Peter Sylvester

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Age: 34

Military Background: F-14/18 aviation technician in the Navy.

TCC degree: Associate of science in engineering

At TCC: When Peter was assigned to Hampton Roads, he put a previous unsuccessful college experience behind him and tried TCC. He gravitated to engineering, where he met program head Paul Gordy. “Mr. Gordy introduced me to many specialties within the field, and that’s what sparked my interest for biomedical engineering. He is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.” His military training and TCC gave him the confidence to apply to the University of Virginia to complete his bachelor’s in biomedical engineering. Eastern Virginia Medical School was the next stop on his journey. “While at EVMS, I saw the connection between electronics and the workings of the nervous system. The material came naturally to me. I love combining clinical practice with research while using my hands.” Peter is now a neurosurgery resident physician at Washington University in St. Louis.

Why TCC is a good fit for veterans: Peter credits the TCC Veterans Affairs officers with helping him navigate the process of using his Navy Tuition Assistance benefit to pay for college. Peter continued to serve in the Navy Reserves and later the Army National Guard while completing his education.

Advice for a prospective TCC student with a military background: “Use the resources that are there to help you. And most importantly, make those connections. Find people in your field and work with them to get a real sense of what’s involved.”

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