Clint Ballard isn’t your “traditional” undergraduate student. Ballard is a campus safety officer, husband, father of four, and a reserve National Guardsman; all while studying in John Brown University’s construction management program.
Before coming to the University, Ballard served for a decade in the Army, touring in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
He enlisted in 2000 and served as an infantryman for four years before becoming a medic in the 82nd Airborne for the remaining 6 years. Since leaving the Army, he has been a reserve member of the Mississippi National Guard.
Clint originally enlisted to help pay for college.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to study in school and I didn’t want to go into debt finding out,” said Ballard.
The experience Ballard had serving in the military was one of the reasons Campus Safety was interested in hiring him, according to Scott Wanzer, director of campus safety.
“We knew he was in the traditional undergraduate program and [had] military experience, [so] we asked him if he’d be interested to come work at campus safety,” Wanzer said. “He’s a very caring individual but yet he can easily respond to a security incident and handle it appropriately.”
Ballard works the evening shift for Campus Safety from 4 p.m. to midnight. For Clint, working for Campus Safety is an opportunity to have more time with his family.
“I like to be able to serve the community and be able to help out in a way that’s needed,” Ballard said. “The first two years [at the University] I worked weekends and nights as a paramedic here in town and it was really hard on the family so this has been good.”
Ballard’s wife, Joy, and their four children live in a house in Siloam Springs while Clint finishes his studies. He met his wife in their hometown of Bolivar, Mo, where Clint was a dishwasher and Joy was a cook in a local restaurant.
The University’s proximity to their home town played a part in the couple’s decision to settle in Siloam Springs.
“We got a house as soon as we got here,” Ballard said. “We like this area a lot. It’s close enough to home but not too close.”
In addition to Clint’s job with Campus Safety, he and his wife sell Young Living Essential Oils from home and homeschool their four kids.
Like Clint’s decision to work for Campus Safety, the decision to homeschool and to sell Young Living products was motivated by a desire to spend time together as a family.
“The goal is to not spend the years we have with our kids putting in lots of hours and being away all the time.” Ballard said. “Our goal is to grow financially enough that we can be philanthropists but not so much that our kids look back and say I wish my parents were around more.”
After graduating, Clint and Joy plan to stay in the area.
“Our vision would be to stay in this area. We both have a medical background and with the construction management training, we want to get involved in missionary training in some form,” Ballard said. “I want to be a good steward of what we’ve been given. My time and our time as a couple we want to use that to glorify God and not waste it away.”