GradImpact: Living Her Life for Others

    “As veterans, we’re trained to fight, but we’re not really trained to come home,” said Megan Lowry, a master’s student in social work at The University of Oklahoma—Tulsa. Lowry knows this first-hand and is determined to make a difference

     

    While serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-2008, Lowry faced tremendous trauma. “I had four traumatic brain injuries and a dozen fractures to my face and head alone. My back had three disks that were pushed in and pinching my spinal cord. I would lose feeling in my legs,” Lowry said. “I ended up snapping the ligaments in both of my knees, and my right ankle was destroyed.”

     

    Not long after, a fellow Marine violently assaulted her. She was nervous to report it, but she was more concerned that he would do it to someone else. The experience was a trying one, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) wreaked havoc on her life.

     

    “It got to a point where my PTSD was so bad that I couldn’t work. I was terrified to go to the grocery store,” Lowry revealed. “There were days where I never got out of bed.” She sought treatment at a Houston VA medical center. Afterwards, she started taking sociology classes at Tulsa Community College and later at the University of Tulsa. While there, she transitioned from military service to community service, becoming an advocate for veteran’s rights, indigenous peoples, eating disorders, military sexual trauma survivors.

     

    She also become a service dog trainer with American Humane’s Pups4Patriots™ program. “I’m super passionate about getting veterans service dogs because… losing some of my brothers and sisters to veteran’s suicide which is extremely painful. I can speak from my own personal experience, my service dog has saved my life, and I want that to help other veterans.” The Pups4Patriots program trains service dogs for veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury, which can contribute to veteran suicide rates.

     

    “Even if I don’t wear my uniform anymore, my service is never going to be over,” said Lowry. “Just knowing that something happens, whether it’s on American soil or worldwide, I have the heart to be there and help out.” Lowry graduated with a B.A. in sociology from The University of Tulsa, where she received the Marcy Lawless Service Award. You can learn more about the Pups4Patriots program on the American Humane website.

     

    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.

     

     

    Image Credit: The University of Oklahoma – Tulsa

    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.

     

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