officer.

Eric Swanson
(Political Science)

Nine years after I commissioned as an Army Officer and UH-60 aviator, I got out of the military. Priority number one was to increase my academic qualifications to make my military experience more valuable to civilian employers. With the generosity of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I chose Villanova because it offered outstanding academics, a welcoming campus culture, and a graduate tuition rate that is completely covered. Deciding to attend Villanova has been one of the best decisions of my life.

A Master’s in Political Science (International Relations Concentration) will be extremely valuable for a post-military career. First, political science has taught me the theory that underpins my military experiences. In addition, the Villanova professors and fellow students engage the veterans in the class so they can learn from our experiences. It is a great mutual benefit that everyone provides for each other and it makes class exceptional. Second, it has been beneficial to learn from all of my fellow students’ diverse viewpoints during classroom discussions, and Villanova students are high-speed. Finally, Villanova has been valuable because of its excellent student programs and services. From being a Research Graduate Assistant, to a member of the Graduate Student Council, and the Student Veterans Association; Villanova has been more than a school, it has been a great community. I know the education and experiences I have gained at Villanova will help me land a great career.

Sean Halbom
(Public Administration, On-campus)

I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from  High School.  I served five years, mostly as a Marine Embassy Guard in the United Arab Emirates, Germany, and Cuba.  After leaving the Marine Corps in 2009, I attended Penn State University where I earned a B.A. in Crime, Law, and Justice.

After graduating from Penn State, I accepted a position with Montgomery County Office of Veterans Affairs where I currently serve as the Acting Director.  In the summer of 2012, I was accepted at Villanova where I am pursuing my Master’s in Public Administration.

Studying at Villanova has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.  My classmates and instructors share a wealth of knowledge that has enabled me to improve my performance at work, build new relationships with community stakeholders, and gain new perspectives on how services are delivered to the veterans of Montgomery County.

Click here to read veteran-student testimonials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.