University of Louisville Magazine

FAL 2016

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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2 4 | L O U I S V I L L E . E D U Living away from home for the first time, meeting people from different backgrounds, being exposed to new ideas — in many ways, the college freshman and the military recruit are navigating the same challenges as they embark on adulthood. And yet in a few short years, their experiences of the world and the way they perceive it can become oceans apart. For the military veteran who has deployed in the dead of night, parachuted into un- friendly territories and scoured foreign roads for IEDs, returning to the world of libraries, term papers and tailgating can have the sense of being in a strange land once more. Recognizing the unique needs of return- ing military members, UofL established the Office of Military and Veteran Student Ser- vices in 2009 to help ease the transition from military to student life. This includes helping UofL's veteran and military stu- dents navigate the admissions process and apply for G.I. Bill benefits, as well as assist- ing them with withdrawals and re-admit- tance when they're deployed or called to active duty. There are 971 veteran and ac- tive-duty military students enrolled at UofL this semester. The office's existence and other univer- sity efforts have helped UofL earn the distinction of being named a military- friendly university for the seventh year in a row by publishing company Victory Media Inc. The company also praised UofL for its military-focused degree offerings, exer- cise therapy classes for wounded soldiers and VetStart, a program developed by the College of Business that helps veterans start their own businesses. The Office of Military and Veteran Stu- dent Services staff — Kristen Roy, program coordinator senior and Carissa Gentry, VA certifying official and program coordinator — helps connect students with resources available to them on campus or through the Veterans Affairs office, such as tutoring, counseling and health care. For disabled veterans, including those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder orother men- tal health issues, UofL also provides voca- tional rehabilitation benefits, which give veterans additional counseling and support throughout their educational careers. For Gentry, a U.S. Navy veteran, the work is personal. "When I came out of the ge ne ral s t udie s: How Uof L is Educating Our Nation's Military

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