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FEB 2017

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54 G.I. JOBS | FEBRUARY 2017 | GIJOBS.COM MASTER SGT. KEN ROBERTS had just started taking online college class- es in 2001 when his studies were inter- rupted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He continued to take online classes over the years and just completed his bachelor's degree in dietetics in May 2016 at the Kansas State University Global Campus. In the 15 years it took to earn his degree, Roberts studied online from all over the world – Japan, Thailand, Korea, Guam, Philippines, Tinian and on board USS Nassua while deployed to the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Galveston, Texas. He even studied during a four-month goodwill cruise to South America. "I recall doing chemistry in Thailand after working 14-hour days, doing organic chemistry while traveling through Korea and Saipan," he says. While he initially pursued a busi- ness degree, Roberts' focus shifted while working as a Marine Corps drill instructor at Parris Island. He was selected to train other mar- tial arts instructors and began a self-study on nutrition. "I learned the impact food has on physical performance and mental clarity," he says. He applied what he learned to his martial arts students, and even- tually to running, Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) and triathlons. Roberts will retire from the Marine Corps in June 2017, going on terminal leave in April. He hopes to complete an internship with the VA in St. Louis and attend graduate school. He is married to an Air Force veteran and has three children. We talked to Roberts about the challenges and advantages of earning an online degree while on active duty. Globetrotting Marine earns an online degree in dietetics while on active duty. STUDY IN PERSISTENCE EDU STUDENT SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT "I needed an online program that was accredited and worth the time and money."

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