Community colleges honor veterans

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A small round-up of Veteran Day events and informational programming at community colleges

Many Veterans Day programs were cancelled or moved online last year due to the pandemic. This year, community colleges are presenting a mix of in-person and online events to honor veterans, as well as providing informational workshops for active-duty military, veterans and their families. Here’s just a sampling of the programming and special events at colleges.

Illinois

Harper College and its Veterans Center has a virtual event on Veterans Day to honor those who served. It includes conversations with Harper employees and students who are military veterans. And on Nov. 16, another virtual event will feature Lt. Col. Roman Ortega speaking about mental health as a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Mental health is an important topic for Harper student Nicholas Weidmayer, who served in the United States Marine Corps.

“In the military, we are taught to separate ourselves to remove human emotions. It can be hard to deescalate ourselves,” he said in this story on  Harper’s website. “The center makes sure that there’s a place that veterans belong. We can be accepting and responsive to human emotion. It’s a huge tool to allow us to reconnect and become better members of society.”

Iowa

More than 100 fourth and fifth graders recently visited Muscatine Community College – part of the Eastern Iowa Community College District – to honor veterans. They helped plant hundreds of flags in honor of Veterans Day on the college’s front lawn.

Michigan

Michigan’s Muskegon Community College will host a Veterans Day Salute, open to students and employees. The keynote speaker is MCC adjunct political science instructor Rob Kumpf, who enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in April 2005 and served for 10 years on active and reserve duty on multiple combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned several personal decorations and service awards, including the Combat Action Badge, and was medically retired from the service due to combat-related injuries in November 2015.

Another Michigan college, Washtenaw Community College (WCC), has invited student Carter Hower to speak at its Veterans Day event. Hower served 10 years in the U.S. Army in various roles, including machine gunner, team leader and squad leader. This is his first semester at WCC, where he plans to study pre-engineering and transfer to the University of Michigan to complete a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Nearly 500 veteran students are enrolled at WCC.

New Jersey

A crowd of 300 participants put their best feet forward at the sixth annual Bergen Community College Hero 5K on Nov. 7. The event raised nearly $15,000 for the college’s student veterans emergency fund.

The fundraiser was organized by the college’s wellness and exercise science department and veterans committee.

North Carolina

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) is hosting a mix of online and in-person events, including a fun run/walk for student veterans and a virtual Veterans Day talk about honoring American veterans. The virtual talk features speakers from the CPCC Military Families and Veterans Services and alum Daytona Hill, retired SMSgt, U.S. Air Force, who talked about being a woman veteran. And on Friday, CPCC is hosting a workshop on Veterans Affairs benefits and legal aid available to veterans and their families.

Ohio

Sinclair College also is hosting a full week of events at its Military Family Education Center (MFEC). People could stop by the MFEC to paint a coffee mug that will be donated to the Dayton VA veterans. There was a special lunch for veterans and an MFEC open house. The diversity office also held a webinar called “Combat Flip Flops,” which focused on the power of persistence, creativity and respect.

Texas

Dallas College will host a Veterans Day Resource Fair so veterans and their families can get information about veteran-related programs at the college. There also will be live entertainment, food and a raffle. Throughout the week, campuses will host meet-and-greets with staff from the Veterans and Military-Connected Student Services (V&MSS) Department.

Midland College will host two online events about helping military students find success in the civilian classroom – one for students and one for employees. The seminar is aimed at helping civilian students, faculty and staff assist veteran students acclimate to their new educational environment.

How is your college recognizing veterans? Sound off at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.

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