CSUF News Service

Student Veterans Get New, Modernized Place to Call Their Own

Campus Celebrates Relocation of Veterans Resource Center

 
Veterans Resource Center Grand Opening

Supporting and Serving Veterans

In July 2008, the university established Veteran Student Services. By June 2012, the program opened a small space inside University Hall for students to gather and study, followed by the opening — with additional space — of the Veterans Resource Center in August 2014.

The center relocated to its new space in Room 244 of University Hall in September, doubling its size.

The Veterans Resource Center offers a range of comprehensive services — from peer mentoring, workshops to innovative programs — that support students' academic, personal and professional success. These services include:

  • Female veteran support services, including hosting an annual conference in the spring for women veterans.
  • Veterans Ambassador Program to provide assistance to prospective student veterans and family members of veterans through a partnership with local community colleges. This year, partnerships expanded from three pilot schools to 12 community partners, including Fullerton College, Irvine Valley College and Camp Pendleton.
  • The Titan Warrior Wellness Program, developed to engage students in their personal wellness goals, offers individual and group support, wellness-related activities and interactive workshops to encourage students' well-being.
  • The Veteran Scholar Career Readiness Program offers activities and services, including collaborating with the Career Center and community partners, where students can explore career options.
  • VET NET Ally Program gives faculty and staff members the opportunity to learn about experiences of student veterans and how to be effective and supportive allies on campus. Since the program was launched in 2015, 130 campus members have participated.

As the Cal State Fullerton community hailed the unveiling of a new, larger Veterans Resource Center on campus, Marine Corps veteran and alumnus Jose Guevara declared: "Mission accomplished!"

Guevara was president of the Student Veterans Association in 2014, when he and other vets advocated for a bigger and better center for those transitioning from soldier in the military to college student.

Guevara returned to campus for the Nov. 7 celebration of the center’s roomier location on the second floor of University Hall. The event, attended by campus and community members, local legislators and alumni, was timed during November, the month when veterans and military families are honored.

The event included a tour of the new space, equipped with computer stations, a student lounge with a display of flags representing the different branches of the military service, and a quiet room with a tabletop fountain and comfy sofas. The new location enables the center to enhance and expand services to support the estimated 600 student veterans attending the university, as well as military dependents and others with family ties to the military.

Guevara, who earned a bachelor's degree in public administration in 2016 and is a field representative for fellow Titan and Congressman Lou Correa, added that for many veterans, adjusting to civilian and college life can be difficult.

"Centers like this help veterans with the transition," said Guevara, who was among guest speakers. "We finally got a space to call our own, where veterans can be engaged in their education as they pursue a college degree."

CSUF President Fram Virjee also delivered remarks and commended student veterans for their service.

"It is such an honor to have you on our campus and to serve you — after you have served us. You put yourself in harm’s way for us — that's something that we can never repay, and it's something that we can never forget," Virjee said. "Your service and your character are inspiring; your courage in doing what you did for us is humbling, and your dedication to each other, to your country and to your university is uplifting."

Communications major Amy Thronson, president of the Student Veterans Association who served in the Air Force, welcomed supporters gathered for what she characterized as a "meaningful milestone."

The goal of the Veterans Resource Center and the Student Veterans Association is to be that "one-stop home for our students," Thronson continued. "From the moment they set foot into the center, we do our best to support them along their journey to the finish line — to graduation and a career."

Thronson added that student veterans now have a "home and family" with fellow students and mentors who can meet with them and provide support and guidance.

Since the center’s move this fall, she relayed: “I have already seen so many new faces, which goes to show that we will finally be able to reach out to those we were unable to reach before due to space limitations.”

For more information and November events to honor veterans, visit the center's website.

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