Sergeant (SGT) Denys Bulikhov

Sergeant (SGT) Denys Bulikhov is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), 75th Regimental Special Troops Battalion (RSTB) at Fort Benning, Georgia. He has served for four years as an active duty Soldier. He is pursuing a Master of Science from the University of North Dakota. SGT Bulikhov’s long-term goal is to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy and eventually work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

SGT Bulikhov shared that he likes to study and is always looking to improve himself. “Education is very important in the field I want to work in, and the Army gives a great opportunity to get a degree with Tuition Assistance (TA) so it is smart to use it.” He also points out, “Almost everything with TA can be done online now, which is very convenient.”

When asked about his key to success, SGT Bulikhov discloses that to be successful in distance learning you need to be committed and willing to sacrifice time. “For two years, I literally had almost no free time. It is hard and frustrating.” He describes a time when he was deployed to Afghanistan and struggled with his studies due to a very limited connection. However, he was determined and found a way to succeed even if it meant giving up sleep to do chats and homework in the middle of the night.

When asked what advice he has for others, SGT Bulikhov answered, “You just have to know that you want it. And continue doing it even it is hard–just like anything else in life”.

SGT Bulikhov thanks the staff at the University of North Dakota for making every effort to cater to military students.

Sergeant (SGT) Chelsea Pritchard

Sergeant (SGT) Chelsea Pritchard obtained an Associate in Early Childhood Education from Granite State College. SGT Pritchard has served in the military for over five years as a National Guard Soldier and is currently assigned to 195th RTI in New Hampshire. “Being the first in my family to complete college was a huge accomplishment,” says SGT Pritchard, “I wanted to make them proud.”

SGT Pritchard never planned to stop after earning her Associates degree. She is now enrolled at Granite State College and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Studies – Human Services and Early Childhood Development. Her long-term goal is to obtain a master’s degree next year in order to further her career outside of the military.

On the journey to earning her degree SGT Pritchard has worked full-time and completed military training. SGT Pritchard shared that her communication with her instructors was very important, “Communication with your professors is the biggest advice I can give to any other Soldier working full-time. Most professors are very understanding about our unique circumstances and will work with you to make sure you are still able to complete the classwork in a timely manner.” She emphasizes that keeping your professors informed and working with them to complete work ahead of any time away will be to your advantage.

SGT Pritchard wishes to thank her parents who have been a huge support system along the way to getting her degree. She adds, “They have always been there for a frantic phone call or they have been understanding when I couldn’t make it to a family function due to school work needing to be done. Without them I’m not sure I would have been able to complete my degree.”