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Becoming a student to be a better teacher

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

When Staff Sgt. Britteny Griffith, a 316th Training Squadron linguist instructor here, was presented with the opportunity to return to school full time to complete her bachelor's degree, she was thrilled.

The opportunity was presented by the Doolittle Scholarship Program, an agreement between Angelo State University and Goodfellow. Instructors from Goodfellow were selected to go to ASU for a full semester at no cost to the service member. The instructors left their duties for the semester and made school their only focus.

“The Doolittle Scholarship Program allowed me to dedicate time and focus on my personal goal,” said Griffith.

She had been attending school online for 13 years in short amounts as her career kept her busy most days. Through the scholarship program she earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with minors in psychology, sociology and English, in three months rather than three years.

Griffith has brought back many ideas she learned and applied them to her own classrooms.

“I tailored my classes specifically to meet the needs of my Air Force Specialty Code awarding course,” said Griffith. “So that my time at Angelo State University would benefit my personal and professional development.”

Being a student, rather than a teacher, opened up Griffith’s eyes to many of the things students experienced and enabled her to connect better with her own students.

ASU Veterans Specialist, Philip Nichelson, praised Griffith for being dedicated to her education. He believes that she is a great example of the benefits of the Doolittle Scholarship.

Being a test pilot for the Doolittle program, Griffith saw the benefits firsthand.

“I think this program’s greatest strength is that it synchronizes the needs of the Air Force with those of its Airmen,” said Griffith.

Griffith took courses which helped her refine her skills as an Air Education and Training Command instructor and as a noncommissioned officer. She not only reached personal goals, but met the needs of the Air Force.

Neither Nichelson nor Griffith knew anything about the program when it started. They were told to be flexible and the course would develop as it progressed.

Neither was prepared to see how effective the program turned out to be. The results created opportunities for Goodfellow members.

“I’ve been continually amazed at the work done between the leadership at the 17th Training Group and ASU,” said Griffith with a smile. “Particularly Maj. Boss as he heads up the initiative and the outstanding folks at ASU; the university president,  Dr. May, and the people at the Veterans Educational and Transitional Services Center, Mrs. Susan Williams and Mr. Phillip Nichelson. They have made the relationship between the two communities grow at a rate I could not have imagined. I think the future for this program is bright.”

Griffith will continue her education this summer to improve herself and her career.

“I’m excited to see where Britteny goes,” said Nichelson excitedly. “I think she’ll get her PHD next.”

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