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Feature Story Sean McDermott ’92 (History) Sean McDermott recalls the flexibility that was required on his part, from his employer, and from the College, as he worked full time while also matriculated as a full-time student. port-au-prince, Haiti is college career began H at Rockland Community College and then SUNY Farmingdale, where he left to attend Air Force Basic Training in summer 1989. At age 19, McDermott knew it was important for his career that he complete his degree, and so he enrolled at New Paltz while also working as a mechanical technician at nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base. “I went to class during the day and then worked from 3 to 11 at night and also served my weekend requirements as a Guardsman,” McDermott recalls. In addition to juggling a demanding schedule, he also had to balance his identities. He describes being perceived as a laid-back college student by his coworkers, and in a much more serious way while walking on campus in his uniform. “It was an interesting dynamic between those two worlds,” he says. McDermott’s military career took him around the world, including deployments to the Middle East, where he was stationed in Bahrain, and Japan, where he will soon be returning. His “most challenging” position, he says, was serving as commanding officer of VRC40 Squadron, overseeing 400 Top: photo of Sean McDermott '92 taken in March 2012 aboard USS George Herbert Walker Bush CVN 77; this was the first landing of a V-22 aboard that ship. Bottom: McDermott with wife, Ava Sternstein McDermott '93 (Psychology), and children, Olivia and Miles, in front of their home in Norfolk, Va. Fall 2013 7

New Paltz Magazine Fall 2013

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