Third Year Transfer Student, Global Studies
By Marge Perko
Where did you grow up and when did you sign up for the military?
I was fortunate enough to grow up here in Santa Barbara.
I enlisted in the Army in 2010 as an infantryman and served in two major positions. First, as a designated marksman in a security role for intelligence gathering missions. Second, I served as a senior scout observer in a long range surveillance company.
I served in Kandahar Province from 2011 to 2012 where I was involved in a vehicle rollover that resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
This has altered some aspects of my day to day life such as my memory…what are we talking about again?
What drew you to study at UC Santa Barbara?
Prior to my military service, I never thought that I would end up at UC Santa Barbara.
I let my mind make up invisible walls that would prevent someone like me attending a university like UCSB.
After being discharged, I finally took the reins of my education. I began at Santa Barbara City College and realized that the transfer requirements to UCSB were really straightforward…so here I am.
I am majoring in global studies. A professor at SBCC really turned me on to the subject. I cannot get enough of trying understand the forces behind many global issues today.
My professional ambitions are to get into government work that deals with global issues, and to have a job that allows me to travel.
What are some challenges you face as a student parent at UC Santa Barbara? What help and guidance has the VRC been able to share with you during your time at UCSB?
Being a parent in college is hard. Hats off to anyone that has done this. There really is a juggling act going on.
There are many days when I know I should be doing more studying. At the same time, I also should be spending time with my daughter, who is experiencing all the new things in the world. Relaxing has really been eliminated from my schedule.
The VRC on campus is really a great resource. If you have a personal problem -- whether it is navigating the maze that is the VA, or you just want to know about a path to a master's degree -- someone in there will come to your aid to help. That is what really makes the VRC so helpful.
What can you say about the group of students you’ve met at the Veterans Resource Center?
All the veterans are great in the VRC. We have a wide variety of vets that beyond "signing on the line." Many have little in common. However, the camaraderie is present. Everyone wants to see each other succeed in what ever field they choose.