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Don't Tell Her What She Can't Do

Miki HuntingtonHer students would tell you they have learned much from her, but instructor Miki Huntington would say she’s learned just as much from her students.

Miki wanted to become a teacher since she was in the fourth grade. Her dream came true when she retired from the military and came to MCTC in 2011 to teach political science.

“As soon as I walked onto the campus I thought, ‘this is where I’m supposed to be,’” she said.

Before MCTC, Miki had spent 25 years in the military. She held several positions including helicopter pilot and foreign area officer. She loved the camaraderie that came with her service.

“The military offered a lot of opportunities for me,” she said. “I got to travel around the world and meet a lot of people.”

Miki served as an executive assistant and advisor in the Bush Administration from 2007–2009, where she worked in Vice President Dick Cheney’s National Security Affairs Office.

“To be in that community was a tremendous experience,” she said.

Now that she’s retired from the military, Miki uses the leadership and organizational skills she learned while in the military in her classrooms, and her students benefit from it. She also advises MCTC’s Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter. She’s dedicated to giving back to past and future veterans in any way she can.

“I want to make sure veterans feel welcome here at MCTC,” she said.

Miki is also working to ensure veterans and their families are welcome at MCTC by promoting Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR), a statewide initiative that connects veterans with support, training and resources. The MCTC BTYR Steering Committee is planning a campus-wide kickoff of events aimed at assisting veterans in November.

Miki’s goal in advising SVA is to inform the campus of the struggles that some veterans endure when returning from service. She believes BTYR is a good way to create a broader dialogue on the issue.

“We want to provide for those who have served,” she said.

MCTC Dean of Social Sciences Chuck Paulson is honored to have Miki among the College’s faculty and calls her a student-centered person.

“She really knows what she’s teaching and it’s extraordinary to hear her in the classroom,” he said.

When Miki was deciding what she wanted to do in the military, one of her commanding officers said he doubted that she could ever be a helicopter pilot.

“Don’t ever tell Miki what she can’t do,” she said. She went on to pilot Huey and Blackhawk helicopters for almost 10 years.

The determination she demonstrated when piloting a military helicopter is evident in her work as an instructor. Her service in the military prepared her for her service in education. She learned a great deal from her colleagues in the military and she’s now learning in a new way from her MCTC colleagues and students.

“I believe we are partners in the learning experience here at MCTC,” she said.

Published September 2014

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