Counter intelligence specialist Olan Tiangco completes online criminal justice degree while working in Afghanistan amid dangerous and harsh conditions.
Earning a degree is never easy. But for Saint Leo University commencement speaker Olan Tiangco, 45, the road to graduation was paved with formidable challenges.
Enemy gunfire. Spotty Internet connections. Brutal weather. 18-hour shifts.
Tiangco, a 24-year Army veteran, was just beginning the transition to civilian life and getting started with his online criminal justice degree program at Saint Leo University in 2013 when he accepted a position in Afghanistan as a counter intelligence screener with a national security and defense company. Determined not to let the challenges of his assignment get in the way of his education, Tiangco pressed on.
“None of it was easy. Not one moment,” says the criminal justice major who was selected to speak at the 2014 Center for Online Learning commencement ceremony at University Campus.