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NEWS | July 15, 2014

METC honor graduate passes distinction to classmate

By Lisa Braun Medical Education and Training Campus Public Affairs

An Air Force student who graduated from the Healthcare Administration Specialist (HAS) program at the Medical Education & Training Campus on Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston June 24 demonstrated more than the knowledge she acquired during her 2 months of training. She unexpectedly did something that taught her fellow graduates - and even her instructors - a thing or two about true leadership.

Tech. Sgt. Lisa Duffy, a member of the Air National Guard, was serving in another career field before cross training into the HAS program as a Health Services Management Apprentice. She excelled in the program, carrying a 100% grade point average throughout the entire course.

Her excellent standing earned her the top distinction as the class honor graduate. However, the fact that she had more years of experience than most of her classmates was not lost on Duffy.

In an act of extraordinary selflessness, Duffy declined to accept the honor graduate recognition as it was being awarded to her during the class graduation ceremony. Instead, she bestowed the honor on a fellow classmate, Airman Corbin Drysdale. Drysdale, who graduated the course with an impressive grade point average himself, was brand new to the Air Force having completed basic military training just prior to starting the HAS course. Duffy felt the honor should be awarded to a classmate with little to no prior military experience, which she viewed as an advantage to her success.

"When Tech. Sgt. Duffy presented the honor grad award to Airman Drysdale it was so impressive to watch," stated Lt. Col. Jessica Spitler, METC chairperson for the Department of Public Health Training and interim chair for the Department of Healthcare Service Support.

"Airman Drysdale only missed 2 questions on all the tests in the program, so he was a phenomenal student in his own right. After the ceremony he told me that he was so honored to be given the award," added Spitler.

Staff Sgt. Rita Funderburg, Healthcare Administration Specialist Program Instructor, agreed. "As their primary instructor, I can say they both were excellent students and worthy of honor graduate," she noted.

Also moved by Duffy's gesture was the Health Services Management Air Education and Training Command Functional Manager, Chief Master Sgt. Jason Wagner, who rewarded Duffy with a coin.

Following graduation, Duffy returned to her duty station at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts, and Drysdale departed for his first duty assignment at Lakenheath Air Force Base in the United Kingdom.

For more information about METC, go to www.metc.mil.