Hometown: Clinton, MS
Meridian Community College transfer student
BA in Economics (2003)
Why/when did you decide to study economics at UM?
Economics became an interest of mine at Meridian Community College, where I had an inspirational instructor in my first econ classes. Also, as a social/business science, I see economics as a study of why people make the decisions they make, which is fascinating to me.
What were some significant experiences or fond memories of your time at UM?
I played baseball, earning second team All-SEC honors. I mostly played first base and designated hitter, with some outfield mixed in occasionally. I was Coach Mike Bianco’s first signee when he came to Ole Miss, and I played with Coach Carl Lafferty during my time on the Rebel baseball squad. I was so excited to watch our team win the National Championship this year!
In my junior year, we had a former ambassador to South Korea speak to our class. It was fascinating to hear him discuss the motivating factors affecting the decision making of North and South Korea.
Also, I was in the student union at Ole Miss watching live TV when the second plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001. That event marked my life in ways I couldn’t comprehend at the time. I have been in the military for 19 yrs now, with much of my time involved in the fallout from that devastating day.
Please describe your educational/career path since graduation from UM.
After completing my economics degree at UM, I began a pursuit of military aviation. I was selected for pilot training, and completed Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base in 2005. In the military, I have flown the T-37, T-1, KC-135, and C-17(current). The highlight of my flying career has been the solemn honor of flying hundreds of injured military members to the care they need on air evacuation missions out of combat zones.
I currently serve as the Commander, 183d Airlift Squadron in the Mississippi Air National Guard in Jackson.
I have competed a Masters in Public Administration from Troy University, along with various professional military education, including USAF Air War College.
What is the value of studying economics in today’s world?
I believe that the study of economics gives insight into human behavior, decision processes, influences, and outcomes. These analytical skills are transferable to many fields, and have helped me in understanding the forces affecting our society at the macro and micro level. I’m grateful for my economics education a Ole Miss, it has served me well!