Alonzie Scott | UWF Graduate ’82
After decades in hospitality and leisure services for US Armed Forces and serving as the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters, Washington DC, Enterprise Talent and Senior Executive Program Manager, my current roles are as the director of Mission Support for the Office of Naval Research and Board of Trustees for UWF. Through it all, I continue to live by Zig Ziglar’s motto, “if you help enough people get what they want, you get what you want, too.”
The Navy System Command Recruiting Partnership is one example I would like to share with folks. It took some effort, but I was able to convince five naval systems command senior executive directors to join forces with NAVSEA to create a recruiting structure called the Navy civilian careers. This network allowed the Navy to recruit like any corporation by joining our resources under one framework thus lowering our recruiting cost fivefold while delivering the right civilian talent to the Navy to fill its mission critical occupations. In the end, we all got what we wanted, and in fact, needed.
Without any hesitation, I can say that my success is directly linked to many positive experiences with faculty and staff at UWF. They led the way to my involvement in various campus activities, which prepared me for my career today. The formal and informal education experiences really resonated with me and allowed me to think in terms of being a better collaborator, team player and networker.
One of those life-altering and humbling experiences happened early in my college days. A group of us were hanging out on campus and using some pretty explicit language when a professor, Dr. Earl Watson approached us. He reminded us that we were college students and that using such language to communicate made us “intellectually bankrupt.” From that day forward, we all vowed to never express our thoughts and ideas in that way again.
As a Trustee for UWF, I want the University to be a place where young people, who, like me, might’ve known they wanted to go somewhere but weren’t sure exactly where, can receive the foundation necessary to be successful in their career and anything they choose to do in life.
Taking that a step further, my wife and I have plans to launch a website in a few years that is aimed to help underprivileged children and their families find the resources needed to make college a reality or be successful in America. It can be a struggle when no one in your family have gone through the process so I’ve written hundreds of blogs and other content to provide guidance on various programs, offer tips and share information, resources and options for future generations.
Growing up as a poor kid in Northern Florida, or anywhere else in the country, doesn’t mean that you are facing a dead-end alley. Education and enrolling in the right program can change your path in life. I know that firsthand and I want others to know that too.