Finding Success as an Employee, Student and Soldier
As a leader in adult learning, Bellevue University knows the demands of life outside the classroom can make earning a degree even more challenging. The remarkable story of one Bellevue University student and employee showcases the perseverance that allowed him to serve our University, his educational goals, and first and foremost, our country. Meet Mike.
After a one year deployment in Iraq, Mike Damato has returned to his position as Safety Administrator at Bellevue University.
The deployment was Damato’s second during his nearly five years with the University. Damato’s relationship with the University began as a student in the Security Management bachelor’s degree completion program.
Following the events of 9/11, Damato learned from instructor Greg Allen that the University had created a new position dedicated to protecting the University, its students, and employees.
In 2003, Damato joined the Navy Reserves after a 17-year break in service (he was active duty Navy from 1976-85). "It was a call to do something," he said. "If I was in the reserves, it would free someone else to go fight the war." He was shocked when called to action, not just once, but twice.
Damato is grateful that he works for an organization where he can also do his part serving his country. "The University has been extremely supportive," he said. "My wife was able to complete her master’s degree during my first deployment, and I was able to complete mine during this last deployment."
While already successful in his career and service, Damato began the online master's program in Security Management before learning he would be deployed a second time. After a short break while preparing for the deployment, he was able to complete the degree while in Iraq utilizing the University’s exceptional online learning platform.
The University is proud of its commitment to those serving in the Armed Forces, here in Bellevue and Worldwide and their families. Bellevue University was recently named a Top 10 Military-Friendly College/University, and was selected as a participating school in the MyCAA program.
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