The Ohio State University at Mansfield


Ohio State Mansfield spotlights student veterans

November 15, 2021

Shortly after high school, Philip Amstutz knew he needed to get a job and didn’t think college would be in his future. Looking for adventure and wanting to explore the world outside of his hometown, Amstutz decided to join the United States Navy.

From his time in the Navy, Amstutz shared a memorable story of a day when he oversaw operations. While going through the Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest and most important shipping lanes in the world, the ship had to do a U-turn due to a medical emergency with one of its sailors. After meeting the water ambulance, the ship had to do another U-turn to get back on track. These course changes required strategic thinking and teamwork.

After serving for 21 years, Amstutz retired as a lieutenant in 2012 and moved back to Mansfield to be close to his dad. Knowing he wanted to work with people, Amstutz enrolled in classes at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. “I decided to major in social work because I like figuring out people’s problems and helping others,” said Amstutz. “I was glad the Mansfield campus had the program I wanted.”

While Amstutz enjoys the friendly atmosphere at Ohio State Mansfield, he’s looking forward to graduating in May 2022. “My goal is to work in the schools,” said Amstutz. “However, after graduation, I’m rolling straight into the master’s program.”

Amstutz loved the organization and structure of military life. He advises others who are considering joining a branch of the military to first gain an understanding of the history of the United States and then put it in context with what world leaders are doing now. The military provides an opportunity to see and learn about the world, as well as gain important skills and experiences. “I knew I needed the military first,” said Amstutz. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be back in Mansfield majoring in social work.”

Sociology major Sean Clancy decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps for similar reasons. He felt that he wasn’t ready for college, and his family’s record of military service inspired his decision. “It made sense from my family history,” said Clancy. “My maternal grandparents met while in the Marines and their son (my uncle) was also a Marine.”

As an aviation ordnance, Clancy loaded bombs, rockets and other weapons systems on aircraft. With this position, he traveled around the world for training and enjoyed his land time in Spain, Turkey and Dubai.

After four years of active duty, Corporal Clancy went to a trade school with available funding through the GI Bill. After trade school, he earned his associate degree from a local community college.

When he was seriously considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree, Clancy said to himself, “Where else do you go to college in Ohio but to The Ohio State University.” As a nontraditional student with a family who lives 20 miles south of Cleveland, Clancy knew the Columbus campus would be a challenge, so he started looking at the regional campuses. With the knowledge that he could take classes just one or two days a week, Clancy decided to enroll at Ohio State Mansfield, since it was only an hour drive from home.

This was his chance to complete a degree at The Ohio State University. “I really feel accomplished,” said Clancy. “To think of the grandeur of Ohio State and what it represents – it’s one of the most well-known universities in the country.”

Clancy is thankful for his time in the military, and he wants to make sure people understand the value of his experience. “People associate the military with everyone coming back broken,” said Clancy. “This isn’t the case. I had a very positive experience.”

Currently a medical assistant with The Cleveland Clinic, Clancy hasn’t had to pay for any of his schooling due to the GI Bill and his four years of honorable service. “If you’re not ready for college right after high school, that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be college or the military. It can be both.”

Offering academic advising, tutoring services, and personal and career counseling, Ohio State Mansfield remains committed to offering a comfortable environment where veteran students can feel at home. Student veterans even have their own lounge in Conard Hall, thanks to the Korean War Veterans Association of Richland County, Ohio, Chapter 51 and McCready Interiors/Norwalk- The Furniture Idea. We are pleased to recognize and honor those who have served in our armed forces.


Philip Amstutz


Sean Clancy