May 11, 2021
Story and photos by Joe Vinduska
This is part six of a six-part series on the importance of academic integrity at Barton. The college has featured these student stories throughout the spring semester to showcase the virtues of academic integrity. These virtues include trust, responsibility, honesty, courage, fairness, and respect.
Barton at Fort Riley students Terry Charlett and Troy Hardwick both served in the military for decades. They went overseas on multiple deployments, so courage is a very familiar concept to them. It’s no surprise that their high regard for this virtue carried over into their quests for education.
“Academic integrity I believe stems from early learned study habits,” Hardwick said. “I personally always loved school and the accompanying homework. Growing up in small-town Nebraska, we were taught school came before sports. However, when we moved to Florida when I was 14, and being an athlete, I found the morals to be a bit backward. So, while my friends were sharing answers and cheating, I preferred to just do my own work and be the odd man out. Some of my friends went to college on athletic scholarships, and ended up failing out because they never learned to do their own work. So, moral integrity, fairness, hard work and the courage to ‘be who I was’ no matter what others were doing became the cornerstones of my personal ethics.”
Charlett agreed that doing the right thing whether or not somebody is observing your behavior is a key indicator of the virtue of courage and the basis for all of the integrity virtues.
“It’s especially important to have integrity with online classes,” he said. “Teachers have to be able to trust you to do the right thing, do work yourself, and that maintains your integrity as a student, but equally as important it helps maintain the integrity of the university. If you can’t trust students to do the right thing everybody loses. It’s always more challenging to do the right thing but in the end it’s always your best route to take, once you start lying it all compounds and you have this novel of lies you have to try to continue telling, but if you’re doing the right thing you don’t have to worry about keeping track of it all and your conscience will always be clear.”
Both Charlett and Hardwick have stories spanning decades and could be the basis for novels. They dedicated their lives to serving our country domestically and around the globe and are true heroes. Hardwick is ready to settle down with his family and enjoy retirement and Charlett is not far behind with only a year and a half left.
“My plans for the future are to return with my wife back to our home state of Florida, trim our lifestyle down to more of a minimum of ‘things’ and ease into this thing we all call retirement,” Hardwick said. “I may entertain pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. Oh, and riding motorcycles of course.”
Charlett hopes to settle in central Texas with his family and pursue a bachelor’s degree, but his plans for the future are undecided.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do because I left for the army two weeks after I graduated high school and have been doing this for 22 years,” he said. “I want to find something that suits the needs of my family, but counseling does interest me and part of being in the army as a non-commissioned officer, I did a lot of mentoring and counseling of young soldiers, so I’d like to look into doing that in the private sector as well.”
For more information, contact Director of Innovation & Compliance Lee Miller at (620) 786-7453 or email@example.com.