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Penn State Plans New Student Veteran Center

by on November 11, 2017 5:00 AM

A new Servicemember Veteran Center at University Park will bring together and enhance programs and services for Penn State student veterans.

Col. Eugene McFeely, Penn State's senior director for Veterans Affairs and Services, told the university's Board of Trustees that the center will be housed in Ritenour Building and will serve as a centralized location for the 850 student veterans at University Park.

McFeely, who came to the position with more than 27 years of U.S. Air Force service, was appointed in October 2016 "to look strategically at veteran affairs in the Penn State system, identify gaps in service, and seek opportunities to enhance the University’s student veteran experience," according to a university news release.

The new center will house the Office of Veterans Programs; the Office of Veterans Affairs and Services; a student veteran lounge; a student veteran study area; and multi-use rooms for student veteran organizations, support groups and programs. 

“Our vision is to create a dedicated physical space that collocates veteran services, support and activities in a more accessible space that is better tailored to our student veterans and their unique needs,” McFeely said. “Ritenour provides the ideal central location close to several key campus resources such as numerous academic units, academic advising, tutoring, career services, disability services, accessible parking and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), all of which are essential to student veteran success. This access is particularly important to a community that has the potential for higher rates of special needs, such as accessibility, than any other student population.” 

The space will allow Penn State to expand existing veteran services -- which include assistance with GI Bill benefits, transition-to-college programs, peer-to-peer mentoring and support and counseling resources -- while also improving coordination between the university's two veteran-focused offices. McFeely said it also will create more opportunities for community and peer-to-peer engagement



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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