This past March, Stony Brook University received a prestigious Military Friendly distinction. This honor was awarded to Stony Brook given the excellence in supporting military students and student veterans. In the Tier 1 Research Institution classification, Stony Brook was also awarded a Silver rank.
The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services supports the military and student veterans population and works directly with these students and their dependents to help them navigate through higher education. This office also assists students in completing the necessary paperwork and helping them manage the transition to life as a student while providing a personal approach, which is just one of the many reasons student veterans are so successful at Stony Brook.
Fostering a community for students to plant their roots and call Stony Brook home is an incredibly important charge for the campus. “We support our students from application to graduation. When students make the transition to civilian life it can come with its own challenges, but we assure our students that they do belong here and provide them support to navigate and adjust to life at Stony Brook, said Pamela Pfeil, assistant director of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services exceeded the national standard in many categories to receive this distinction. Stony Brook’s highest scoring categories include Graduation and Career, Financial Aid and Assistance, and Community and Culture, which speak to the network of support existing at SBU for student veterans such as the Veterans Support Team. This is a group of professional staff from various campus departments, such as Financial Aid, Bursar, and Advising, that assists military and student veterans with their individual needs.
The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services also offers a peer mentorship program called Vets-4-Vets, where new students are paired up with a successful student veteran to guide them through the transition to college life, show them “the ropes” and encourage them to get involved in campus life. In addition, SBU has an active Veteran Student Organization (VESO) chapter on campus, whose goal is to create campus-wide awareness of the contributions that student veterans make to the Stony Brook community through various activities that promote bonding and the formation of new relationships. VESO also hosts various events throughout the year, such as Tent City, a campout on campus to raise awareness about veteran homelessness.
“We are very proud to receive this Military Friendly distinction along with the Silver rank acknowledgment,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau. “The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services plays a vital role in supporting and fostering the success of our military students and student veterans and continually strives to create an environment that’s welcoming, inclusive and supportive of all our military and student veterans as they move to, through and beyond Stony Brook University.”