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Student Spotlight: USAF Parachute Trainer Jeremy Horner Earning MSIS to Broaden Career Possibilities

Featured student: Technical Sergeant Jeremy Horner

Location: Colorado Springs, ColoradoJeremy Horner

Current job: US Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team at the United States Air Force Academy. “We teach cadets how to skydive and how to be a leader. They’ll do about 400-500 jumps with us, doing things like jumping at football games and air shows.”

Past job(s): Test parachutist at Edwards Air Force Base in California, working for special tactics training squadron teaching combat controllers who to jump out of planes and take over enemy airfields.

Family: Married with four daughters, ages 8, 6, 4, and 2 months.

Fun fact: Trained parachutists with the Columbian Air Force out of Bogota and the Romanian Air Force in Bucharest.

Why UTK?: “I’m from Dandridge, Tennessee ,and a bit from San Antonio, Texas. After college didn’t really work out the first time, I joined the Air Force to help pay for college. I really wanted a UT degree and there’s no undergraduate degree online for UT so you can’t be active duty and do it. I went to American Military University because they pay for books and it was the cheapest option. I’m at a place now where I don’t really travel other than sometimes to go to a football game with the cadets. I finished my undergrad and was super excited about maybe graduating from the University of Tennessee. I thought I could maybe graduate in orange, that’s the whole point of this!”

Why SIS?: “I sifted through the master’s degrees online and found the one that would work for me and my career. Then I looked at [Information Sciences] and it was certainly different. I looked at the data curation paths and some of the information organization – although I don’t really need a certification or actual librarianship, I found that there’s courses and a pathway there that would give me the Information Sciences title, and also help me get a promotion and commissioned as an officer. I believe it will basically make me more competitive in trying to get my commission. I think it’s a good basis and I get to choose the classes and what kind of path I’m going to take. I don’t know how yet, but the degree will make me more marketable.”

What do you think of the Distance Education program? “I think it’s fantastic, I guess I’m weird in that I’m used to even further distance. [At UTK SIS] there’s a lot more personal connection. We have to meet at a certain time every week and we’re actually talking to each other and being ourselves and not just in a chat room. It’s a lot more of a personal touch. I’m more of an assignment-driven learner, so it’s fun to get a more personal learning environment and doing assignments from what we’ve learned.