It wasn’t the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan that proved to be the biggest hurdle for Bennett Ayebeafo. Rather, it was a leg amputation following an accident on his Navy base in the United States.

He spent a couple of weeks in a coma with life-threatening injuries. But in December, the honorably discharged officer graduated with two degrees from Columbus State.

The proud new American citizen began his journey in 2000. That’s when Bennett left his hometown in Ghana to explore opportunities in the United States, where he quickly settled on the military.

He spent five years in the Navy, where he eventually took a supply test to qualify for a promotion to petty officer third class, which was followed later by a promotion to second class. Following the 9/11 attacks, he served overseas as a plane captain. (The plane captain is a ground position designed to help the pilot start the aircraft, and then take off.) From the deck of an aircraft carrier, he put the skills to use with his squadron stationed near Afghanistan in 2001 and near Iraq in 2003.

In each mission, Bennett and his squadron loaded fighter jets with supplies so they could be launched into action. While on official standby on his base in the United States in 2004, he was critically injured in a crash involving the military vehicle he was riding in. As he awoke from a coma two weeks later, Bennett discovered his right leg had been amputated just above the knee. He also suffered multiple fractures, breaks and bruises. His long recovery included learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg.

Those enormous challenges could have proved to be a road block for some, but not for Bennett. Once released and independent again, he moved to Columbus and began looking at opportunities in higher education. With the military picking up the tab, there were few restrictions on where he could attend.

He settled on Columbus State and began taking classes during Winter Quarter 2007. “I felt welcome here,” says Bennett. The professors and instructors here treat me as their own son or brother. It was a perfect fit.”

Faculty members give him high marks across the board. “Bennett is one of the most committed students I know,” says Lee Blyth, associate professor of Logistics. “He never hesitates to come to my office for clarification of course material. On several occasions he has told me how much he loves the U.S. and the people in this country. He’s never used his handicap as a crutch. His attitude is the main reason he achieved what he has at this point in his life.”

Bennett Ayebeafo graduated last December 11 with two associate degrees in Logistics: Supply Chain Management and Strategic Procurement. Bennett’s goal is to earn a bachelor’s in Logistics then perhaps settle into a career with a government agency as a purchasing manager. And in Bennett’s case, two tours of duty plus two associate degrees equals a whole lot of experience and opportunity.

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  With my Logistics education from Columbus State, I have increased my income by 20%; I even received a promotion before I finished my degree. I was able to take 1 or 2 classes a quarter and still work a 40+ hour work week. The classes are affordable and flexible to take in the evenings or over the web. I would encourage anyone in a Logistics field to peruse some type of degree or certificate with Columbus State.
Sherrie Foreman, Transportation Coordinator
White Castle


Columbus State Community College and the Airport Authority have worked closely together, through the Advanced Logistics Council, to identify emerging workforce issues and educational needs that are essential to the ever changing field of logistics.


  David Whitaker, Vice President Business
Development & Communications
Columbus Regional Airport Authority

Columbus State Community College is well respected in the community. It has a strong reputation for collaborating with the logistics industry to promote and meet the needs and goals of the region.

  Christine Lemon, Director
Chelsea House International, LLC

I know full well, as a former student, the value and high quality that is produced by the Columbus State Community College's Logistics Department. The program has been, and continues to be, an excellent resource for logistics-specific educational opportunities.

  Joe Rinehart, Manager,
Warehouse & Distribution
ABX Air

Greater Columbus has become a critical and major focal point for domestic and international logistics activity. Columbus State's role in providing a respectededucational program in logistics, is assisting the industry in meeting the growing workforce needs.

  Jim Primm, Managing Director
FedEx Ground

The professors in the Logistics’ Department at Columbus State Community College are not only teaching their students from the text, but also from their years of real life experience. Students enrolled in the Logistics Department at Columbus State will gain a vast amount of valuable real life knowledge, which you will not learn just from using the text.

I have found the professors in the Logistics Department at Columbus State Community College to be of a very high quality. The professors not only teach from the text, but from real life experience. The class size is such the professors can take the time needed to add the “special” touch to any problems and or concerns you may have concerning your class work.

Steve

Columbus State Community College's logistics program is well respected for its willingness to assist in the efforts to enhance the goals of the Central Ohio logistics industry. 

    Janet Prior, President
Accurate Logistics LTD
 
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