Meet Melissa Jackson.
Year and major: Sophomore/Nursing
Hometown: Born in Memphis, Tenn., raised in Jacksonville.
Branch/Rank: U.S. Navy/E4/Petty Officer 3rd Class
Service: 4 years in service: 3 active-duty, currently an active reservist. Stationed in San Diego, attached to Tacron-12 deployed to Japan, performed Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii.
Tell us about your service experience. Joining the military was a challenge. I had to learn how to go from being a civilian to a soldier/sailor and protector of this country. I had to learn how to carry myself in a more honorable manner that wouldn’t bring discredit upon the service. I love that I have been able to travel to different places and meet amazing people. I’ve learned about other cultures and environments, and that has helped me to adjust easily to changes in my everyday life. I’ve also become more fit and aware of my health. Participating in physical training programs in the military three days per week, performing emergency response team exercises and performing physical fitness tests have allowed me to maintain a level of fitness and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Any favorite classes? Criminology with Prof. Shelley Grant. She’s an amazing teacher and makes the class interesting with her thought-provoking questions and stories from her experience in the criminal justice field. The class has inspired me to want to further a career in criminal justice.
Tell us about JU’s role in your transition to civilian life. JU has made the transition from military to civilian life very easy. I spoke with a VA rep upon my admittance, and they helped me continue the use of my G.I. Bill and made sure all my paperwork was complete. The process at the school in general has been pain-free.
What sets JU apart? The fact that JU is a small private school with teachers and faculty who truly care about the students sets it apart from other universities. They have so much to offer with activities and clubs. The learning environment is great. My teachers are friendly and helpful. The VA reps are friendly and helpful as well.
Meet the other students we’re recognizing during the Month of Heroes, learn more about our military students and alumni here on Wave Magazine, or visit the Veterans and Military Resource Center online to learn how JU serves those who’ve served.