EKU Online student Rocky Lykins earned a bachelor’s degree in Corrections and is now working on his master’s degree in Adult, Juvenile & Community Corrections Leadership.
Military Service: Marines, supply clerk 1990-1994
What prompted you to return to school?
Being a single father and wanting to better myself, advance in my career, and make a better life for me and my son, Grayson, age 9.
Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?
Being an online student was somewhat difficult initially. I went back to school at 38, and I was balancing work and school with a fear of the unknown.
What has your experience been like at Eastern Kentucky University?
It’s been a great experience. I gained the knowledge and tools to be successful in my career, got two promotions (including my current position) and made lifelong friends.
Have you felt supported by the faculty and staff?
The most supportive and influential person was my undergrad advisor, Lucy (Lou) Martin. She also went back to school as a non-traditional student, so we had that in common. She always kept me motivated and was always there for me. Without her, I’m not sure I could have done it. Two professors who were very influential in my education were Dr. Betsy Matthews and her husband, Tim Matthews. Both work in the EKU Online Corrections program. They challenged me to think critically and open my mind about things.
Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student?
Yes, I believe it did. I was taught in the Marine Corps that anything is possible as long as you work hard for it and never, ever give up.
What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?
Go for it! You can do anything you set your mind to. If I can do it, you can do it.