Ronald Colwell, Jr.

Ronald Colwell, Jr. - Associate in Arts; Associate in General Studies; Arizona General Education Curriculum

Ronald Colwell Jr.Ronald Colwell, Jr. - Associate in Arts; Associate in General Studies; Arizona General Education Curriculum Army Veteran Pursues his Goal to Teach History Associate's in Arts; Arizona General Education Curriculum

Retired 22-year Army veteran Ron Colwell overcame many obstacles on his path to higher education, but he’s on his way now with the recent acceptance into Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

After he graduates from Mesa Community College in May, he’ll enter ASU to pursue his goal of completing a bachelor’s and eventually a master’s degree in secondary education that will enable him to teach history. Colwell, who manages post-traumatic stress disorder, said he has loved the quiet, low-key environment of MCC Red Mountain.

“I’m excited to graduate in May and go to ASU,” Colwell said. “Going to school in your 40s with PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other physical limitations takes twice as much effort as a normal person.” Colwell said he relied upon his wife Arlie, for support and encouragement, as well as Student Services Coordinator Bev Maxton, who works in Red Mountain’s Disability Resources and Services Department. “I would talk to Bev when I got discouraged,” Colwell said. “She would bring me back to reality.”

He also enjoyed his time with psychology instructor Gayla Preisser, Ph.D. “Dr. Preisser is a great person,” Colwell said. “We talked a lot. She encouraged my research in the psychology field.”

He said he thinks his experience mentoring young soldiers throughout his career will be beneficial when he becomes an educator. Colwell, born into a military family, has lived all over the world with his family and while serving in the Army.

Colwell encourages other veterans to consider MCC Red Mountain to further their education. He said determination is the key.

“Develop your plan, stay with it and utilize every resource available,” he said. “Don’t get discouraged.”