Among the graduate student population at the Cox School of Business, 69 students are currently active duty in, or veterans of, the U.S. Armed Forces. Their military service has come during the global war on terrorism. As the fall 2021 semester got underway, America marked 20 years since the beginning of that conflict, Sept. 11, 2001. Our active duty military and veterans — students, alumni, faculty and staff members — are truly allies in every sense of the word and Allies for Cox. We asked a cross section of current graduate students who’ve served in the war on terror what they would like all of us to know about their time in military service.

Corbin C. Anderson

Former Captain, Aviation Officer and UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot in the U.S. Army
Full-Time Two-Year MBA in finance, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from Westlake, TX

“I had the honor of serving with amazing leaders, soldiers and aviators who came from all different walks of life. Those individuals I served with helped mold me to become a successful officer and junior leader in the Army. People are the Army’s most important asset. I was blessed to serve with leaders of character who were incredibly smart, tough and diverse, and who had the ability to solve incredibly complex and time-sensitive problems. I will forever be grateful for the individuals with whom I had the privilege to serve and who continue to serve our country.”

W. Joe Beeby

Former First Lieutenant, Amphibious Assault/Armor, in the U.S. Marine Corps
Full-Time Two-Year MBA in general business, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from Dallas, TX

“The heart of the United States military is made up of 18-year-old enlisted Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. Serving alongside and leading those young warriors is a humbling and life-changing experience that I will always be grateful for. The American people should know and be proud of the fact that our wars are fought and won primarily by these inspiring young men and women who represent the very best of our nation.”

Tina Cathey

Former Captain, Signal Corps in the U.S. Army; former National Guard
Executive MBA (EMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from military bases around the world (military family)

“My success in the business world is directly related to the lessons learned while serving in the Army. When pay and job title are non-negotiable, as it is in the military, critical lessons such as selfless service, overcoming adversity, leadership and accountability were tested and learned because failure is simply not an option. I’ve relied on these learned skills throughout my time in corporate America and while in the Executive MBA program at SMU. The Army provided me the means through an ROTC scholarship to get my bachelor’s degree and critical leadership skills applicable both in and out of the Army. Fourteen years after serving, the Army still continues to support my educational journey via the Post-9/11 GI Bill as I work to complete my MBA.”

Andrew W. Charapko

Former Captain in the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery
Full-Time Two-Year MBA in general business, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from New York, NY

“We all joined the military for a variety of reasons, and we all left the military for a variety of reasons, too. While there are many ways that the veteran community appears homogenous and can fit into similar buckets of experiences, we each go down different paths that lead us to and from service. While not everyone served themselves, many people have friends and family who served, which helps to diversify and expand the number of people who can relate to the veteran experience. I hope that all people feel comfortable talking about their experiences in an accessible and productive manner so that we can help to normalize the veteran experience and reduce the civilian-military divide.”

Angelo Gnodle

Current Captain in the U.S. Army’s Adjutant General Corps
Full-Time Two-Year MBA in general business, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from Prescott, AZ

“Just like anything in life, perspective is everything. There will be many great times and just as many not-so-great times, so how you mentally approach each situation will set the tone for how you feel as you go through it. It’s this thought process that keeps me motivated to serve.”

Glenn McQuown

Former Lieutenant Colonel, Aviation Branch, in the U.S. Army
Executive MBA (EMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from Brookville, PA

“I am proud to have served our nation during a challenging time while participating in post-9/11 operations. The Army is people, and I was humbled to have been given the responsibility to lead our country’s sons and daughters in different leadership roles and challenging environments. I could not have asked for a more challenging and fulfilling first career of service and team to be on. SMU and the Cox School of Business have been instrumental in my transition journey. I have been inspired by the people and challenged by the curriculum. I cannot say ‘thank you’ enough.”

Hayden Meredith

Former Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry
Executive MBA (EMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from Dallas, TX

“Veterans leave the military with tremendous qualities — hard work, loyalty, participating in diverse teams, courage — and they’ve been through an experience that is more foreign to your background than you realize. You should ask them about it. Their stories will expose an entire world to you. The big secret veterans have is this: They feel your experiences are completely foreign to them as well. Oftentimes, they don’t know how to engage you. I encourage you to take the first step.”

Bobby Panchisin

Former Captain in the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery
Online MBA (OMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from Downingtown, PA

“Looking back on my military service, I didn’t realize how much fun I really had. When you’re in the service, you are constantly focusing on the next mission at hand, so you don’t get to enjoy it as much. The reality is, though, I’ve made lifelong friends from all over the world, and I genuinely enjoyed getting to work with people of different backgrounds in locations that I would have never experienced if I stayed at home.”

Destiny Perez

Former E-6 Aircraft Maintenance Technician and Instructor for the Air Education and Training Command in the U.S. Air Force
MA/MBA in Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from San Marcos, TX

“Military service afforded me time to figure out who I was and what I wanted in life. A mentor once asked, ‘If you could only do one thing the rest of your life and you never got paid for it, yet you’d still be happy, what would that be?’ Thanks to that question, I changed my undergraduate degree to focus on my passion for dance. Later in my service, as an instructor, I learned I love teaching as much as I love learning. If I could share one thing with you, it’s to ask yourself the same question. Find your passion.”

José Ruiz

Former Lieutenant Commander and Pilot in the U.S. Navy
Online MBA (OMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from Puerto Rico

“Serving my country was a privilege I hold no regrets toward. The lessons I learned working with the Navy were many, but some stand out more than others. The U.S. Navy gave me newfound resilience, values of integrity and commitment, leadership skills and a strong work ethic that I would never forget and that will always guide me in what I want to do in life, personally and professionally. My experience as a Navy officer shaped me as a person, and I can attribute much of my success in life to my time in military service.”

Stephen Stuart

Former Sergeant (E-5) in the U.S. Army
Online MBA (OMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from Houston, TX

“The military has been in my family for years. My grandfather, Louis Lynn Stuart, served 35 years in the Army and retired as a brigadier general. My father served in the Army Reserve, and my brother served active-duty Army for eight years. Putting the U.S. Army uniform on every day, serving my country and defending our nation’s freedom is one of the proudest moments of my life. My time here at SMU as a student-veteran has been great. There are numerous resources available to help me out with my academics and military benefits. I’m looking forward to the next two years of grad school and can’t wait to graduate.”

Kolby Vaverka

Former Captain in the U.S. Army, Infantry and Military Intelligence
Full-Time Two-Year MBA in business analytics and supply chain and operations management, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from Midwest City, OK

“Transitioning out of the military is hard. It is easy to feel isolated as a veteran, leaving behind the familiarity of the military and taking the leap of faith to start a new career in business. Having a tight-knit and supportive community at Cox that rallies behind veterans and other diversity groups is critical to our success. Engaging with veterans and allowing us to share our experiences and ask questions does a lot to promote acceptance and inclusion. Some of my classmates who served in the military have incredible stories and unique skills that would bring immense value to any organization.”

Brandon Venturini

Former Lieutenant and Supply Corps Officer in the U.S. Navy
Professional MBA (PMBA) in general business, anticipated graduation 2022
Originally from Grand Rapids, MI

“Being in the military is certainly not an easy job. Long hours, lots of time spent away from family and less-than-ideal living situations most of the time. For me, it was a lot of time on a ship, patrolling the Middle East and Southeast Asia. I am very happy and proud to have served, and I am thankful for the experiences and people I met along the way. More so, I am grateful for all the men and women who selflessly serve to keep us safe.”

Drewnard (“D”) Woods

Current Combat Airlifter, E6 rank, in the U.S. Air Force Reserve
Professional MBA (PMBA) in real estate/finance, anticipated graduation 2023
Originally from Chicago, IL

“Coming from the South Side of Chicago, it’s a war zone in itself. I chose to join the Air Force because I knew it would challenge me mentally and would propel me forward in other ways, such as being able to pursue a career in business, to look sharp, give attention to detail and be willing to show up early even if that means waiting around a bit. I’ve gained other great attributes, too. Most importantly, I knew I was joining something that I would be proud of the rest of my life, and that maybe one day, I would be able to tell my story to encourage others to join the ranks of the world’s greatest Air Force.”

Read about SMU Military Veterans and Cox Veterans in Business efforts to create a plaque at SMU honoring veterans of the global war on terrorism, as well as the Cox School’s enhanced Yellow Ribbon Program scholarship opportunities for veterans.

Nominate a Cox Ally at