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The Student Veterans Resource Center is dedicated to supporting veteran students as they transition into the S&T community and help them thrive in their new student roles. Matt Ford, student support specialist, leads the center. A few highlights from this past year include volunteering to provide water stations at the Heroes Marathon, offering information on the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience to student veterans, offering mental health workshops, and Ford presenting a memorial wreath during the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce Memorial Day service.
The Student Veterans of America (SVA) at Missouri S&T participated in community outreach by volunteering at the Heroes Marathon held in Rolla and hosted by the local American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Members of the SVA S&T chapter set up water stations throughout the 26.7-mile course from Salem to Rolla. The event raised over $10,000 in support of the Association of the United States Army Warriors in Need Fund and Dent County Veteran’s Emergency Fund.
The center collaborated with Dedie Wilson, senior program coordinator for experiential learning, to host a luncheon to learn more about the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience and the benefits of being enrolled in the program. Students learned about research scholarships and programs that are available to them throughout their time at S&T.
Each month during the spring semester, staff members from Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital visited S&T to provide mental health workshops as part of the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program, which provides veteran resources to help service members transition into civilian life as college students. These workshops are crucial for providing support and education to student veterans and can help reduce stigma, promote self-care, and provide tools to manage mental well-being. The workshops specifically helped our student veterans who were struggling in their courses, and the self-care and well-being exercises helped students recognize common signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, and offered techniques to combat those symptoms.
Finally, Ford presented a wreath during the Rolla Chamber of Commerce Memorial Day service held at Veterans Memorial Park in Rolla. Over 50 wreaths from different businesses and organizations were presented in honor of our fallen U.S. military servicemen and women.