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Randy Whitecotton

Randy Whitecotton

Emergency management chief | Department of Defense | Class of 1998

Given his particular branch of the military — the U.S. Air Force — it only made sense that Randy Whitecotton was put on the fast track to a master’s degree here.

“The Air Force had sent me to the UI for an accelerated MS of environmental management program — 16 months to do the coursework and write a thesis,” says the Defense Department’s emergency management exercise and training branch chief (Class of ’98). 

As if that wasn’t tough enough, wife “Rebecca and I had our 2-year old son with us and we were also expecting our daughter then, too,” he says. “So, between school work and family, we didn’t make it out to experience the nightlife much. 

“We did enjoy taking our son to the many parks around Champaign and Urbana, and looking back, I remember one of our preferred Green Street lunch places was Zorba’s Mediterranean Restaurant. And, even now, whenever we find ourselves visiting UIUC, we always try to grab lunch there at Zorba’s still.”