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Kent State Hosts Conference on Universities Serving Veterans

Posted May, 26, 2010

Representatives from Ohio’s institutions of higher education will gather at Kent State University on Thursday, May 27, to attend a conference on serving veterans attending college. “Ohio Universities Serving Those Who SERVE” will address best practices to help veterans achieve maximum student success. 

The all-day event, presented by Kent State’s recently established Center for Adult and Veterans Services and the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, will be held at the Kent Student Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 27.

“This is the first-of-its-kind conference in Ohio highlighting the growing population of veterans returning to college campuses,” said Rachel Anderson, director of Kent State’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services. “We are expecting more than 120 participants from all corners of the state and from every kind of higher education institution.”

The schedule includes breakout sessions on best practices in academic and student affairs and a panel discussion on issues of concern to veterans.

Conference speakers include:
• Henry Dulick, education compliance specialist for the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs
• Daniel Eakins, program coordinator for the Ohio Department of Veterans Services
• Patricia Hall, program manager of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans care management program at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
• Cliff Payne, director of the Ohio G.I. Promise
• Dr. Ronald Riechers, a board-certified neurologist with extensive experience caring for soldiers and veterans with traumatic brain injury
• Jeremy Streem, administrative assistant for the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs
• Dennis Ward, vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs

David Garcia, associate vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at Kent State and a veteran, also will address the conference. “The National Guard was a big reason why I was able to attend college,” Garcia said. “I am very proud to have served my country and acknowledge that without the National Guard, I probably would not be where I am today.”

An increasing number of veterans returning home and the new G.I. Bill have swelled the ranks of veteran students at Ohio universities. The number of veterans enrolled at Kent State has dramatically increased in recent years. The university estimates that number will reach 1,000 veterans enrolled system-wide at Kent State’s eight campuses by fall 2010.

Registration for the conference is at capacity and is now closed.  “This is the first-of-its-kind in the state, and the response has been overwhelming,” Anderson said.  “We look forward to helping Ohio colleges and universities increase their ability to serve veterans at their campuses.”

For more information, contact the Center for Adult and Veterans Services at Kent State at 330-672-7933.

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Media Contacts:
Rachel Anderson, raanders@kent.edu, 330-672-7933
Bob Burford, rburford@kent.edu, 330-672-8516

**Note to Media: The conference is at capacity and registration is closed.  The media is welcome to cover the event.  The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. in Room 306AB of the Kent Student Center.