As a combat veteran with an undergraduate degree from the Virginia Military Institute and a master’s degree from George Mason University, Martin Crawford isn’t your typical community college student.
With some G.I. Bill money left to spend, and a desire to become better versed in information technology, Crawford decided to enroll at LFCC this fall.
“I want to learn how to write code,” says Crawford, who is a property and database manager for a systems integration company.
The tech gurus at his job advised him to learn how to code in SQL, or structured query language.
“I really enjoy the SQL class,” Crawford says. “I think Instructor Mark Sunderlin is fantastic, entertaining. He will help you out. I really, really enjoy him.
He originally planned to obtain a certificate in database administration, but has decided to go for an associate degree, and maybe possibly a second bachelor’s degree, applying some additional credits he earned at the University of Virginia. At U.Va., he earned a certificate in contracts and procurement.
Crawford, who lives in Vint Hill, earned a bachelor’s degree in history and international studies at VMI, and a master’s in international commerce and economics at GMU.
After three years of active duty with the U.S. Army, Crawford spent nearly two more decades in the National Guard, retiring in 2013 as a sergeant first class. The Texas native was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Crawford acknowledges it’s hard work juggling work, family life and going back to school. A compressed class in networking was particularly challenging.
“It was overwhelming,” he says. “With nine credit hours and full-time work, it was killing me. I muddled through it, which was good.”