Pursuing an Education in the Land of Opportunity

Isaac Nyangena

When Isaac Nyangena immigrated to the United States, he came in search of the ‘land of opportunity,’ but soon discovered that the greatest opportunities are accessed through higher education. It is this discovery that has driven Nyangena’s career and academic pursuits, eventually leading him to pursue the M.S. in Project Management, offered by The Citadel at the Lowcountry Graduate Center (LGC).

Nyangena came to the United States from Kenya in 1995, and joined the US Navy shortly thereafter. Although initially fascinated with the idea of becoming a pilot, Nyangena gravitated toward the medical field, and earned a B.S. in Clinical Administration from George Washington University, and a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Texas. Emphasizing his belief that continual education affords greater opportunity, Nyangena explains, “The pursuit of education,” “is to me the finest thing you can ever do.” Nyangena remained in active duty throughout his studies and, upon completion of his graduate degree, was commissioned as a US Navy officer. It was during his two-year tour of duty as a Health Care Administrator and Logistical Officer at the Naval Health Clinic in Charleston, that Nyangena became aware of the need for project management credentials.

Nyangena enrolled in the M.S. in Project Management program as a full-time student, while still maintaining his duties as an active Navy officer, and his responsibilities as a father of two. He also worked toward the 4500 hours of project management experience required for professional certification, helping a friend at SPAWAR Systems with tasks such as budgeting and risk assessment. With this hectic schedule, Nyangena says, “I always planned my week ahead …I factored in hours I need[ed] to study.” He also credits the LGC’s convenient location and the availability of evening classes with helping him to maintain school/life balance.

In contemplating what he has gained from the M.S. program thus far, Nyangena cites the exposure to a variety of different expertise and perspectives, further explaining, “[the] professionals…who come for studies [represent] a complete array of different people.” Nyangena also mentions how the leadership coursework has helped him to access his intuitive abilities, providing a greater understanding of the nature of emotional and creative intelligences. Believing that his continued participation in the M.S. program will present professional opportunities, Nyangena states, “there are very few project managers in the Navy medicine [division]…it has given me a knowledge I can bring back to our organization.”

Having recently graduated from The Citadel, Nyangena is now tat the Naval Hospital in Quantico, where he will be serving as a financial controller. He encourages students who are looking to pursue the M.S. in Project Management to first learn about the course requirements, and then pay a visit to the LGC facility. “Every single aspect of the resources that are provided [there] are awesome,” Nyangena enthuses, “the atmosphere, the aesthetics of the place…[it is] a great resource.”

Watch this video to hear Isaac and other recent graduates talk about their experiences in The Citadel’s Project Management Program.