Sergio Suarez '10/J.D. '16 summarizes the ups and downs of his educational journey by saying, “I ended up where I wanted to end up, I just took a completely different route.”
Long before he became a member of the Seton Hall community, Suarez dropped out of college and joined the military at the peak of the Iraq war.
Suarez believes that it was his time in the military that opened his eyes to a new world of perspectives and insights. He credits his time in the Armed Forces for instilling discipline, too; he learned survival skills as well as aircraft mechanics, leading to a job as a helicopter mechanic for the New Jersey Army National Guard after training completion.
Although he never served abroad in Iraq, Suarez's only deployment happened last year after the devastating results of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. During this service trip, Suarez served as the Joint Task Force Puerto Rico (JTF-PR) Public Affairs Officer. His primary mission was to coordinate media access to senior military officials and ensure the local populace was aware of the ongoing humanitarian relief mission on the island.
Suarez found his way back to the pursuit of his college degree after being exposed to Seton Hall's Army ROTC program in 2007. Suarez fell in love with The Hall and decided it was time to finish what he once started, the degree that had eluded him before he joined the Army. Suarez later graduated from Seton Hall with a bachelor's degree in Political Science.
But his journey with the University didn’t stop there; in 2016, he completed his work at Seton Hall Law to achieve his dream of becoming an attorney. Suarez is currently a commissioned officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps where he is assigned as the Chief of Legal Assistance and the Special Victims' Counsel (SVC) for the National Training Center and Fort Irwin. Through his job, Suarez provides legal representation for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, ensuring that their extensive rights are protected through the military justice process. He also supervises a staff of attorneys and legal support staff to ensure soldiers are able to comply with their missions with as little legal distraction as possible.
Suarez's educational journey at The Hall was one of growth, "here I was able to find myself as a leader and foster my dreams," said the Pirate with pride.
Suarez's advice to students comes from the motto he learned during his time in the Army ROTC program, "can do, never quit." He believes anyone can do what they set their mind to with discipline and education.
Sergio Suarez is one of more than of 100,000 living alumni who exemplify what great minds can do with a Seton Hall education. To learn more about becoming Seton Hall’s alumni programming and offerings, visit www.shu.edu/alumni.