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OVMA and IVMF Staff Travel to Las Vegas to Share Expertise Around Student Veterans’ Education Experience
Staff members from Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) and Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) recently traveled to Las Vegas to share expertise around serving military-connected students during the annual National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) symposium.
Every year, NASPA brings student veterans, advocates, thought leaders, stakeholders and supporters in higher education together to discuss best practices and address common challenges. This year’s conference was held at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel. The three-day conference consisted of breakout sessions and workshops aimed at bettering the military-connected student experience and understanding the unique perspective and skills each student brings to campus.
Ron Novack, OVMA executive director; Jennifer Pluta G’15, assistant director of veteran career services for OVMA; and Rosalinda Maury, IVMF director of applied research, presented several panels examining the student veteran landscape.
“Events like NASPA empower and inform our student veterans and staff as we remain dedicated to serving the veteran and military-connected community at Syracuse,” Novack says. “We are honored to attend and influence the sessions. The insight and knowledge brought back to campus from the conference enriches the student experience at Syracuse University as we continue our work to be the best place for veterans, their families and military-connected students.”
Pluta presented takeaways from her veteran career crash course, a one-day, one-credit course for student veterans to explore career development opportunities and workshops at various stages of career readiness. Pluta piloted the course during the Fall 2018 semester.
Maury also conducted two presentations with Corri Zoli, director of research at Syracuse University’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, and Daniel Fay of Florida State University. The first panel outlined social science research and data-driven analyses to debunk myths about today’s all-volunteer force; the other focused on using quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand women’s contribution to national service and post-service life.
The OVMA staff facilitated a discussion with Emily Steinway, veterans transition manager of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University that highlighted the importance of collaboration in serving military-connected student populations. The panel offered insight on creating connections with advisors and faculty; bridging the student-academic affairs divide; programs with community colleges and technical schools; and working within local and state government and businesses.
The OVMA and IVMF have been active on the conference circuit in early 2019, having presented similar work at the Council of College and Military Educators Symposium last month in Austin, Texas, as well as the Student Veterans of America National Conference in Orlando, Florida, in early January, where they were joined by a group of 22 Syracuse University students.