SUNY Chancellor Joins Roundtable Discussion with FSC Student Veterans
On Monday, November 6, 2023, John S. Nader, PhD, president of Farmingdale State College, hosted State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor John B. King, Jr. for a special meeting with FSC student veterans, which included a new SUNY program announcement and a roundtable discussion with New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, New York State Senator Monica Martinez’s office, Dr. Kevin Jordan, FSC vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer, and FSC Veterans Services Director Eric Farina in Quintyne Hall.
As a veterans and military-friendly institution with nearly 230 military-affiliated students utilizing benefits, including 10 dependents and 30 National Guard members and reservists, FSC has the highest percentage of student veterans of any SUNY campus. FSC’s Office of Veterans Services supports veterans, military personnel, and their military-connected families through the admissions, registration, and financial aid process through to graduation, while offering a welcoming environment and fellowship.
“As a campus community, we honor and salute our student veterans active-duty service members, guards and reservists, who are a part of our campus community, within New York State, and across the country,” said President Nader. “We are incredibly proud to have one of the highest populations of veteran students in the State and provide support for student veterans and reservists at every step in their college journey, from admissions and enrollment, through graduation and beyond with support programs, financial assistance, special services and benefits, alumni engagement and more. I am so grateful to Chancellor King, Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre, and Senator Martinez’s office for visiting us today and for recognizing and acknowledging the enormous value we place on our student veteran student population.”
While at FSC, Chancellor King announced the Veterans Enrollment and Support Internship Program, a new SUNY initiative that will offer paid internships to student veterans at 20 campuses, including FSC.
“Veterans bring unparalleled leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to perform under pressure—qualities that greatly enhance the academic and community life on SUNY campuses, and provide inspiration for others transitioning out of the military to follow,” said Chancellor King. “By creating the Veterans Enrollment and Support Internship Program we can better ensure that other veterans and military-connected individuals know there is a place for them at SUNY, with financial support and resources to ease their transition to academic life.”
“I think it is excellent that the Chancellor has highlighted veterans during an important week of honor,” said Farina. “This new initiative is a great way to connect veterans with their compatriots in the application process.”
"This is a tremendous opportunity," said Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre, a SUNY graduate. "This roundtable is for us really to listen and to learn. And as chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the New York State Assembly, I have been listening so I can go back to session and create policy that is truly impactful.
“I want to thank you for your commitment to your county, and your commitment to being at this roundtable today, especially to help us move forward. Thank you," she added, addressing the student veterans in attendance.
Throughout the discussion, attendees spoke about utilizing GI Bill benefits and the recent expansion of SUNY's policy on Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), which awards academic credit for learning that takes place outside of the traditional classroom and includes military experience.
"I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to recruit students but also to support students, so they are successful while they are with us," said Chancellor King.
Student veteran attendees also credited Farina and FSC's Veterans Services Office for helping them achieve success throughout their college experience. Farina has over 18 years of military service including 15 with the New York Army National Guard, where he currently serves as an infantry squad leader in Bravo Company, 69th Infantry.
“I definitely found Farmingdale through the Veterans Services here on campus, where I fell in love with the close-knit community," said Elias Gomez, '24, a U.S. Air Force veteran in the Pro-Pilot Program. “Veterans Services here at Farmingdale, first and foremost, creates an environment of community and comradery above all things, but they also provide excellent services that point you in the right direction.”
To learn more, visit the Office of Veterans Services webpage.
View photos from Chancellor King’s FSC visit on our Flickr Gallery.