National Guard Captain Keeps Ph.D. Studies Going While Activated


Typically, the end of the semester finds doctorate students hunkered down in a library or local café wrapping up final papers. Things are different this year for Security Studies Ph.D. student Tad Schnaufer. Schnaufer serves as a captain in the Florida Army National Guard and has been activated for the response to COVID-19 since mid-March. He has worked at locations around the state as a liaison officer (LNO) between the National Guard and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). Even while working through some long days, Schnaufer has spent his evenings keeping up with coursework to finish out the semester.

Schnaufer is enthusiastic about his role in the National Guard’s response efforts: “I have served in the National Guard for over a decade, and am truly honored continue to do so because I believe deeply in the Guard’s mission to serve our local communities, the state of Florida, as well as our country when called to deploy overseas.”

When asked what he plans to do after this response has ended, Schnaufer replied, “I am excited to bring this experience and the lessons learned back to the classroom. We spend a lot of time reading and writing in class, but it’s experiences like these that bring a tangible application to what you have learned.”

In the fall, Schnaufer will begin his third year in the Security Studies Ph.D. Program in the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs.

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