Alumni Spotlight: Chris Jensen

Jensen Gives His All for a "Green" Degree


By Stephanie Edwards |   October 2010

Chris Jensen , Alumnus

While pursuing his MS in environmental management at UMUC, Chris Jensen had two heart attacks, four stents, and an angioplasty—but this didn’t stop him from reaching his goal. After much support and determination, Chris walked across the stage to receive his diploma at UMUC’s 2007 Commencement. 

Chris became a UMUC student in 1977, taking undergraduate on-site classes  at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa while on active duty with the California Air National Guard. On top of this, Chris was upgrading his professional rating within the logistics field by taking classes and correspondence courses, as well as participating in various wartime exercises. There were even times when he was taking undergraduate and graduate courses at the same time.

His early UMUC experience was so positive that he returned—almost three decades later—to pursue his master’s degree. “The teachers, textbooks, and studies were both challenging and very enjoyable. I always remembered that when I applied for Graduate School, the administration had all of my records!”

Chris began his Master of Science in environmental management in 2005. It was during this time that his health took a turn for the worse. He experienced two heart attacks, but was determined to  complete his UMUC courses while in recovery.  “Nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal of an MS and a new career in cleantech,” said Chris.

He raves about the professors and quality of coursework at UMUC, as well as the understanding nature of his professors. Chris noted that the UMUC professors were excellent, the study groups connected to real life projects were fun, the textbooks were interesting, and the studies were enjoyable as well as challenging. “My professors were extremely understanding [when I was sick], even when I had to drop out for one semester. I will always feel truly blessed to have been at UMUC!  I am your number one fan.”

Chris says his master’s from UMUC, combined with his undergraduate degree, have “absolutely been helpful” in his professional life. He is optimistic about his career with cleantech and green technologies, which he loves so much he also considers it a hobby. “My studies over the past two and a half years brought out some great writing and research capabilities that I have used in both professional and personal life.”

He believes firmly that his degree will take him far in the cleantech field, working more with green technologies—the behind-the-scenes software, hardware, and other technologies that monitor the emissions of environmental pollutants. Armed with his UMUC degree, Chris is excited to break into this growing industry.

Chris advises prospective students to carefully look into their field of interest. He suggests that they talk to people in their prospective field to see if they like it and if it is right for them. After that, he recommends students to check  the UMUC curriculum for that career and see if it is a match for you. “If all of these things match up, then go for it,” he said.

As for Chris, he knows he’s chosen the right university and the right field. “My over thirty years of experience with UMUC has been an exceptional one. I was always impressed with the faculty, IT help if I needed it, administration, materials, and the subjects,” said Chris. “ I recommend UMUC highly.”