Navy Veteran Jacob Kepins Awarded Brython Davis Fellowship in Honor of his Father's Marine Corps Service
PhD in Education student Jacob Kepins has received the Brython Davis Fellowship awarded to students who are U.S. citizens and the child of a service member or veteran of the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps, and who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.
Jacob shares the following tribute to his father's military and civilian service.
Michael W. Kepins, Sr. was born in 1948 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 1967, at the age of 19, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and attended basic training and infantry school in San Diego. After completing his training, he was deployed to Vietnam in 1968 with the 1st battalion, 9th Marines, one of the most infamous infantry divisions in the USMC, known affectionately as "The Walking Dead." His first assignment was at Khe Sahn during the Tet Offensive of 1968. He served two tours of duty in country participating in multiple operations in and around Khe Sahn and the A'Shau Valley. He was awarded multiple honors for his service including the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/Combat "V" device for meritorious service during combat actions. He was honorably discharged in 1969 at the rank of corporal, and served another 4 years in the Army National Guard. He and his wife, Cindi, raised four sons in Central California where he is currently enjoying his retirement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Jacob [Jake] also is a military veteran, having served in the United States Navy for seven years before embarking on his academic career. Upon leaving active duty, Jacob enrolled in Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and earned his B.S. in Economics. Immediately following, he joined the 2013 corps of Teach for America and moved to North Las Vegas where he spent two years teaching high school algebra at Mojave High School. While in Las Vegas he earned his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instructional Design from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he focused on secondary mathematics curriculum, specifically the integration of math content standards in non-mathematics courses.
Currently, Jacob is a fourth year doctoral student specializing in Educational Policy and Social Context (EPSC). His wide-ranging research interests include educational organizations, social stratification, school poverty, educational inequality, dropouts, and college access. He is advised by Distinguished Professor George Farkas.