Student Spotlight: Katrina Cooper

Katrina Cooper Follows in Her Father’s Footsteps

By Cheryl Balassone |   July 2010

Katrina Cooper , Student

With parents who were active duty in the United States Air Force, Katrina Cooper grew up traveling all over the world. She developed a keen interest in learning about the unique histories of the many places she lived and visited. That passion transpired into the pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in History from UMUC. Katrina expects to graduate this May and then become a historian in Washington, D.C.

Katrina, who has been in the Air Force for nearly six years, is currently stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California. She learned of UMUC from her father, who once attended the school. “My dad has been the biggest influence on me getting my education.” she says. “He retired from the military after 20 years of active-duty service, and then he went back to school and earned his degree.”Following in her father’s footsteps, Katrina enrolled through the base education office at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana in 2003. “I liked the flexibility of the classes at UMUC,” she says “I could either attend classes face-to-face or online.”

While duty requirements posed numerous challenges to Katrina’s education, she has found her UMUC experience to be tremendously rewarding. “When I moved to Kadena Air Base at Okinawa, the staff was very helpful in helping me transfer to the UMUC Asia program. When I deployed to Iraq, the UMUC team assisted me with my finals so that I would be able to complete my classes prior to my deployment. My advisor kept in touch with me the whole time I was gone and was able to get me enrolled as soon as I returned.”Katrina counts the flexibility of the class schedule and the helpful faculty and staff among UMUC’s many assets. “But the best thing about UMUC is being able to work with people all over the world and gain so many different perspectives on the subject material.”