Omaha Blog

Teaching Student Soldiers on a Military Base

By  Stephen Issac, Veteran and Professor at Purdue Global

My name is Stephen Isaac. I am an adjunct math instructor at Purdue Global, Omaha. I have been an instructor here for nearly 8 years.

In addition to the experience of teaching at Purdue Global, I spent a 6 years of my Air Force career as an instructor for navigators and bombardiers on B-52s at Carswell AFB, Texas. I retired from the Air Force in 1991 as a Lieutenant Colonel with nearly 5,000 hours in the B-52 as a navigator/bombardier.

My love of math developed at a young age when my dad, a banker, started shorting me on my allowance. Since then, math has been a hobby as well as a passion. During by three tours in Vietnam, I took calculus by correspondence for fun. It helped that the electronic warfare officer on my crew was a physicist from MIT.

I used the GI Bill to fund a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Chapman University, a master’s degree in liberal arts from Texas Christian University, and a master’s degree in mathematics from Creighton University.

My last assignment in the Air Force was at Offutt AFB as part of the Nuclear Planners. Specifically, data maintenance for the planners, including targets, threat laydown, and sortie profiles. After retiring I went to work for Northrup Grumman creating the computer support and integration of the B-2, stealth bomber into our Nuclear Triad.

At Purdue Global, I prefer the classroom environment that I am currently enjoying at the Lincoln National Guard. The online classes are enjoyable, but I appreciate the face-to-face interactions. The military environment is especially conducive to learning. The military training and discipline encourage attentiveness, a desire to learn, and the importance of success. My own experiences in the classroom during my tour of duty make me aware of the unique obstacles that service to our country can have on routine educational requirements. In my case, I completed my master’s degree while TDY to California.

Purdue Global is aware of the unique circumstances and opportunities students in the military face. The University is willing to work with our military to assure a great education while on active duty.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author(s) and are not attributable to Purdue Global.