FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 24, 2011
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Gina Logue, 615-898-5081
NONTRADITIONAL IN EVERY WAY, MTSU STUDENT LOVES CHALLENGE
Photography Major Shoots to Thrill after Surviving Army, Air Force, Divorce Court
(MURFREESBORO) - In an era that rewards homogeneity and punishes critical thinking skills, Christopher Hamrick not only shatters the mold. He takes piercing aim at it in a rambuctious life held together by one strong thread—the search for truth.
The 32-year-old photography major from Hermitage served a four-year stint in the U.S. Marines from 1996-2000. After Sept. 11, 2001, he signed up for another four years of service—this time, in the U.S. Air Force.
Between the military periods, Hamrick got married. After a tumultuous five-year relationship and painful divorce and custody battle, he remains a devoted dad to his eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old twin boys. It left him with an unshakeable feeling that men are often shortchanged in custody issues.
“It has been difficult to fight someone you actually care for,” Hamrick says.
He admits it has been difficult to handle the breakup of his family while juggling classes, but he finds occasional respite at the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.
“I guess I just mostly needed a place between classes to rest,” Hamrick says. “There were other people my age who had been through similar experiences, whether military, single parent or whatever.”
The June Anderson Center merged last year with Off-Campus Student Services. Its expanded mission enables it to embrace students like Hamrick and gives them a place where they feel they belong.
“The center is a place where all kinds of students can feel welcome and secure,” says center director Terri Johnson. “Christopher is an amazing nontraditional student, and there are many more who we serve every day.”
Hamrick initially listed engineering technology as his major since he had performed so much electronic engineering work in both military and civilian life. However, his experimentation with infrared photography during his custody dispute combined with a wealth of amateur photo experience led to a change of major and a change of perspective.
“As I was taking these photographs, I realized how surreal and beautiful they were and very different from anybody else was doing,” Hamrick says. “I noticed that I had a very good eye for framing the shot and then getting a picture.”
Hamrick has yet to decide whether photography is to become his latest occupational adventure. But he insists that whatever he does must be unique, whether climbing Mount Whitney in California or getting that incomparable shot of a burning building that can only be achieved through great risk.
“I’ve already faced that whole dying aspect and it’s one of those inevitable things,” Hamrick says. “Being a veteran, I don’t have to worry about people fighting over it. They can just plant me and be done with it. But, up until that point, it’s what you do in the world that people remember.”
ATTENTION, MEDIA: For color jpegs of Christopher Hamrick, contact Gina Logue in the MTSU Office of News and Media Relations at 615-898-5081 or email@example.com.
Founded in 1911, Middle Tennessee State University is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution located in Murfreesboro and is the state’s largest public undergraduate institution. MTSU now boasts one of the nation’s first master’s degree programs in horse science, and the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C., acclaims MTSU’s Master of Science in Professional Science degree—the only one in Tennessee—as a model program. Recently, MTSU unveiled three new doctoral degrees in the sciences.