SDI Student Veteran of the Quarter: Michael Thornburg

  • Drew Poplin

It is with great excitement that we announce Michael Thornburg, a veteran of the Marine Corps, as the Student Veteran of the Quarter.

Thornburg was nominated by SDI’s Director of Military and Veteran Services for his peer mentorship and community service/campus involvement. It was noted within the nomination that “Michael has volunteered countless hours organizing a group of students to form an SDI Student Veteran Group.”

Furthermore, Thornburg also participates in SDI’s monthly Rucksack Webinar, which aims to expand on SDI resources and address any military-connected student questions.

Peer Mentorship

The nomination also encompasses his efforts in peer mentorship, stating he “actively solicits advice from SDI faculty and staff members to help students succeed in and out of the classroom.”

Speaking with Michael’s student success coach, she recounts, “From the very beginning, Michael has been committed to doing his best and continues to do so. He is one of those students who finds a way to make things happen at work, school, and home.”

This is true as he continues to maintain an excellent academic performance by achieving a GPA of 4.0 and being awarded to SDI’s Dean’s List in all completed semesters this far, all while attending as a full-time student!

The Corps & SDI

It is clear where Michael’s commitment to helping and supporting those around him stemmed from. When we asked how his military service and experiences affect his life, he said that “My service in the Marine Corps practically created who I am today. It taught me how to dig deep in the hardest of times. The Corps showed me how to overcome obstacles and exceed expectations. They taught me that anything is possible if you have the heart and the drive.”

We also asked what his first experience with a firearm was and how it turned firearms into a passion. He answered, “I grew up competing with a long rifle as a teenager and competing in many states around the USA. I spent most of my life hunting with my father and friends. My passion for guns came to light through my current career. I engineer processes now for companies that make gun parts, and I felt I could do this for myself.”

Michael Shares Some Wisdom

Finally, we asked Michael to provide advice for fellow students and Service Members who are looking to accomplish their goals. To this he replied, “My most extensive advice is to concentrate on the task and not so much on the overall picture. The writing is sometimes challenging, but much like military life, everything is okay as long as you make it to the next chow. So, with that in mind, chow to chow (week to week). Work hard early in the week, and the stress of the work will reside.”

Please join us in celebrating Michael Thornburg’s past, present, and future service to SDI, communities, and our Country. We wish you continued success and hope you continue to “chow on” towards your full potential!

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