Vets take in the information at the orientation.
In an effort to coordinate disparate veteran groups from across the University, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) has hired a Veterans Coordinator and has set aside space for the vets to meet, hang out, study, and organize events. The space will be staffed with student vets hired through the Veterans Administration’s work-study program.
The initiatives were announced last Thursday when Fordham welcomed dozens of veterans to an orientation at the Law School’s sleek new mock courtroom.
For several years, the Fordham vet community has been nurtured by Michael Gillan, Ph.D., and James Hennessey, Ph.D., through the Fordham Veterans Initiative. But with Gillan recently retired as associate vice president of Fordham Westchester, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) Dean Isabelle Frank, Ph.D., has assumed the role of co-chair alongside Hennessy, who is dean at the Graduate School of Education.
|Fordham Student Veterans Association President Pat Hackett and B-Vets President Chris Maloney give vets the lowdown.|
“We have the largest number of vets by far at PCS, so it was a very natural transition for us,” said Frank. “We have great hopes that the school will be able to help vets University wide.”
The need for coordination is clear. Each school at Fordham has its own veterans group; PCS’s Armed Forces of Fordham is the largest with 300 members. Then there’s Graduate School of Business Administration’s B-Vets, and the Graduate School of Social Services’ GSSVets, with about 30 members each. SERV, at the Law School group, has 15 members. The University is also affiliated nationally through the Student Veteran’s Association; there are at least 1,000 members of Fordham Veteran Alumni; and several veteran organizations partner with Fordham.
“This is something we started talking about last year,” said Pat Hacket, a PCS senior and president of Student Veteran’s Association at Fordham. “We figured we could tackle multiple issues, multiple problems, from multiple venues, with everyone coming to one place.”
Mike Abrams, who teaches a seminar to the vets on career transition leadership at PCS, has assumed the role of coordinator.
The new veterans space is in Room 839 at the Lowenstein Center.
Several events have already been planned for the school year, some in coordination with other veteran groups and schools, like tonight’s Ruck March at Merchants’ Gate Plaza, the entrance to Central Park at Columbus Circle at 6:30 p.m. The Fordham Vets will meet with vets from around the city in an effort to raise consciousness of veteran suicide.
Other events on the docket include the 9/11 Heroes Run on Randall’s Island on September 6, the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, and a gala benefiting Toys for Tots on December 13.