A journey in higher education

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Cameron University partner to help military spouses get college degrees

She has been pursuing her degree in psychology for seven years, pausing several times when her husband, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, had a permanent change of station or one of his many short, frequent deployments.

“It can be hard to complete a course load because you have to fill the role he leaves when he’s deployed,” said Russell, who cares for their son while her husband is away.

Taking time off for her mental health, Russell also stopped in the middle of a semester, creating difficulties with financial aid.

“It set a roadblock to return,” Russell said. “But through the appeals process, I was able to start again.”

She’s now moving forward in her academic journey thanks to a scholarship program for military spouses sponsored by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business. In 2021, Russell was one of 10 recipients to receive a scholarship to study at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. The city is located close to Fort Sill, and Altus and Tinker Air Force Bases.

“This partnership benefits both educational and career goals, and provides more support to military families,” said Tiffany Smith, director of development at Cameron University.

It reflects the company’s support of military veterans and their families, and it helps build a talent pipeline – both parts of its Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, strategy.

The $10,000 grant aims to help working class or parents achieve their educational goals, and it’s available to part- and full-time students pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree. The program is accepting applications. To apply, visit the Cameron University Foundation Website.

Kealey Maddalena and Nick Giovannucci are early-career engineers at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

We're looking for top talent in engineering, IT, cyber, contracts, supply chain, finance, security and operations.

Learn more

“We hope to expand the program and potentially see a pipeline where some recipients find jobs at Raytheon Technologies,” Smith said.

Each scholarship covers tuition for one three-hour class, and recipients can use the remaining funds for books, fees and childcare.

“The scholarship allows me to go to school; I wouldn’t have been able to go back without it,” Russell said.

And with the help of the Military Spouse program, Russell will culminate her education journey in Spring 2023, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in creative writing.