From Bahrain to Northern Virginia, Criminal Justice Grad Marks the End of a Long Road Back

After More than 15 Surgeries, Navy Vet Officially Reclaims Her Life this Friday 

Manassas, VA – When Samanthia Silke joined the Navy right out of high school, she had big dreams. She wanted to experience something bigger than life in her beloved hometown of Front Royal…and she wanted to go to college. While she was soon whisked away to lands far away, completing college took longer than she ever planned.

After three years stationed in Whidbey Island, Washington, Samanthia was deployed to Bahrain. After working a year and a half in law enforcement with the military police, she was in a horrific accident. Left with a traumatic brain injury, broken wrist, tibia, and right knee, as well as three fractured vertebrae, she began two years of rehabilitation, facial reconstruction, and more than 15 surgeries.

Two and a half years ago, still in the midst of her recovery, Samanthia decided it was time to resume her education.  After returning home to Warren County, she enrolled at ECPI University’s Northern Virginia campus to study criminal justice. 

“Because I was still on the mend and my memory had not fully recovered at that point, I needed a school with small class sizes and lots of personal attention,” she says. “I certainly got that at ECPI University. The faculty was so helpful and supportive. Also, I wanted to learn from people who had worked in the criminal justice field and could relay personal experiences, not just what they read in a book.  Again, I really got what I was looking for.”

On Friday, June 5 at 1:30 pm, Samanthia will be joined by her fellow graduates as she walks across the stage at the Hylton Performing Arts Center to accept her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. She’ll have to take off work to do it, because she already has a job as Advocate Supervisor for CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates. She and her team of 30 works to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.  “It’s been a very long journey, but I am so grateful for the life I now have. It’s our job to be the voice for children when they don’t have one. The rewards for this kind of work are immeasurable.”

About ECPI University

ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and master degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, and online; graduate employment services are provided. Continuing education certification classes and testing are also available.                                                                             

ECPI’s fields of study include: TECHNOLOGY: Cyber and Network Security, Information Systems,  Software Development, Cloud Computing and Virtualization, Healthcare IT, Web Development, Simulation and Game Programming, Database Programming, Electronics Engineering Technology, Mechatronics, Marine Technology; Medical Imaging Equipment Technology; BUSINESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Accounting, Business Administration, IT Management, Hospitality Management, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security; HEALTH SCIENCES: Healthcare Administration, Health Information Management, Medical Administration, Physical Therapist Assistant, Massage Therapy, Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Medical Radiography, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Surgical Technology, Nursing (RN to BSN), Nursing (RN), Practical Nursing; CULINARY: Culinary Arts, Food Service Management, Baking and Pastry Arts. (Program field availability varies by campus.) For more information, visit


Release Date:
Monday, December 14, 2015