Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Funds will support SDSU's growing veteran population. Funds will support SDSU's growing veteran population.
 


Meeting Veterans Where They Live

With support from JPMorgan Chase, SDSU increases outreach to the veteran community.
By
 

Derek Abbey has a flash of déjà vu when enlisted men and women approach him with uncertainty and a pinch of frustration.

He was once in their shoes — serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, eager to get a college degree, but uneasy about making the transition from military base to college campus.

“Many of them know exactly what they want to study, but they don’t have the cultural capital to make it happen,” Abbey said. “Sometimes they don’t know what questions to ask.”

Support from JP Morgan Chase

Abbey helps them ask the right ones and get answers. As assistant military liaison officer with San Diego State’s Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center, he talks to veterans where they live—on military bases. He teaches them how to apply for college and how to obtain the educational benefits they earned during their service.

Abbey’s position is funded by a grant from JPMorgan Chase. The company has invested $1 million to support higher education programs for U.S. military veterans at four selected universities: Florida State College at Jacksonville, the University of South Florida, the University of Texas at Arlington and SDSU.

Extending SDSU’s outreach

Funding from JPMorgan Chase also supports another new position at the Barron Veterans Center. Shan “Kaz” Lockett, assistant veterans coordinator and also a former Marine, develops mentoring programs, coordinates veteran-related events on and off campus and serves as a School Certifying Official to help student-veterans access VA education benefits.

“Our military population is growing, and we want to be able to serve them,” said Joan Putnam, Barron Veterans Center director. “This grant allows us to offer more complete services to student-veterans on campus while extending our outreach to military bases and eventually, community colleges.”