UofL student Sannely Vega Siurano serves as an Air Force Public Health specialist.
UofL student Sannely Vega Siurano serves as an Air Force Public Health specialist.

Sannely Vega Siurano is an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a public health specialist. She is also a student in UofL’s online Masters of Social Work program.

Hailing from Caguas, Puerto Rico, Sannely has been in the Air Force since 2018 and is currently stationed at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Despite her short time in the Air Force, she already boasts an extensive list of accomplishments including honor graduate from Basic Training, promotion to airman Below-the-Zone and promotion to senior airman six months early.

She was also awarded a Diamond Sharp Award, as well as an Achievement Award for her performance during her installation’s COVID-19 response. Sannely says her favorite Air Force memory so far is the day she graduated basic training when she saw her family and was able to “eat candy and fast food after two months.”

When searching for an online Master of Social Work program, Sannely was looking for a program which was flexible about practicum placement for overseas military members. This search led her to UofL and she knew this was the right place for her when she found out UofL offers a reduced tuition rate of $250 per credit hour for Active Duty, Coast Guard and qualifying members of the National Guard and Reserve for undergraduate and most graduate programs.

According to Sannely, UofL was easy to work with and provided excellent support throughout her enrollment process. In particular, Sannely said Connie Uzzell, admissions coordinator in the Kent School of Social Work, was extremely helpful during the admission process.

While she has only recently started coursework, Sannely said she is also impressed by her professors’ and advisors’ flexibility and understanding. She says her classmates seem genuinely motivated to help make the world a little better.

When she completes her Master’s program, Sannely intends to remain in the Air Force and pursue a commission and career as a Clinical Social Worker.

UofL celebrates the 73rd birthday of the United States Air Force on September 18. The university has a long tradition of supporting the United States Air Force. Between 1947 and today, hundreds of members of the United States Air Force pursued voluntary education and completed degrees at UofL. Since 1949, UofL has been home to a United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Command Detachment, which has sent hundreds of Second Lieutenants into the Air Force.

Our AFROTC Detachment and United States Army Reserve Officer Training Command Battalion are housed in Dougherty Hall. The hall is named in honor of retired United States Air Force General Russell E. Dougherty, the former commander-in-chief of United States Strategic Air Command and a 1948 University of Louisville Law School graduate.

Story written by Kyle Hurwitz, director of Military Initiatives and associate director of Online Military Student Programs at UofL.