SUNY New Paltz is a leading recipient of a new round of SUNY Impact Foundation grants created to boost education opportunities for more than 12,500 military students and their dependents across the state.
The funding will allow New Paltz’s Office of Veteran & Military Services and Institute for Disaster Mental Health to work with peer SUNY campuses, to help establish and bolster programs that are proven to increase engagement and retention among military-affiliated students.
The grants come from a new Ambassador Trustee Carl Spielvogel Fund, created by a generous donation from its namesake, Ambassador Spielvogel, who serves on the SUNY Board of Trustees and served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the U.S. Army.
“Many of our veterans have had experiences way beyond their years fighting for democracy around the globe,” said Ambassador Spielvogel. “As they come to New York, I am pleased to lend my personal support and provide resources to give more of our servicemen and women the advantage of a higher education through skills-based training, as well as a range of initiatives that will expand and improve educational opportunities.”
SUNY New Paltz has emerged as a leader in the SUNY system in creating a supportive and enriching learning environment for military students. Since the creation of the Office of Veteran & Military Services in 2014, the number of veterans, dependents and service members in the student population has increased more than fivefold, from 76 in 2014 to 416 in the fall 2018 semester.
“SUNY New Paltz established the Office of Veteran and Military Services with a mission to support and guide military service members, veterans and dependents as they face unique challenges in their transition into higher education,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “We are grateful to Ambassador Spielvogel and the SUNY Impact Foundation for creating an opportunity for our campus to share with fellow SUNY institutions our lessons learned, insights and best practices for working with military-affiliated students.”
The Spielvogel grant will enable New Paltz staff to draw on their experience and expertise to create a “toolbox” of strategies and best practices for helping military and veteran students succeed in higher education. They will begin delivering those strategies to student service professionals at peer SUNY institutions in 2019.
“We are proud to serve our veterans, and with the generosity of Ambassador Spielvogel, a dedicated patriot and staunch advocate for higher education, the U.S. Ambassador Trustee Carl Spielvogel Fund will help our campuses provide academic assistance and support to more people who have protected our country,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “My thanks to Ambassador Spielvogel and to all of our veteran students for their service.”
New Paltz is the only one of 11 campuses that is proposing to use the Spielvogel Fund grant to develop a SUNY-wide program. It will expand on an existing program funded by a New York State Health Foundation grant, which focuses on improving military students’ health and wellness.
Other campuses receiving funding for veteran and military student services include: SUNY Canton, Cayuga Community College, SUNY Empire State College, Jefferson Community College, Nassau Community College, Niagara County Community College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, SUNY Potsdam and Rockland Community College.
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