From Helicopters to Cars

Daniel Loomis

Retired military veteran returns home to his roots.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – Daniel Loomis was raised in Douglas County and graduated from Roseburg High School. He remembers taking a course at UCC during his senior year. That class, which he fondly describes as a great experience, started him on the path to lifelong learning. The now-retired military veteran has returned home to his roots, and has chosen UCC to continue his studies.

Daniel spent 25 years as an aviation mechanic in the U.S. Army. After spending an additional four years as a civilian aviation accident investigator, he returned home in 2014. He is now using his GI Bill to pursue an Automotive Program degree.

“I wanted to be able to talk about fixing cars with my peers,” he said. “I knew everything about fixing a helicopter or recreating an accident scene, but I wanted to talk car engines, oil and gaskets with my friends. To do that, I needed the UCC Automotive Program.”

Daniel will graduate with an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree this June and plans on attending UCC for another two years.

“I sit in an enviable position,” he said. “Being retired, I’m well past competing against my fellow students for jobs or grades. I wear two hats at once; student in the afternoon and informal mentor in the morning.”

Daniel shares the best piece of advice he has received at UCC.

“You’ll never know how much more you’re capable of accomplishing—until you push yourself beyond your self-imposed limits,” he said.

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

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