Hunter Military Veterans Honored at Lunch with President Raab
On December 1, Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab hosted a lunch for student military veterans to thank them for their service and discuss their experiences transitioning back to school. The veterans ranged from soldiers recently returned from Iraq to former Navy lieutenant and retired lawyer Steve Hart, who served in Vietnam and is now studying French at Hunter.
Hunter Professor of Economics Martin Tackel, who donated $2,500 to support the College's veteran services programs, also attended the lunch.
The students had high praise for Hunter's veteran services and outreach programs. "Everything has been great," said Colleen Evans, a junior media studies major who served in the Army Reserves. "The vet community here is really special, and the advisers reach out and know their stuff. I can't say how much I appreciate what Hunter has done for me and all of us."
Hunter is unique, the students agreed, in its efforts to meet the needs of student veterans, acknowledging that many vets returning home receive little guidance about educational opportunities and the resources they are entitled to. "A lot of men and women don't come home with that feeling that college is something they can do," said Jose Cabrera, Jr., a sophomore who served two tours of duty as a Marine in Iraq.
Though the students shared the common experience of serving their country, their backgrounds and career goals reflected the diversity of any cross-section of Hunter students. Army vet Yevgenia Lipina is originally from Russia and is now at Hunter's School of Nursing. Isaac Crawford spent four years as a Reconnaissance Specialist after graduating magna cum laude from Arizona State; he is now studying to become a doctor. And Gael Georges is a sociology major from Haiti whose parents sent him to live with his grandfather ten years ago to seek a better life in the U.S. Three months after arriving, Gael enlisted in the Army.