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APSU alumna pursues Navy career on board the Carl Vinson

Larissa Dougherty

For Larissa Dougherty, a career in the military seemed inevitable. Her father served in the Navy and her brother joined the U.S. Army. When she graduated from Austin Peay State University with a Master of Arts in Military History, enlisting seemed like the logical next step.

“I just couldn’t get it [serving in the military] out of my head,” she said.

Today, the APSU alumna now calls the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier home, and she spends her days documenting its travels and missions, first as a Mass Communication Specialist Seaman and now as a Petty Officer 3rd Class. Her job allows her to explore different interests while at sea, including graphic design, video production, photography and writing.

“Photography is what I enjoy the most,” Dougherty said. “I get to see some of the coolest things on a daily basis that a fraction of people have ever seen.”

And the former Gov credits her alma mater for her recent accomplishments.

“The quality of education I received at Austin Peay is better than anything I could have gotten somewhere else,” Dougherty said. “It’s the combined knowledge of teachers, the small classes and relationships with professors that helps you want to do better.”

One important relationship Dougherty forged while at Austin Peay was with Dr. Minoa Uffelman, APSU professor of history.

“I was in Phi Alpha Theta (a history honor society), but I never took any of her courses and yet she is still supporting me and showing pride in what I’ve done,” Dougherty said. “I have been very proud to say that I have gone to Austin Peay.”

Information on APSU’s Department of History and Philosophy is available at https://www.apsu.edu/history-and-philosophy/.

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