MY FORMAL EDUCATION – FROM GED TO PHD
My formal education was unconventional. In 1978, at 15 years old, I left home in the Ohio rustbelt and flew to Hawaii where I planned to live in a treehouse.
After working as a lifeguard and having some opportunity to travel and surf around the world, I realized that I may have missed something by not having attended high school or college.
Travel made me curious. It was time to go back to school.
Back to School
The first step in my schooling was to take the General Educational Development (GED) test at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 1991. This gave me a certificate equivalent to a high school diploma.
Next, I enrolled at the University of Hawaii. I began my studies in 1992, at the age of 30. The first courses I took were Physical Anthropology and World Civilization. These courses, and the professors who taught them, encouraged me to continue learning. Twenty-five years later, I am still learning and sharing my enthusiasm with my students.
MY DIPLOMAS AND THESES
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Management
Prince of Songkla University, Hat-yai Thailand
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Liberal Studies (Experiential Studies in Chinese Culture and Philosophy)
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Associate in Arts (AA) in Liberal Arts (Honors)
Hawaii Community College, West Hawaii Center
In my teens and twenties, especially while working as a beach lifeguard and an American Red Cross instructor in Hawaii, the ocean was my teacher.
Over time, and as I traveled, I gained an appreciation for learning and teaching. Everywhere I went, there were new things to learn, and when I returned, I was able to teach those lessons to others.
I believe that experience has to come first, and as we naturally gain intellectual curiosity, we develop the mental qualities that enable us to really enjoy and benefit from university education – providing us with something that may have otherwise remained inside, undiscovered.
Thanks for looking at my Education and Learning Page.
Steven A. Martin
Photo: Receiving my Master of Arts (MA) in Taiwan Studies from the president of National Chengchi University, Taiwan [click on photo to learn more]