News Release

Laurie E. Bick-Jensen
Director, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
(302) 295-1164

Wilmington University's Shaun Murphy, Alumnus and Military Veteran, Recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama

Once a teacher, he now recruits veterans and spouses for Teach for America program.

"Staff Sergeant Shaun Murphy, please stand."

The eight-year U.S. Army veteran and Wilmington University alumnus won’t forget those six words anytime soon. They were spoken by none other than First Lady Michelle Obama on April 30, 2013, just before she formally recognized Shaun for his new leadership role in Teach for America’s effort to hire more military veterans as teachers.

Shaun, who taught at Prestige Academy in Wilmington, Delaware, stood in the audience in the White House in Washington, D.C., as Mrs. Obama spoke of his background and congratulated him.

Shaun was recognized as part of an announcement of a Joining Forces initiative to help veterans and military spouses find jobs. Along with the First Lady, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden all spoke in favor of the initiative. 

Video of Shaun’s recognition can be seen here:

After serving honorably in the Army, Shaun joined Wilmington University’s first cohort of Teach for America (TFA) in 2009. Teach for America is an organization that places teachers in schools in low-income, high-risk communities to ensure that children growing up in poverty get a quality education. 

During his time at Prestige, Shaun taught math to special education students. He then stayed an additional year after his TFA term ended, helping the school with recruiting duties. He’s now on TFA’s Professional Recruitment team, managing military sector outreach. 

When asked why he chose teaching after he left the military, Shaun said: “When you hang up those fatigues and put those boots away, you don’t want to feel like you’ve given up your sense of service.”

The College of Education at Wilmington University serves as Delaware’s only Teach for America center. It provides programming and field supervision for a new cohort of Teach for America corps members each year. 

More information on the Joining Forces initiative can be found on the White House blog at

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit university committed to providing flexible, career-oriented traditional and online undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs and offering small class sizes, individualized attention and affordable tuition. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email at or visit our web site at
Published: Friday, May 31, 2013 - New Castle, DE