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Put Down the Shovel

Soldier studying a textbook.

When your mission goes from combat to finding a civilian job, how do you handle that change? In this week's podcast episode, we talk to veterans Mike Kulikowski and Phil Terry-Smith, Ph.D. about the struggles and successes veterans have transitioning to civilian, sometimes academic life.

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Our Guests

Mike Kulikowski

Mike Kulikowski, AACC Homeland Security student and U.S. Army veteran

Mike Kulikowski is a retired, disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Army during the Cold War. Kulikowski likes to joke, “I learned Russian so you didn’t have to.” As a civilian, Kulikowski has worked in a video arcade, an ice cream parlor and a test lab. He’s been a door-to-door salesman, a security guard, programmer, hardware installer, system integrator, program manager and a technical writer.

Kulikowski came to AACC to gain the knowledge needed for a new career. With the help of the Veterans Administration, he’s completing  an A.A.S in Homeland Security Management with a concentration in Intelligence Analytics. By adding a few classes, Kulikowski will graduate this December with three degrees, all under the Homeland Security Management Institute. He currently has a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Kulikowski also volunteers at the AACC Military/Veteran Resource Center, Room 112 in the Truxal Library.

Kulikowski plays competitive pinball (currently ranked 34th of 507 in Maryland and 2221st of 73,634 players worldwide). He rides a Concord Purple 2002 Harley Road King — or did until an accident sent him to Shock Trauma with a broken leg. His wife and two of his four cats want him to stop riding. The other two cats couldn’t care less.

Phil Terry-Smith, Ph.D.

Phil Terry-Smith, AACC assistant dean, veteran and professor

Social psychologist, lecturer, teacher, philanthropist, theologist, emergency manager, humanist, contrarian, humanitarian, military officer, father, husband, Afro/indigenous American, musician, gay, motorcycle riding, leather wearing — HUMAN. Philip B. Terry-Smith is the assistant dean for Social Sciences, Philosophy, and Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at AACC. He’s been on faculty since 1992, fulltime since 2013. He's a Lieutenant Colonel in the Maryland Defense Force, Maryland Military Department. He holds a Ph.D. in organizational and social systems, a non-academic doctor of theology (ThD.) degree in comparative spirituality, is a licensed professional counselor, certified trauma professional and master emergency management specialist.

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