Veterans find resources at CSULB
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 20:09
The transition from warfront to a college campus has become a little easier, thanks to resources provided by Cal State Long Beach, including an exclusive office set aside for veteran use.
CSULB has been named a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs Magazine, making this the third straight year that the school has received such recognition.
The publication deemed schools “military friendly” based on a lengthy survey asking about policies towards student veterans and the level of services available for them on campus, CSULB Director of Veterans Affairs Services Marshall W. Thomas said.
“Veterans come to CSULB for many of the same reasons non-veterans do,” Thomas said. “We have a great academic reputation and a wide selection of outstanding academic programs to choose from.”
Thomas said one of the resources available to student veterans is a one-stop office that coordinates G.I. Bill benefit certification with other veteran’s services.
“All levels of the campus community, from the president down, support the academic, personal and professional success of military service members, veterans and their dependents,” he said. “I’m really proud to be a part of a wide network of campus partners who assist veterans in achieving their goals.”
The Veterans of Engineering center was established on campus three years ago because many veterans major in engineering, Dean for College of Engineering at CSULB Forouzan Golshani said. Golshani said many veterans visit the center get a sense of community and identification among their peers.
“It’s a great place where they can meet other vets,” Golshani said. “We wanted to give them every opportunity to feel at home, and we want to be as accommodating as possible.”
Alexander Campbell, a junior journalism major who served in Iraq for two months as a rifleman and radio operator, said transferring from Long Beach City College to CSULB has been easier than he expected. He said he finds the campus very practical for numerous reasons.
“The VA Hospital is right next door, so my health and education are side-by-side,” Campbell said. “My professors have been supportive, and they’re approachable and easy to talk to.”
Manuel Hernandez — a senior electronics engineering major who served as a nuclear, biological and chemical specialist during the Gulf War — helped start up the veterans engineering office. The office now serves as a place for many to kick back or catch up on homework.
“The transition itself was easier for me with the support of all the guys in the room, and there are great teachers here who are helpful and willing to listen to you,” Hernandez said.
Larry Zeng, a senior aerospace engineering major who served in the Marine Corps as a helicopter recruit chief, said he spends much of his free time in the office.
“The dean gave us this office, where you get so much support from your peers,” Zeng said. “It’s a lot of fun to come and connect with all the guys. We’re like a family.”