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James Whorley

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Senior from Gardnerville, Nevada
Major: Geospatial Science and Computer Science in the College of Science and Technology

Campus Involvement: President, Veteran Student Organization; President of SALUTE Honor Society; member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, International Honor Society for Information and Computing disciplines

After serving two tours in Iraq in the U.S. Army, James Whorley decided the time was right to attend college and earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science. After researching universities and meeting with faculty at a number of institutions, Radford University became Whorley’s choice.

Whorley’s interest in technology began at a young age.

“My interest in computers and how they worked was sparked by my sixth-grade math teacher, who started an after-school computer club,” he said. “He got computer parts and worked with the students to assemble the computer and load the operating system. Ever since then I’ve been interested in working with computers.”

Not long after Whorley’s first semester at Radford University, he began to learn more about the geospatial science department.

“My job in the U.S. Army was sometimes referred to as a Geospatial Analyst so I wanted to see if any of my experience and training would go toward earning a minor in geospatial science,” he said. “After meeting with the chair of the department, I was convinced that declaring a second major was the best choice.”

As a non-traditional student with a young family and having served his country before beginning his education, Whorley has developed a drive to push himself academically and professionally. Knowing the challenges facing veterans, he wanted to help them achieve their academic goals. He joined the university’s Veterans Student Organization and quickly became involved with establishing an on-campus center to serve military and veteran students. He now works for the center, planning events and helping to field questions from military students and their dependents.

After graduation, Whorley hopes to find a career in federal or state law enforcement.