Robert Cooper

cooper headshot 2023

I chose Norwich because of its military-friendly program and convenient online platform.

Q: “Tell us about yourself.” 
A: “I am married to my wonderful wife Alyssa, who is in graduate school at another university, and father to two young children. I like to read, hike, and work outside in my free time. I am an active duty Navy Surface Warfare Officer. Currently, I am a Navigation instructor at the Surface Warfare Schools Command in Newport, Rhode Island. My last ship duty was as Navigator onboard guided-missile destroyer USS NITZE.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?” 
A: “To pursue a career in history after separating from active duty.”

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich?” 
A: “I chose Norwich because of its military-friendly program and convenient online platform.”

Q: “Did you have any uncertainties with choosing an online program?” 
A: “My uncertainties stemmed from past professors expressing reservations about the quality of online graduate programs. Some operated under the pretense that an online degree is less valuable or marketable than one gained through a traditional setting. Once I researched the program, I realized that not only was their mindset untrue, but there are also many benefits to an online degree. It is a program designed for working professionals who still earn an MA in History on a traditional timeline.”

Q: “Prior to beginning your courses, what were some of your expectations for an online degree program?”     
A: “Having never taken an online course before, I was unsure what to expect. My biggest uncertainty was how available the faculty would be through a digital platform. The faculty more than met this challenge, interacting with each of us one-on-one, participating in group discussions, and making themselves available for us to reach back to after completing each course.”

Q: “What advice would you give future students enrolling in one of Norwich's online programs?” 
A: “Lean on and trust the faculty. They are recognized subject matter experts in their particular fields and have relevant, hands-on knowledge that will help you as you look to further your career.”

Q: “What has been your biggest personal or professional success since starting your coursework?” 
A: “I am currently working toward publishing portions of my capstone project in academic journals. Norwich's program provided me the skills and opportunity to complete a project with publication potential, and several faculty members have assisted me in working through the lengthy process.”

Q: “Please tell us about a time you could put your knowledge gained in the classroom to work immediately at your job.” 
A: “The writing, reading, and critical thinking skills I improved through Norwich's program have helped me become a better instructor. I recently participated in a full curriculum revision at the Surface Warfare Schools Command. I employed my writing and reading comprehension skills to ensure the curriculum fully encompassed new requirements and training objectives required by the Navy.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?” 
A: “What impacted me most was the faculty's dedication to providing meaningful education and mentorship. As I transition to a Public History career, I know that I have dedicated experts on faculty at Norwich who are enthusiastic about assisting and guiding budding professionals like me.”

Q: “Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experiences at Norwich?” 
A: “Even if you complete the degree entirely online, like me, try to get to the campus at least once! Nestled in the Vermont mountains, it is a beautiful campus and well worth a visit for graduation.”