Becoming part of the IU community
Joshua admits he feels traditional undergraduates sometimes aren't quite sure what to make of him, with his tattoos and scars, and the generational differences, but that has not stopped him from becoming engaged with the IU community. Since beginning classes at IU Bloomington, Joshua, in collaboration with another military veteran, initiated a support group for veterans within the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. In addition, he says, "The McNair Scholars program has given me the opportunity to participate with researchers on various projects on campus, and also the opportunity to present at conferences, symposiums, and different seminars across the US."
Balancing school and other responsibilities
Simultaneously working and attending school can pose challenges for any student. Joshua eventually stopped working so he could balance the intricate graduate school application process with his academic and family responsibilities, and so he could set an example for his son "to emulate later in life."
As a nontraditional student – in his case, an older, first generation college student, with a child, and coming from a military background – Joshua likes "standing out." He is proud of having overcome personal difficulties, and "proud that I'm not a traditional student. I have 3 little sisters and a son who are watching, and are inspired by the fact that I am a first generation college student in my family."
Some advice, in Joshua's own words
“What I would tell other students is, get involved in a group. My first year I tried the party scene and it just didn't work out….Then I got involved with SVA (Student Veterans of America), and that helped considerably. In my second year, it was easier to adapt to the college lifestyle. Don't feel like you’re the only one [facing challenges], because I assure you that you’re not….Luckily, we have many resources on campus that I don't think many students realize are available to any student, traditional or not. Also, I've been told I appear to be mean, but I'm actually one of the nicest guys you'll ever met!”
Favorite places to study
"The computer labs at Informatics West, 4th floor classroom at Wells Library and Graduate Division on the 5th floor, the computer lab in the apartment complex behind the SRSC."
Favorite campus eatery
"Anywhere with a microwave."
Favorite IU tradition
"Cycling – Bloomington is the only community I’ve resided in that really appreciates the bicycle culture."