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CAES Center for Advanced Energy Studies

Vince McHenry standing outside the bennion student union building

Vince McHenry

Living a Good Life…

A good life is all about making good choices. University of Idaho student Vince McHenry is proof of that. A dedicated family man and full-time student, McHenry is well aware of what it takes to make it all work so he is thoughtful and deliberate in his choices.

McHenry served several years in the U.S. Marine Corps, a choice of which he is rightfully, very proud. After leaving the military in 2001, he settled in California and began taking courses at a local college. He knew that his next path would require a strong academic preparation and with his background, he was well equipped to give his life the structure needed to be successful in college. During this same time, he was working at a high stress job with long hours.

"The average turnover at that job was 6 months. I lasted three years but that job took a toll on my health. It was definitely not what I wanted for my future."

McHenry's soon-to-be bride was re-locating to Idaho. She explored educational opportunities for him in SE Idaho and discovered University Place. Around the same time, McHenry received word that his request to the military for an acknowledgement of a disability received while on duty was approved. This allowed him to quit his job, move to Idaho Falls and continue in school.

"I stopped by the Student Services Office and got connected with Debbie Caudle from University of Idaho. She listened to my goals and suggested Environmental Science. It’s a great fit for me."

Seeking a career with the Forest Service, Fish and Game or a closely related field, this degree, with its focus on a variety of science areas was a solid match.

"I really like the options that I have in a variety of areas. I am not held in one particular field.”

A new life, a new wife and a new location. That is a lot for anyone to take in at once. But, again, McHenry forged ahead making his family and his education his priorities of choice. It quickly became apparent to him that getting involved and going full force would be the best plan.

"Cassie Ghormley and others in the student activities organizations reached out to me and I became active in clubs and other events at University Place."

In two years time, McHenry's good choices have not only helped him and his family, but also other students.

The new Veteran's Club holds a special place in his heart. Along with Dustin Mortimer, the chapter president, McHenry eagerly volunteers his time to help other veteran's with their transition to civilian and academic life.

"We talk the same language and understand each other's needs. I’ve enjoyed being in on the ground floor of starting this organization. The group has grown quite a bit over the last year."

McHenry credits the degree in Environmental Science and his active involvement with activities at University Place with his feeling that he belongs in school right now.

"People at UP know my kids' names and recognize them when they stop in to see me. This is where I need to be and I love my school life. I am glad that I moved to Idaho and started this degree with University of Idaho.”