TJ Reynolds | 2013 CSU Trustees' Awards | Foundation | CSU
CSU Trustees' Awards

Meet the 2013 Awardees

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"I wish to continue with the life of a soldier. The difference is that I will use chalk instead of lead, words instead of bombs."

TJ Reynolds
California State University, Fullerton
Wells Fargo Scholar

TJ Reynolds chose to join the United States Army after 9/11, when college did not seem a financially-viable option. During his time in service, he trained as a machine gunner and team leader. His infantry unit landed in Mosul, Iraq in the fall of 2004. There his unit suffered losses despite their many successes. He returned from combat, a grateful yet weary twenty-one year old.

Nearly a year after his return, TJ admitted he was not re-adjusting to civilian life well and needed help. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Determined to overcome his condition, TJ focused on education to improve his quality of life. He transferred to California State University, Fullerton where he started applying himself fully for the first time. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English.

TJ has become inspired by racial and gender focused schools of thought. He is currently enrolled in the master's program in English with an emphasis on academic and creative writing at CSU Fullerton.