CELEBRATING OUR COLLIN COLLEGE VETERANS

file3521246754284Although even the lowest college tuition may seem rather expensive to some, a monetary exchange is incomparable to the cost U.S. veterans pay for their education.

Bringing global experience, a level of academic maturity, proven professional success and a unique work ethic to the classroom, veterans are one of history professor Meredith Martin’s favorite types of students to work with.

“Student veterans recognize that the benefits they’re using to complete their education have come at a high price,” Martin said. “They understand the importance of using those benefits to the fullest.”

With a large group of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans now attending Collin College, faculty, staff and students alike see the value and importance in acknowledging and learning from U.S. veterans.

In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Collin College will host a week-long celebration with events district wide.

Nov. 4-15

Blue Star Mothers of Collin County Donation Drive

Central Park Campus (Student Life and E wing near E213)

Preston Ridge Campus (Student Life and Founders Hall)

Spring Creek Campus (Student Life and Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement).

Blue Star Mothers is a national organization with local satellite chapters that collect donated items to create care packages for deployed service members. A blue star mother has a child who has served or is serving in the military.

Nov. 11

U.S. Marine Corps. Birthday Celebration (238)

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Preston Ridge Campus

Sponsored by Student Veterans of America  (SVA) at Collin College and supported by North Texas Military Association, and area USMC Veterans.

Veteran’s Day BBQ

12-1:30 p.m. (district wide)

Central Park Campus -Atrium/New Pike Hall

Preston Ridge Campus – Conference Center

Spring Creek Campus – Atrium

Sponsored by Student Life

Film showing:: “Battle of Marjah”

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Preston Ridge Campus

Followed by student veteran discussion panel and Q&A session
Sponsored by SVA Collin College.

Nov. 12

Film Showing: “Restrepo”

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Central Park Campus

Followed by  student veteran discussion panel and Q&A session
Sponsored by SVA Collin College and the CSCE.

Lunch and Learn: “Why Service Learning Matters: Collin College’s Oral History Veterans Project”

12-1 p.m.
Preston Ridge Campus D114
Speaker: Kim Nyman, professor of speech

Nov. 13

Film Showing: “Taking Chance”

4-6 p.m.

Spring Creek Campus Room C103

Followed by  student veteran discussion panel and Q&A session
Sponsored by SVA Collin College and the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Spring Creek Campus.

Nov. 14

Lunch and Learn: “Why Service Learning Matters: Collin College’s Oral History Veterans Project”

12-1 p.m.

Central Park Campus Room E210
Speaker: Kim Nyman, professor of speech

Lunch and Learn: “Why Service Learning Matters: Collin College’s Oral History Veterans Project”

12-1 p.m.

Spring Creek Campus Room BB202

Speaker: Dr. Terry Hockenbrough

vets

Martin said the district-wide events typically have large attendance.

Collin College students, administrators, faculty and staff are proud to show their support for those who have served the nation.

“It’s a very relaxed and respectful way we can come together to commemorate the service of our American service members,” Martin said.

Collin College SVA President John Wangler said he appreciates the opportunity these events create for veterans to see that the community still supports them.“It also educates civilians and reminds us all of the sacrifice vets have made,” Wangler said.

One of Wangler’s favorite events is the military documentaries and movies that will show Nov. 11-13.

“We have a student veteran panel discussion afterward,” Wangler said “As vets, it allows us the ability to change people’s perspective from what they’ve seen in the movies and on TV to something more first hand.”

Allowing students the opportunity to take part in creating history, Kim Nyman’s “Lunch and Learn” will focus on properly creating oral history and the incredible success of the Collin College Oral History project.

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“In conjunction with the National Archives, students are trained and given the opportunity to participate in the Library of Congress’s Veterans History project. It’s an exciting prospect for our students to create an oral history and be part of something larger than themselves. They are creating a resource that will last for generations to come,” Martin said.

With more than 1100 veterans enrolled, Veterans Week isn’t the only time the college works to serve those who’ve served.

The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) at the Spring Creek Campus is open year round and functions as a place that students can find connections to services on and off campus.

In addition to a study area, students can obtain referrals about benefit information, admissions, employment services, housing and more.

Tyler Acevedo, student veteran and Collin College student assistant, said having a place like the Veterans Resource Center is immeasurably important.

“The reintegration of former service members into the classroom can be quite the difficult transition to say the least,” Acevedo said. “You just can’t put a price tag on creating that unique environment where they can step into a safety zone and reflect on past experiences. If nothing else, veterans should know they own a small piece of real estate here at Collin College.”

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In addition to the VRC, Collin College SVA works to advocate on behalf of student veterans, give direct financial assistance to veterans in need, raise money for student veteran scholarships and create mentoring programs to aid veterans in transitioning from military to academic life.

“SVA is absolutely great,” Wangler said. “It lets us reignite some of that camaraderie we had when we were in the service. With SVA activities like the Blue Star Mothers donation drive, we get to give back to the community or even other service members still overseas. It’s been very positive and uplifting.”

For more information about Veterans Day events, visit the college calendar at http://calendar.collin.edu/CalendarNow.aspx. To learn more about the Veterans Resource Center, contact Tyler Acevedo at vacevedo@collin.edu or 972.881.5774.

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