Military Veteran Returns Home to DCTC

Christy McGuffee
Christy McGuffee earning degree in Exercise & Sport Science

Christy McGuffee earning degree in Exercise & Sport Science

by Jessica Bohmbach

For Christy McGuffee (Schottler), 39, DCTC was an easy choice to make when she decided to pursue an education in Exercise & Sport Science. Although she was born in Duluth, Christy grew up in Farmington, Minn., where she and her family currently reside. Along with being local, DCTC has other benefits, including the college’s class offerings and sense of familiarity.

“It feels like home,” said Christy, whose father, Ken Schottler, taught in the automotive department at DCTC for 30 years. Christy took the program herself, graduating with a degree in Automotive Maintenance in 1995. “I’ve been coming here since I was born.”

In addition to her automotive degree, Christy has built an impressive list of educational feats:

  • A A.A. degree from Normandale Community College, where she completed her generals in a program heavy in math and computer programming
  • B.A. in Human Resource Management from Concordia University
  • Avionic electronics and networking, and cryptography from the Community College of the Air Force
  • A.S. in Accounting from South Central College in Faribault, Minn.
  • MBA coursework at Concordia

But Christy’s resume doesn’t end there. After serving two years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force at Edwards AFB in southern California, Christy transferred to the Minnesota Air National Guard; she retired from the MN ANG in March 2014. Throughout her years of service, Christy deployed to various states across the country as well as to Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Puerto Rico and Kuwait.

Christy McGuffee and Sara Woodward

Christy’s return to DCTC started in January 2014. Her decision to study Exercise & Sport Science was a personal one. “I buried both my parents before I turned thirty,” she said. She wants to learn more about fitness, health and nutrition, and then pass on that knowledge to her children. This field also makes sense to Christy because one of her daughters has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, affected by nutrition.

Sara Woodward, the college’s Exercise & Sport Science instructor, reported that Christy brings a unique background and skill set to the program. “Christy’s military background has taught her leadership and discipline, and her family life has taught her patience and compassion,” Sara said. “All those skills are important when helping people change health behaviors.”

Sara added that Christy is interested in inspiring others to work through life’s challenges and remember the importance of a healthy lifestyle. “As World War II baby boomers reach their mid- to older-adult years, we will need more high-quality trainers who understand the principles of health and aging,” she said. “Christy’s knowledge and skills will make her an excellent trainer for this population.”

As of now, Christy hasn’t decided whether she wants to complete an A.S. or A.A.S. degree. She’s taking her schooling at a comfortable pace. “I’m just going to take graduation as it goes,” she said. “I have no intentions of speeding through.”

Christy doesn’t have any concrete plans for after she graduates, but she is thinking about going on to get a degree in nutrition to complement what she’s learning at DCTC. “My very lofty dream is to own a fitness center aimed at the average Joe or Jill,” she said. “I don’t want to turn people into fitness models or body builders. I want to focus on health.”

Christy lives with her husband of 10 years, Brent, whom she met at DCTC in 1993. They have two children, Ella, 7, who is a blast and makes life interesting, and Abby, 16, who is heavy into the arts and participates in speech, plays and choir. The family has one dog, Evie, a shepherd/lab mix.

About the author…

Jessica Bohmbach
Age: 27
Hometown: K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich.
Residence now: Red Wing, Minn.
Program area: Multimedia & Web Design

Jessica Bohmbach grew up in a military family, specifically the U.S. Air Force. She pursued English and German studies at Bemidji State University with plans to become a teacher, but discovered she did not enjoy teaching in large-classroom settings. She continued her education at BSU and is currently finishing up her senior project, a series of publishable essays, on her way to earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing.

Busy raising her son, Dylan, 2, Jessica is on track to graduate from DCTC spring 2015 with her A.A.S. degree in Multimedia & Web Design. Her goal is to write Web content for small businesses while also having the skill set to offer website design services.

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