Over the last three to five years colleges have been on a journey to become more veteran friendly. On campus many of us have engaged faculty and staff in new conversations about retention, learning, access, and educational issues that impact veterans. The emerging culture of creating veteran friendly campuses has transformed the way we approach students and many colleges are achieving noteworthy results. This Institute brings the myriad of conversations together to focus on best practices in many areas. We will bring together a group of professionals to inform us how to better serve our veterans on campus. The National Resource Center invites those interested in the success of student veterans to join us for this rich and rewarding experience.
Individual sessions are designed to build on one another so that participants leave with a personalized action plan for use on their home campuses. Modeling the active pedagogies we advocate for our classrooms, the Institute faculty employ group work, problem solving, case studies, discussion, and other active strategies to engage participants in learning.
- Understanding the student veteran population
- Hurdles of enrollment/admissions
- Disability accommodations
- Integrating student veterans to campus culture
- Design of specific courses for student veterans
- Preparing faculty to teach student veterans
- Student veteran centers
- Needs of student veteran families
Larry Braue served in the U.S. Army for 27 years before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2008. He held a variety of leadership during his service, spending seven of those years training future Army leaders as assistant professor of Military Science at the University of South Florida and as professor of Military Science at Iowa State University. Upon retiring from the Army, Braue served as assistant director of Academic Support Services at the University of Central Florida – Daytona Beach Campus. In 2010, he assumed the role of director of Veterans Services at the University of South Florida (USF), where he has developed programs and services that enable veterans to achieve success beyond service. For the past three years, USF has been ranked in the Top 5 "Best Colleges for Vets" by Military Times magazine. Braue holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Liberty University, a masters of arts in human resource management from Central Michigan University, and a bachelors of arts in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sonya Joseph is currently the assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Valencia College. She has more than 20 years professional-level experience in student affairs. She earned a bachelor's degree in math education from the University of Central Florida, a master's degree in higher education/student personnel from The Florida State University, and a doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction with specializations in community college education and public administration. She has taught math, student success, student leadership, and career development courses at both the community college and university level. At Valencia, she led the college-wide redesign of Student Affairs, developed and implemented a professional development and training program for all Student Affairs staff, and co-led the Foundations of Excellence Self Study. She served on the consultant's team for Achieving the Dream (AtD), on the College's Developmental Education Initiative (DEI) team, and is currently leading a part of the College's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for reaccreditation. She started a grass-roots effort at Valencia to support student veterans. Through her leadership, the college created an early registration process for veterans, offered a veterans-only speech course, and built veterans coordinating groups that include faculty and staff on all Valencia campuses. As a result, Valencia has been recognized as a veteran-friendly school for the past three years. Joseph comes from a multi-generational military family and attended school on VA benefits earned from her father's service in the Korean War.
Michael Marks is currently the lead psychologist and evidence-based practices coordinator at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System. He has served as the PTSD Outpatient Clinic Team Leader and as the PTSD Mentor for VISN 18 (Veterans Integrated Service Network), which encompasses Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. He is also an associate clinical professor at the University of Arizona. Marks was co-founder of Vietnam Veterans of Montana and has received the Disabled American Veterans Humanitarian Service Award. He was selected as the 2012 "Outstanding Clinician of the Year" by the American Psychological Associations Division 18, VA Section. Marks has also been recognized by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations "for his distinguished career as an educational leader in the VA and his field." He had dedicated his career to working with trauma survivors, both military and civilian, adults and children, for the last 40 years. Along with his other duties, he is currently involved in the Supportive Education for Returning Veterans (SERV) program, which is a cohort-based curriculum designed to help veterans transition from military to academic life. The VA Office of the Inspector General has recognized the program as a "best practice." He has co-authored "Scholars in Camo," "Transitional Resiliency," "Family Resiliency: A Working Journal," and "Resiliency First Responder." Marks has presented nationally on issues related to PTSD and written numerous articles on the subject.
Karen is the director of Disability Services at the University of South Carolina, where she has worked with students and veterans with disabilities since 1994. Prior to the University, she worked in public schools as a teacher and interpreter in Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Augsburg, Germany. Her degrees include a bachelors of arts in special education, from the University of Tennessee, a master's degree in community and occupational programs in education for adults, and a doctorate in educational psychology and research from the University of South Carolina. Karen is a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability and serves on several advisory boards, including The South Carolina Governor's Policy Academy on Veterans. She is the former chair of the Veterans Student Services Committee at the University of South Carolina. Pettus has presented on working with student veterans at numerous conferences. Pettus was a military spouse for 20 years while her husband Jim served in the U.S. Army. Her daughter served as a medic in the Air Force for four years and currently lives in Germany with her husband, who is an active duty soldier in the Army. Her son is currently working as a civilian medic with US Forces in Afghanistan.
Mark Allen Poisel
Mark Allen Poisel currently serves as vice president for student affairs at Georgia Regents University and has been working on university campuses and with students for the past 25 years. From 2011-2013, Poisel served as the associate provost for Student Success at Pace University. In this role he enhanced academic support and retention for all students including transfer, first-generation, international, honors, and veterans. Prior to his role at Pace, he was the associate vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services at the University of Central Florida (UCF). During his time at UCF, he established a transfer services center, a student success center, a sophomore and second year center, and a veterans' academic resource center while enhancing services for students on regional campuses. Poisel has made more than 50 presentations, including 11 keynote speeches, co-authored two articles, and co-edited a monograph on transfer students. His has centered his efforts on student success initiatives for most of his career in higher education.. He is a two-time graduate of Indiana State University with a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in college student personnel work. He earned both his education specialist and doctorate of education in higher education from The Florida State University.
Constance Staley is professor of communication at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS). She also directs the UCCS First-Year Seminar Program with 85 sections, as well as the Academic Fitness Program for students on academic probation. Staley holds a bachelors of science in education, a masters of arts in linguistics, and a doctorate in communication. She won the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998 and was also nominated for a CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award. While on leave from the University of Colorado from 1988-1991, Staley worked full time for an East Coast Fortune 500 company, where she designed and delivered all management and supervisory training. During 1995-96, she was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching in the republic of Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union. Staley is a prolific author (12 books). Over the last five to seven years, she has presented her work at nearly 100 colleges and conferences across the U.S. and internationally. She has been an Army "brat" and an Air Force wife. Her father, an Army Air Force pilot, was shot down over Germany in World War II as a 19 year-old pilot. He survived as a P.O.W. until his liberation at the end of the war.
Steve Staley is professor of humanities at Colorado Technical University (CTU), Colorado Springs and a retired Air Force colonel. He has served CTU as dean for Academic Affairs and director of General Education. After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy and flying for six years (including a tour in Southeast Asia), Staley earned his masters of arts and doctorate in English from the University of Colorado. Joining the faculty of the Air Force Academy, he directed and taught courses in writing, speech, organizational communication, and literature. In 1988, he joined the faculty of the Naval War College as professor of strategy and policy, where he also served as a research fellow for the United Nations International Peace Academy. During this time he authored The Wave of the Future: The United Nations and Naval Peacekeeping and with Constance Staley co-authored Communicating in Business and the Professions: The Inside Word. As director of Advising at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Staley helped develop the school's new Freshman Seminar program, and in the 1995-96 academic year was a Fulbright Fellow teaching and administering at the Kyrgyz-American University (now the American University of Central Asia) in Kyrgyzstan, in the former Soviet Union.