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Eric Livingston

Eric Livingston

Eric Livingston, US Marine Corps

After a tour in the Marine Corps, and with help from Columbus State, Eric Livingston is putting himself into the “bigger picture.”

The 24-year-old joined the US Marine Reserves right out of high school, and also started at Columbus State with an eye toward transferring to the Ohio State University. At the time, he planned to study Finance.

After a year in school, Livingston’s unit was sent to Afghanistan. He saw almost a year of hard fighting with the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines – better known as Lima Company.

Livingston admits to having a “difficult transition” to college life after experiencing the rigorous structure and discipline of the Marine Corps. But he said Columbus State’s Veterans & Military Services department helped a lot. He’s seen the department grow and hone its mission under current supervisor Jay Favuzzi.

"I wanted to be part of the bigger picture."

"A lot happened in that eight months and I'm not going to say it was easy to come home and go right back to everyday life and school. At one point I thought seriously about giving up on getting my degree, but Jay (Favuzzi) and the Veterans Services staff showed me how to make it all work."

Livingston stuck with college and later transferred to Ohio State. (He still takes classes at Columbus State to finish his degree faster, though).

Many of the classmates Livingston started with are now graduating into jobs in Finance, but that path is no longer for him. He’s currently studying Political Science and working an internship with the Ohio House of Representatives. After his time in the military, Livingston feels called to public service.

“I wanted to be part of the bigger picture,” Livingston said.

Columbus State was ranked No. 3 on Military Times’ 2016 “Best for Vets” list in the community college category. Military Times ranked colleges on degree completion, cost and job placement. Columbus State also hosts an active veterans community, and professors are adept at teaching students in different stages of life.

“Having Veterans Services here has made a huge difference for the veteran population,” Livingston said.