“I wish I had gone to college immediately after high school,” said Shane, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy upon graduation from Lafayette High School in 1989.

Still, military duty proved to be good educational experience itself. While stationed in various locales, Shane enjoyed learning about other cultures, lifestyles and languages. As a result, he speaks some Italian, Spanish and Arabic. He traveled extensively throughout Europe during his tours of duty in Scotland, Italy, and Bahrain in the Middle East, where he was stationed during the Gulf War.

Trained by the Navy in radio communications, Shane felt it was a natural move into information technology. “It’s an area I’m warm and fuzzy with,” said Shane laughing. “Any field you pursue requires computer knowledge.”

A version of this story first appeared in The Oneida, Vol. 8, No. 5 in May 1997

Navy Veteran Pursues Master’s Degree

Eight years ago, Shane Hill (Wolf Clan) was living in Poughkeepsie, working as an information technology specialist at IBM Global Services. As a recent graduate of Syracuse University, Shane planned to return to the school eventually to earn a master’s degree in information science, followed by law school.

Today, Shane is still living in Poughkeepsie, but he has a revised goal, one he decided upon when life – as oftentimes happens – interrupted his game plan. Shane was the victim of a layoff at IBM. But it was during this trying time that Shane professes to have found his life’s vocation.

“I was an instructor at a vocational school, and I fell in love with teaching,” said Shane, who grew up on the Nation’s Territory in a trailer he picked out with his family. “I think it’s the job satisfaction that I like about teaching. I like planting a seed and watching it grow.”

Currently enrolled in his third semester at Marist College, Shane has two more semesters until he earns his master’s in information systems. After graduation, he plans to work toward a doctorate at either New York University or Columbia University. His ultimate aspiration is to become a college professor.

“I’ll still be in the information technology field, but I’ll be giving back,” said Shane, a Navy veteran, who was stationed in Bahrain during the 1991 Gulf War. “I want to watch people flourish.”

“I’ve been out of school for 10 years, and it was kind of intimidating going back. But I’m finally where I need to be and I’m doing it for myself. I want to encourage everyone to continue learning. Education is the key.”

A version of this story first appeared in The Oneida, Issue 4, Vol. 10 in Oct/Nov 2007