Veteran alumnus credits ECTC for educational foundation and opportunities | ECTC

Veteran Alumnus credits ECTC for educational foundation and opportunities

Published on Nov 18, 2021

U.S. Army veteran and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College alumnus Alejandro “Alex” Ramirez recently spoke to students about his experience at ECTC during an alumni panel hosted by the ECTC Office of Career and Professional Development Services. Ramirez said the opportunity was an honor.  

“I’m humbled and honored to be asked to be on this alumni panel and give my lessons learned to students,” said Ramirez.  

Born in Columbia, Ramirez moved to Orlando, Fla., at the age of 8. He knew upon graduating high school that he wanted to obtain a college degree and he saw the military as a means to pay for college.  

After graduating basic training, Ramirez was stationed at Fort Knox in 1991, where his NCO encouraged him to visit the Education Center and enroll in college courses. There, he met Mary Ann Flowers, who current serves as director of military and veteran services at ECTC, and signed up for classes.  

“As I moved around duty stations, I took a couple classes elsewhere but when I was stationed back at Fort Knox, I continued my classes at ECTC. They were so understanding of my military job and were flexible with due dates when I was out in the field and had to miss an entire week of instruction or had late work nights,” said Ramirez. “Everything I took at ECTC transferred so I could obtain my bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisville.”

Military life became much more than paying for college and turned into a 22-year career traveling the world. He recalled one of his professors from ECTC while on a mission in Egypt.  
“I remember this one history professor was always so excited to teach. I hated essays, but his energy made me want to and learn and I didn’t mind the essays so much,” said Ramirez. “On a trip to Egypt later in my military career, I was able to recall what I had learned from that history professor at ECTC because of his enthusiasm and it was just so cool.”

Ramirez continued his education to earn a bachelor’s degree in occupational training development and went on to earn a master's degree in human resource development. Both now aid in his work as owner of Universal Spartan, providing tactical, IT, electrical, industrial and medical equipment to the federal government and defense industry.  

Not only is Ramirez a business owner, but he prioritizes serving the military community and their families through the Central Kentucky Veteran Business Alliance, which he helped create to assist veterans transitioning into civilian life, the workforce and business ownership.   
His advice to students is to take advantage of every opportunity presented, lean into teamwork and keep moving forward.  

“I experienced teamwork here at ECTC in my classes, especially with my instructors and it became my educational foundation so I could get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” said Ramirez. “ECTC isn’t just classes, it’s opportunities and community connections.”