“One of the best things about the professors was their willingness and flexibility to work around military schedules, whether we’re sent overseas on deployments or on last minute trips to other countries.”
Advises Leaders and Communicates Career Changes at Air Force Base
Matthew Heenan is the career assistance advisor at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He’s the key advisor to base leaders, communicating retention and career changes while reinforcing Air Force benefits to officers and enlisted corps. Heenan is a 17-year member of the United States Air Force and received the John L. Levitow leadership award in Airman Leadership school. During his time in the military, he’s been named Airman Instructor of the Year (2005), Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year (2016) and received the Lance P. Sijan Leadership award for Peterson Air Force Base (2016).
Heenan chose to pursue a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership at Argosy University, Denver because the school offered a flexible schedule that included nights and weekends. “Argosy University provided me with a sound foundation in organizational leadership,” he said. “The faculty are truly amazing. Dr. Richter, in particular, stood out for his ability to take the curriculum and translate it into today's society. Instead of just teaching, he would allow for open discussions and debate.”
He also appreciated Argosy University’s military inclusiveness. “One of the best things about the professors was their willingness and flexibility to work around military schedules, whether we were sent overseas on deployments or on last minute trips to other countries.” Heenan understood the need for that flexibility because he had been deployed to the Middle East with only 24-hour notice.
Heenan utilized military education benefits to help to pay for his higher education. His educational path began at Peru State University on a partial football scholarship—but at the time, according to Heenan, he didn’t have the discipline to balance football and academics. He lost his scholarship and worked in a casino for two years before joining the United States Air Force. “I've traveled all over the world and I've taken full advantage of the educational benefits that the military offers,” he stated.
Heenan admits that his education at Argosy University, Denver was challenging. “I had to think outside of the box along with changing my way of thinking,” he said. “The faculty challenged me to not only meet my limits but also to jump past them.” He describes his capstone seminar as a pivotal moment in his education—he’d designed a business plan that he believed would be easy to implement in the real world. But when he discussed the plan with his instructor, he found that he’d overlooked many business details—and was forced to review and plan further. The experience shaped the way he looks at situations today. “I would advise anyone who is looking at a degree to consider Argosy University as one of their top choices.”
He encouraged current students to stick with the program, even during difficult times. “Keep in constant contact with your instructors because they will do their best to work with you as long as you are putting forth the effort,” he said.
Heenan enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when he earned his degree. “Seeing the look on my dad's face when I walked across the stage gave me chills,” he added. “Few senior non-commissioned officers have a master’s degree in the Air Force. For me to have earned one is a huge accomplishment.”
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