Navy Vet Earns MPA Online at ODU and Enjoys Second Career Helping Veterans

ODU Online MPA Graduate Ken Wiseman
ODU alumnus Ken Wiseman

When Ken Wiseman left the Navy after 13 years, he knew that his career working with his brothers and sisters in arms was far from over. So he made a move that changed his life.

"I moved to Hampton Roads [because I wanted to] accomplish my education goals and ODU has a reputation for helping veterans and the military succeed," Wiseman said. "Knowing the ODU environment was one where veterans succeed and that the staff of ODU is well versed in handling the GI Bill® benefits like I had. I left with no debt."

Wiseman used ODU's experience with the military to his advantage. He earned a BS in Political Science in 2014, but another opportunity and move threatened to interrupt his master's degree plans.

Wiseman was in his final year of his Master of Public Administration (MPA) when a job opportunity came available in Northern Virginia. He called on the flexibility offered through ODU and finished his program online.

"I needed to be able to move without failing to finish this degree," Wiseman said. "It was never an issue, however, as ODU has such a strong online program that there was already a full slate of options for what courses I could take online which would allow me to finish my degree." He graduated with his MPA in 2015.

Ken Wiseman lives in Staunton, Virginia and is the Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer for the Virginia state headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW). He oversees the operations of 130 local VFW Posts, as well as the efforts to help veterans secure earned benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also works to pass legislation at the state level that benefits veterans.

Wiseman now has a total of four degrees with no college debt and credits both ODU’s on campus and online support as being instrumental in that success.

His advice for fellow Monarchs:

"Let your dream to accomplish the degree and a belief in your own work ethic be what drives your effort. Work, family, and self-doubt are all things that will quickly be reasons to say no. Push that aside and know that ODU, with their amazing online options, will help you balance things so that this complements your life. You will look back with a sense of pride and know your decision to do this was the right one, because you will see the impact it has on your job and how your peers and family see your accomplishment."


This institution is approved to offer GI Bill® educational benefits by the Virginia State Approving Agency. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

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