Texas Tech University

First Generation Student Veteran Finds Success in Human Sciences Degree

Ashley Brister

September 27, 2021

Antonio Chapa Alumni Profile

Antonio Chapa says online degree from Texas Tech was the best choice for his career and family life

Originally from Lorenzo, Texas, Antonio Chapa joined the Marine Corps on several deployments before pursuing a bachelor's degree. After years away from home and his family, Chapa wanted to earn a college degree to prepare for life and a career after the military.

“I originally began looking at the degrees that were offered through Distance Learning at Texas Tech,” Chapa said. “I knew that I wanted to do something either medical-related or Human Sciences related so I could help individuals who needed it. I eventually looked into the College of Human Sciences, and I knew that this would be the best college for me and my career. I focused on the concentrations that would best fit what I was trying to accomplish and selected Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies, Human Development Family Sciences, and Psychology.”

Chapa said that the professors and instructors took their time to make sure he understood the material, something that made his later start to college much easier as a non-traditional student.  

“I had a background in telecommunications and computer networking, so I knew that my degree choice was going to be new to me, but I figured if I made it this far in the Marines, I would be able to graduate if I put my mind to it,” Chapa said. “Honestly the professors are what helped me succeed, without their support and knowledge it would have been easy to not do assignments and shoot for the minimum passing score. Personally, I want to thank Dr. Miriam Mulsow for her support and understanding for those of us who were working and raising families while taking her class.”

Growing up 20 miles outside of Lubbock, Chapa says he grew up as a Red Raider. As a first-generation college student and veteran, it meant that much more to finally be able to wear his class ring.

“It also means more to me than earning my degree anywhere else because my grandmother wanted me to go to Tech. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2008, but she was with me in spirit when I earned my class ring and when I received my degree,” Chapa said. “I am the first in my family to earn their degree, something that I hope will inspire my nieces, nephews, and cousins to not give up on their dreams and to pursue an education.”

Currently, Chapa is focusing on his career as a test manager and engineer for CACI International but plans to pursue graduate school in order to open a family business that focuses on behavioral health and cognitive therapy for adults and children.