University Park, Centre County, Pa. - The new Veterans Affairs Center at Penn State will offer a wide variety of services, including a better place for those in the military to study and take new programs.
Lt. Col. Andre Ingram is a World Campus student studying supply chain management, he's part of a special military program that sends a service member to college, so they can make improvements to the armed forces.
"Just excited to have this opportunity...I think what the Marine Corps. wants me to get out of it a broader understanding of logistics in supply chain management. So that I can bring that information and knowledge back to the Marine Corps. and hopefully improve some of our processes," Ingram said.
Ingram, other active duty service members and veterans at Penn State are not typical undergraduate students and have more specific needs. That's why the Veterans Affairs Office will soon be expanded and relocated.
"The concept is to provide a more or less one-stop-shop for any Veteran specific services on campus,” Senior Director of Veterans Affairs and Services Eugene McFeely said.
The new location will be one the main floor of the Ritenour Building. It will allow for a larger student lounge, study room, counseling space and tutor opportunities all in one location.
he center will also be the hub for new programs at the main campus and others across the state, including classes specifically tailored for veterans’ and active duty members’ needs.
"The Transition is the Mission -- its a first year seminar class -- we currently have this class up at University Park. We've been doing it for two semesters now and what we're doing next semester is we're going to offer this virtually to the Commonwealth campuses," McFeely said.
While it may take a year or two for the project to be completed, Ingram and fellow veterans look forward to having their own space.
"I think having our own location definitely, this is the next step as far as saying 'Hey.' Bold like hey, here is a visual representation of a thank you for what you do and what people continue to do in serving those who have already served this country," Veteran student Forrest Rutledge said.
"It provides a, again, a level of comfort and that commonality that I think all of us are looking for in everything that we do. Something that is going to help us get on track to be successful," Ingram said.
The project is estimated to be around $4 million. A portion of the project will be funded by the university and the rest through donations.
For more information on how you can donate, contact the Veterans Affairs and Services at email@example.com or call 814-863-0764.