My path to where I currently am in career has been quite the journey. I am a first-generation college graduate and the first grandchild on both sides of my family to receive a graduate degree. After a single, 4-year enlistment in the US Air Force followed by a number of factory jobs, I began my academic career as a non-traditional student at the age of 27 with a wife and three kids under 5. With my wife’s continued support, I was able to go from no college education to a PhD in ten years. This educational journey resulted in an AA degree from State Fair Community College in Sedalia, MO, followed by a BS in Biology from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. I then obtained an MS in Biology from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO where I had the opportunity to take a study abroad course to Jamaica in Marine Ecology (I knew at that I wanted to offer study abroad courses for my future students). The next step in my education was a PhD in Entomology from the University of Kansas. Once at my first position in academia, I began offering study abroad courses to Belize and also to Costa Rica.