PC Unveils New Veterans Student Center
From the mess hall to the study hall, the transition to college can be a difficult one for many veterans entering the classroom. To help ease the transition, as well as give a space devoted to these deserving students, Phoenix College unveiled the new PC Veterans Student Center during a grand opening ceremony held on March 27, 2014.
The newly renovated space, located in the Hannelly Center, features computers designated for veteran use, pertinent information for veterans including available resources on and off campus, as well as a space for socializing and networking with other veterans. Other amenities include: video conferencing capabilities, workshop and webinar space, printing capabilities, and internet access. The space also features military-themed decorations, including seals representing the five branches of the military, as well as a world map where visitors can mark they’ve been.
“The goal of this space is to help veterans from start to finish, assisting them with everything to make them successful – both academically and socially,” said Thomas Boyle, a Phoenix College student and United States Navy veteran. Boyle, who serves as master of arms for the school’s Student Veterans Association, was one of the many veteran students whose input was taken into consideration when developing the space.
There are currently over 450 students at Phoenix College who are receiving benefits from the GI Bill, as well as many others who do not receive benefits but are still pursuing a higher education on the Phoenix College campus. “It’s our privilege to welcome our veterans to PC and ensure they have the guidance and support they need to pursue their higher education,” said Dr. Casandra Kakar, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Phoenix College faculty and staff take great pride in giving our veterans quality customer service and going beyond just offering benefits.”
Phoenix College’s commitment to veterans has been recognized previously through its designation as a “Military Friendly School” by G.I. Jobs, a magazine for military personnel who are transitioning into civilian life. This distinction places Phoenix College among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country for embracing veterans as students.
The grand opening ceremony was attended by Phoenix College students, staff, faculty and community members. The event included remarks from Chris Haines, dean of students; Dr. Casandra Kakar , vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. Rufus Glasper, chancellor of Maricopa County Community Colleges District; Dana Saar, governing board president for Maricopa County Community Colleges District, Yira Brimage, vice president of Student Affairs; Major General Carl Schneider, a retired member of the United States Air Force and veteran advocate; and Thomas Boyle, veteran of the United States Navy and current Phoenix College student.
The PC Veterans Student Center is located on the upper level of the Hannelly Center, near the enrollment center.