Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Back To Top

Veteran Andrew Shetland receives Future STEM Teacher scholarship

Published on September 20, 2023

Veteran Andrew Shetland receives Future STEM Teacher scholarship

Andrew Shetland
Shetland on top of Mount Healey in Alaska’s Denali National Park this past summer

Andrew Shetland ’25, a U.S. Army veteran, father and graduate candidate at Eastern, received a Future STEM Teacher scholarship from TEACH Connecticut, a nonprofit founded by the U.S. Department of Education to support prospective teachers.

“There are three components of my experiences that have helped to shape me into the educator that I am,” Shetland said. “They are my admiration for teachers who served as role models to me when I was a troubled youth, the great satisfaction that I experienced as an Army-noncommissioned and later commissioned officer when training soldiers, and the deep love for my children that drove me to be the best father that I could be.

“I served 25 years in the military before retiring as an Army captain from the Connecticut Army National Guard in August 2019,” said Shetland, age 46.

His service included four years of active duty in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier in Florida. There, he deployed in support of Operation Deliberate Guard, protecting human rights in the Balkans and Operation Southern Watch in support of defending the post-Gulf War Iraqi no-fly zones. Shetland then enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard after Sept. 11, 2001, as an infantry soldier, where he was deployed to Afghanistan for 18 months to support Operation Enduring Freedom from 2006 to 2007.

“It was in Afghanistan that I fell under the 10th Mountain Infantry Division and learned the motto, ‘Climb to glory -- to the top,’" said Shetland. "We took part in Operation Mountain Lion, climbing through the mountains of the Hindu Kush in collaboration with the Afghan National Army to clear out Taliban forces. That motto will forever stay close to my heart as it continues to inspire me to strive toward new heights.”

After reaching the rank of staff sergeant in 2012, Shetland earned a commission as an army signal officer. He then deployed for a year in 2015 as the communications officer for an aviation battalion to Kosovo, providing aeromedical support to NATO partners in the area.

“While in the Connecticut Army National Guard I had the great privilege to also take part in three State of Connecticut emergency service activations, Shetland said, from security to at-risk locations to blizzard snow removal in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy aid.

Shetland said, “Of all my service, my greatest pride was in those moments when I could be of service to my own community. I am confident that as a teacher I will continue to be able to do just that!”

Shetland expressed gratitude, noting that the scholarship would help him offset the cost of higher education, allowing him to take the steps necessary to pursue teaching.

“Scholarships like the Future STEM Teacher Scholarship from TEACH Connecticut are fundamental to helping people break down the barriers to entry toward becoming a teacher,” Shetland said.

TEACH Connecticut works to address these issues, offering $200,000 in scholarships to future STEM teachers. It also provides prospective STEM educators with career coaching, free test preparation and invitations to STEM events.

“Knowing that my presence in the classroom can be that spark of inspiration to just one child is my way to give back to all of the teachers that have inspired me along my journey,” said Shetland, “and to hang onto that feeling of satisfaction and love that I felt in the Army and feel as a father.”

Written by Marcus Grant