After being adopted from China at only six months old, United States Marine Tori Sharpe is serving her country and recently earned a master’s degree from Troy University’s strategic communication program.
Sharpe grew up in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and joined the United States Naval Academy after high school.
Sharpe made her decision to join the academy to give back to the people who had given so much to her.
“When I was younger, I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself,” Sharpe said. “When I was a sophomore in high school, I went back to China.
“We volunteered in an orphanage and they took me to the area I was from. It just really put a different perspective of how lucky I am with the opportunities I’ve been given. The military was an opportunity to give back to the people who had given me so many chances and helped me succeed thus far in my life.”
Upon her 2017 graduation from the academy, Sharpe commissioned to the U.S. Marine Corps.
“Everyone is a leader in some capacity, and I really liked the people working around me,” Sharpe said. “I really liked how proud the Marines were and their mission.”
Once accustomed to her daily routine of service, Sharpe looked to Troy University’s tuition assistance opportunities at the Kadena Air Base in the city of Okinawa, Japan. In regards to furthering her education, she knew TROY was the best fit.
“I became a public affairs officer in the Marine Corps,” Sharpe said. “I was stationed in Okinawa in Japan, and that’s where I got my master’s from TROY in strategic communication.
“It was awesome to be able to apply what I was learning in my classes to my actual real-world work. It was a satisfying experience.”
Sharpe has faced a few challenges as a Marine, a working professional and a full-time student.
“Where I was, the operational tempo was pretty high,” Sharpe said. “We were doing training around the Indo-Pacific region and I remember when I had to submit one of my papers while I was on a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
“Being in the military and also trying to succeed in my classes at TROY was a little challenging.”
Sharpe knew she had chosen the right institution when her professors adapted her course load to fit her needs.
“I really appreciate the staff at TROY,” Sharpe said. “Everyone is extremely accommodating to active-duty military members.
“I enjoyed my program and I think everyone’s doing a phenomenal job. I’m proud to be a graduate of Troy University.”
Sharpe is now stationed in Bahrain, a small Arab state located in the Persian Gulf, and is using her degree to further excel in the communications field within the military.