Back-to-School Event for Veterans

SJSU Offers Back-to-School Event for Military Veterans

Speakers included Mark Pinto, an SJSU Career Center veterans student assistant (Christina Olivas photo).

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Students who are military veterans started fall 2012 with a new back-to-school event and program designed to facilitate their adjustment to and success in academic life.

Held Aug. 22 in the Burdick Military History Project Lounge (Industrial Studies 239), the event was open to all vets, including the nearly 290 SJSU students here on the G.I. Bill. For a full agenda, see below.

Damian Bramlett, an Army infantry veteran, graduate student, and SJSU’s new veteran coordinator, was among the organizers. He noted the event was to include guest speakers from various departments within the university discussing the benefits and services available to veterans on campus.”

Joining together to organize the event were the SJSU Career Center, SJSU Center for Community Learning and Leadership, and a new office supporting students who are veterans.

The VITAL Initiative

SJSU is one of 15 colleges and universities selected for the second cohort of VITAL, the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) initiative, a Veterans Administration program founded in November 2011.

Collaborating on SJSU’s VITAL proposal were Bramlett, Professor of Psychology Annabel Prins, who is also a clinical psychologist with the VA National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Palo Alto VA clinical psychologist Shana Spangler.

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday in Clark Hall 240A, VITAL offers services beyond the educational benefits articulated by the G.I. Bill, including housing assistance, health and mental health care coverage, and VA home loans.

Other planned VITAL services are individually tailored resource maps for connecting with campus and community resources; outreach to community colleges to facilitate transferring to SJSU; faculty and staff training on veteran mental health issues; and maintenance, enhancement, and evaluation of the National Center for PTSD campus toolkit.

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10 a.m. Welcoming Remarks, Professor of History Jonathan Roth
10:10 a.m. Center for Community Learning & Leadership and veterans course, Professor Elena Klaw
10:15 a.m. SJSU Counseling Services, Elaine Chin
10:20 a.m. Education Benefits, Andrei Ingalla
10:25 a.m. SJSU Career Center, Melodie Cameron
10:30 a.m. VITAL, Shana Spangler
10:35 a.m. Veterans Student Organization, Mark Pinto
10:40 a.m. Disability Resource Center, Amy Lehman
10:45 a.m. Q & A