I’ve worked for the
Veterans Initiative at Tri-C since 2015. I love my job. I help
veterans coming home get started with their GI Bill, military
transcripts, student accessibility services, veteran
scholarships and anything related to college. I also provide
wraparound support in referrals to the Veterans Affairs Medical
Centers, mental health counseling, family counseling,
connections to other local veteran groups and jobs. It’s great
to help people who are going through exactly what I went through
when I came home.
As a part of the overall College population, how important
are veterans — and why?
Veteran students possess significant life experiences, including
an understanding of global issues and experiences with diverse
cultures. Veteran students demonstrate a more mature focus on
learning a history of selfless service, maturity, self-reliance,
resourcefulness and leadership skills.
TCT: What is the
most challenging aspect of your job? What is most rewarding?
MM: The most challenging aspect is
working with students who really want to go to college but have
so many obstacles outside the classroom. Mental health is a huge
issue. Money can be tight, and the VA is often late with housing
and book payments. Veterans have to manage jobs, families,
school, service-connected disabilities and VA medical
The most rewarding aspect of my job is when students persevere
and overcome barriers. Instead of post-traumatic stress, we like
to talk about post-traumatic growth and how people become
stronger after experiencing trauma. To see students find a place
on campus, make new friends, accomplish their goals and graduate
college is life-affirming.
TCT: What do you like to do in your
MM: I love to read science fiction and
self-help, exercise and spend time with my family. I live close
to the Metroparks and try to take advantage of the great trails
for hiking, biking and river walking with my nieces.