Rodolfo Gallardo, a 2012 graduate of CSU, has reaped much from his determination.
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from CSU, for example.
“It has already opened a lot of doors for me in my career in the Navy and in civilian aspects,” said Gallardo who is master-at-arms petty officer second class in Gulfport, Miss. “I know that with my bachelor’s degree, future employers and even friends and family will take a second before judging or evaluating me for a position or task.”
“Earning a bachelor’s degree not only means I completed a task, but that I am reliable, accountable and consistent in my personal life, as well as my professional life,” he added.
While Gallardo’s recent walk across the stage to receive his diploma was a highlight, he said there were others during his time with CSU.
“I also truly enjoyed weekly discussion boards as it was a way to hear opinions of others and debate about our beliefs,” Gallardo said.
He added that much of his success was in part because of “my wife who pushed and motivated me to continue my education and gave me the support needed to get started at CSU while also an active-duty military member and a reserve Gulfport police officer.”
Gallardo, 35, said he chose a degree in criminal justice because law enforcement is “in my blood, my family and will enhance my military career.”
He added, “I like the fact that I get the chance to help people and protect those who cannot protect themselves. I feel that those who put themselves before others are unique and being true to themselves and the family that stands behind them.”
When he’s not protecting and serving, Gallardo enjoys riding bike, swimming and anything that allows him to relax and soak up life with his wife and daughters. He truly appreciates the time with family as there was a moment in 2008 when he didn’t think we would any longer.
While working part-time at a tire and lube place, he was pinned between the bumpers of two vehicles and knocked unconscious. Doctors said “that both my legs showed no signs of recovery and had to be removed,” Gallardo explained. Thankfully, he found a surgeon who helped him keep his legs.
“Even though the chance of my legs recovering was slim to none, I could not allow myself to give up nor fault on my responsibilities to my family and my duties as a military member of this great nation. So after several surgeries and procedures, followed by months of physical therapy, wheelchair, crutches and a cane, my legs started to heal,” he said.
Today, Gallardo continues to be fueled by his determination as he has re-enrolled to seek a master’s degree in emergency services management with CSU.