Military-Affiliated Wildcat Highlight
The second student highlighted on our Military and Veteran Services blog is Charity Reed. Charity graduated from Fall Mountain Regional High School in Langdon, New Hampshire in 2006 and then briefly attended Temple University. Charity returned from her time at Temple and continued her education at a local community college. But, while accompanying a friend to a recruiter’s office, Charity learned about a math centered program they offered and joined the Navy as a member of the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program. This program consists of four rates: nuclear electronics technician, nuclear machinist’s mate, nuclear electrician's mate, and engineering laboratory technician. Charity was pleased to discover during Boot Camp that she had been selected to train as an electronics technician.
In January of 2010, Charity began her yearlong training starting with Nuclear Field A school and followed by Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina. For her third school in January of 2011, she returned to South Carolina for the Nuclear Propulsion Program Prototype School. During her time in Nuclear Propulsion training, Charity qualified to become a reactor operator and applied to become a staff member while she was finishing her time as a student. After training students for about a year as a junior staff member, Charity was reassigned to Japan and was subsequently stationed on the USS George Washington.
While stationed on the USS George Washington, Charity completed two feats that are generally unheard of. First, Charity was promoted above many of her peers to Petty Officer First Class, the sixth enlisted rank in the Navy and a competitive noncommissioned officer rank, in under four and a half years. Second, Charity completed all requirements to be designated a qualified reactor operator and shutdown reactor operator on the USS George Washington in a single deployment. Furthermore, while stationed on the USS George Washington, her sea deployments brought her to Singapore, South Korea, Southern Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, a variety of other stops throughout Asia, and even a turn around Cape Horn through Drake’s Passage and the Strait of Magellan at the southernmost tip of South America, giving her the opportunity to see parts of the world she had previously only read about.
In November 2015, the USS George Washington docked in Norfolk, Virginia, and after refueling was delayed, becoming a training ship for local squadrons for a year. It was at this point Charity decided that, after eight years, it was time to move on from the Navy and continue her education. She first returned to New Hampshire to spend time with family and friends before looking for a university to attend. Ultimately, she decided to attend the University of New Hampshire because it is close to her family but was thrilled to discover that UNH is also a highly reputable engineering school and is one of the only schools in New Hampshire that offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
Before jumping right back into school in Fall 2018, Charity decided to take some time off and enjoy life. During this brief respite from her working life, Charity decided to finally go on the backpacking trip through Europe she had been dreaming of since her first foray into college education. While planning the trip she was made aware of an amazing internship at UNH through the InterOperability Lab, to which she applied and was hired. Her supervisor Curtis Donahue at the lab was very supportive of her dream and allowed her to take the time off. So, in June of 2018, following a friend’s wedding, Charity set off on a two-month expedition through Europe, hitting up Amsterdam, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Venice, and Tuscany, just to name a few of her stops.
Charity flew home from Ireland on a Sunday afternoon in August 2018 and launched straight into her UNH coursework classes that following Monday. During her first semester at UNH, Charity took five classes, and after maintaining Dean’s List for Highest Honors (on which she has remained), she was then given the go-ahead from her advisor and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences to take a full 20 credits each semester and add a double minor in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. Charity shares a mentality that many benefiting from the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill share, stating “If my education is being paid for, I’m going to use it to its fullest.”
In Spring 2019, the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences encouraged their students to apply for available scholarships. Based on her application, Charity was recently awarded the George F. and Lina C. Fisher Scholarship for $5,900. This scholarship is named after George Fisher, Class of 1950, who became a prominent engineer, executive, and entrepreneur after his time at UNH. Charity had a wonderful time receiving her scholarship at the awards ceremony on September 27th and would like to thank the Dean of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Charles Zercher, and her advisor, Dr. Carter, again for their part in helping her receive this scholarship. “I really appreciate that the College of Engineering and Physical Science—in particular the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department—did whatever they have to do behind the scenes to make it so that I was able to get that scholarship.”
On behalf of the Military and Veterans’ Service Center, congratulations on your scholarship and multiple achievements, Charity!