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METC honor graduate inspires by passing distinction to fellow classmate

By Lisa Braun | METC Public Affairs | July 16, 2014

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON — An Air Force student who graduated from the Healthcare Administration Specialist program at the Medical Education & Training Campus on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston demonstrated more than the knowledge she acquired during her two months of training.

She unexpectedly did something June 24 that taught her fellow graduates - and even her instructors - a thing or two about true leadership.

Tech. Sgt. Lisa Duffy, a member of the Air National Guard, was serving in another career field before cross training into the HAS program as a health services management apprentice.

She excelled in the program, carrying a 100 grade-point average throughout the entire course.

Her excellent standing earned her top distinction as the class\ honor graduate. However, the fact that she had more years of experience than most of her classmates was not lost
on Duffy.

In an act of extraordinary selflessness, Duffy declined to accept the honor graduate recognition as it was being awarded to her during the class graduation ceremony.

Instead, she bestowed the honor on a fellow classmate, Airman Corbin Drysdale. Drysdale, who graduated  the course with an impressive grade-point average himself, was brand new to the Air Force completing basic military training just prior to starting the HAS course.

Duffy felt the honor should be awarded to a classmate with little to no prior military experience, which she viewed as an advantage to her success.

"When Tech. Sgt. Duffy presented the honor graduate award to Airman Drysdale, it was so impressive to watch," said Lt. Col. Jessica Spitler, METC chairperson for the Department of Public Health Training and interim chair for the Department of Healthcare Service Support.

"Airman Drysdale only missed two questions on all the tests in the program, so he was a phenomenal student in his own right," Spitler said. "After the ceremony, he told me that he was so honored to be given the award."

"As their primary  instructor, I can say they both were excellent students and worthy of honor graduate," said Staff Sgt. Rita Funderburg, Healthcare Administration Specialist Program instructor.

Also moved by Duffy's gesture was the Air Education and Training Command's Health Services Management functional manager, Chief Master Sgt. Jason Wagner, who rewarded Duffy with a coin.

Following graduation, Duffy returned to her duty station at Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts and Drysdale departed for his first duty assignment at Lakenheath Air Force Base in the United Kingdom.