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Cougar Spotlight: Travis Knowlton

Travis Knowlton

November 9, 2015
By Jasmine Demers, Tukwut Life Marketing Assistant


Travis Knowlton is a dedicated student veteran who, after serving in the Navy for five years, has big plans for his life.

The Connecticut native transferred to CSUSM from MiraCosta College in 2014 and is currently majoring in sociology. He has big dreams to eventually receive his master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on military families and veterans. His hard work and commitment to the CSUSM Veterans Center showcases his desire to help others and make a long-lasting impact on the community.

Why did you choose CSUSM? What is your favorite part of this campus?

I chose CSUSM because of its friendliness towards veterans and the fact that many of its programs met my needs. My favorite part of this campus is the personal relationships that a student can build with their professors. It really helps when it comes to learning and understanding the material.

What is your position at the Veterans Center? What do you like the most about working there as a student?

I am the outreach student veteran advocate. My favorite part is the opportunity that I have to help my fellow student veterans find resources and connect with other student centers and organizations on campus. I also really enjoy being able to help enhance civilian/military relations through advocacy and formal instruction.

Can you tell me a little bit about your military career?

I was in the navy from 2007 to 2012 as a Fleet Marine Force (FMF) qualified veteran, Navy Corpsman. I did one combat tour to Helmand Province Afghanistan with the 5th battalion, 11th Marines HMAR (high mobility artillery rocket system) from June 2011 to February 2012.

How was the transition from the Navy to college?

The transition from the Navy to civilian life in general was not the smoothest for me but I credit my success to my wife and the social workers at the Veterans Center in San Marcos. The transition was hard because of the cultural differences between military and civilian life. Military is a little bit more rough and is always mission first, with little concern over being politically correct.

What are your future goals?

My future goals are to pass down a sense of compassion and integrity to my children and to receive my license for clinical social work. I also want to write a book and give a TED talk about how increasing constructive mentorships and personal endeavors throughout industry will create a culturistic society and in return increase the compassion that we have for one another.