Alumni Serving in the Military Featured in Recent Pathways Program

The Pathways Alumni Career Series, which connects Northwood students interested in a particular career to graduates who have had success in that career, began in the 2020-21 school year and each session is organized by moderated by Luke Daniels ’14. Not only does this program help students interested in certain fields to have models, but it also shows that the alumni were in the student’s shoes at one point in their lives.

Lt. Col. David Fink ’97 (Photo provided)

Capt. Jake Garrison ’08 (Photo provided)

Capt. Jess Brennan ’13 (photo provided)

This most recent Pathways, held earlier this month, was about careers in the military, and it accumulated great interest from the students, in part due to the attendance of the Psychology of Performance class. Here is what it was all about.

The four alumni that were at the center of the session were Lt. Col. David Fink ‘97, Lt. Col. John Beatty ‘96, Capt. Jess Brennan ‘13, and Capt. Jake Garrison ‘08. The four alumni shared their experiences throughout the years and how they got into their positions. A few of them took ROTC-style routes through college. For students who may want to explore ROTC options in college, we asked how the alumni recommend doing this. In response to this question, Capt. Brennan of the Marine Corps said, “Get in touch with your local recruiter, and they can sit you down for an NROTC scholarship interview and fitness test.” She also shared that she would send Brody the information about our local recruiter. Capt. Brennan also said, “What they are looking for is a well-rounded student with an excess of co-curricular activities, leadership roles, and a high level of physical fitness.” She shared how much the program did for her and that it could be extremely beneficial for certain students.


As all the participants in the online program were either students or alumni. A great question was “How did Northwood help you in your journey?” Lt. Col. David Fink, a rescue helicopter pilot who had tours in wartime, responded first. He said, “Without Northwood, I would have never made it through college. What Northwood taught me was how to teach myself.” This is a great testament to the impact that our school can have on a life. Capt. Brennan also chimed in by saying “I came into myself at Northwood, I figured out how to be a leader, I figured out how to just be myself, because of such a great environment, and that ultimately teed me up for college, and to be a successful leader in the military.” Capt. Jake Garrison was also another great example of the kind of people Northwood produces. He also took the ROTC route and ultimately ended up going through Special Operations training in the Army. Another inspiring journey that started with the Northwood experience.

I wish I could include everything the alumni said, but I will share this link for anyone who wants to watch the session. These four alumni represent Northwood School in the best way: in serving our country and as Lt. Col. Beatty put it, “working to build a pretty darn good world.” So, Northwood students looking for role models, here is another handful that you can look up to. These four went through the same things we did and have continued to build great careers and make the world a better place. We thank them for their continued service to this amazing country. We hope you tune in for the next pathways to see what other amazing things alumni do with their lives.


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