By Ms. Maureen Rose (IMCOM)March 11, 2010
Training and Doctrine Command's Margaret C. Corbin award was presented to Fort Knox spouse Stacey Scroggins last month.
"Stacey Scroggins is passionate about helping our military spouses achieve their educational and career goals," said Martha Borowski, the regional continuing education program coordinator and a colleague of Scroggins' at Troy (Ala.) University. "Ms. Scroggins and I have researched and presented at two Department of Defense Worldwide Education Symposiums (about the educational needs of military spouses). Ms. Scroggins has also strived to spread the word through the Fort Knox community about the financial assistance our military spouses are entitled to, specifically the MyCAA program and the post 9-11 GI bill."
Scroggins - with or without the award - is a busy Army wife.
She was already practicing law in Madison, Wis. when she met her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Scroggins, who was on recruiting duty when they met, but is now assigned to 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment. After their marriage, the family relocated to Fort Benning, Ga., and Scroggins decided to pursue an advanced degree, securing her master's in human resources management. While there, Scroggin's mentor (Borowski) offered her a job as a lecturer with Troy University.
Six years and three permanent change of station moves later, Scroggins is still a full time instructor and mom. Their children are 5 and 2 years old. Conveniently, her lectures are online so most of her work is done at home, which allows her to spend time with her children.
However, Scroggins also works with family readiness groups, volunteers at Army Community Service, and has done some human resources consulting for the Soldier and Family Assistance Centers. She hopes to be involved with the resiliency training initiatives and is available to help Army spouses as an education mentor.
During her tenure at Fort Benning, Scroggins convinced a Troy colleague that something should be done to help military spouses seeking education. They began offering educational fairs aimed at the spouses of deployed Soldiers, with a goal to advance their educations during the deployments.
She and Borowski presented twice to the DoD Worldwide Education Symposiums about the needs of military spouses and the impact education would have on military spouses.
Since she began working with Troy, Scroggins said she has had as many as 140 students on her e-campus.
"I'm a true believer in online learning," she said, "especially for people who move a lot. But there is one caveat - it must be an accredited school offering quality education."
In her six years of instructing she has had hundreds of Soldiers in her online classes.
"Some of my best students are deployed Soldiers," she said, explaining that it makes her uniquely qualified to offer some other training. Scroggins would like to teach more of the Troy staff about the specific needs of military students.
"Instructors need to be cognizant of military families and their situations," she said.
Adjunct professors who teach intermittently or part-time are particularly in need of some training to understand the Soldier-student, Scroggins explained. Soldiers often have difficulty with connectivity issues, unique environmental situations, and stress levels unlike anything most civilian students experience.
In addition, most of the communication between instructor and student will be via e-mail, and that presents problems of its own.
"Soldiers are accustomed to direct, no-nonsense communication," Scroggins said. "It's hard to control tone in an e-mail, so Soldiers sometimes sound abrupt or blunt."
Specializing in employment law, Scroggins maintains her law license in Wisconsin, where the bar association lists her as military law advisor. With her law degree and human resources training, she has many options available for the future.
"I would love to be the in-house counsel for a firm specializing in employment law. Employment law is sexy," she laughed. "Employment law boils down to doing the right thing for your people. If companies would do the right thing to start with, I wouldn't have much work."
Corbin fought alongside her husband in the Revolutionary War and even manned his cannon when he was killed in action. She was wounded, too, and became the first woman to receive a pension for her military service. The Training and Doctrine Command established the Margaret C. Corbin award in 2008 to honor volunteer service by spouses.