- Your Voice
(BPT) - As an active member in the U.S. Air Force, Diana Kramer has been deployed five times – twice to Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, in the past year, she has traveled to Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Guam and Kuwait, just to name a few. And while she has been traveling the world, it doesn’t mean she can’t pursue a degree at the same time.
Three veterans attending the University of Arizona, along with the spouse of an Air Force member, have been named Tillman Military Scholars in honor of their years of service and academic and leadership potential.
As the United States’ longest running conflict – the Afghanistan War – draws to a close, the demand for medical, social, financial, educational and other services for veterans is increasing dramatically.
The University of Arizona has been selected again as a partner institution of the Pat Tillman Foundation, enabling the UA to continue to soliciting and submitting candidates for the Tillman Military Scholarship.
The University of Arizona is one of the best institutions to consider pursuing a higher education degree, according to U.S. News & World Report's inaugural list of the Best Colleges for Veterans.
The UA is ranked 23rd on the list, which includes 234 U.S. schools.
The publication noted that the new ranking is meant to "provide military veterans with data on which top-ranked schools offer benefits to veterans and active service members that can help them pursue a college education." Top-ranked institutions had to meet set criteria, such as being a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium, being certified for the GI Bill, and being a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
"It is an honor to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report," said military veteran Cody Nicholls, the UA's assistant dean of students for Veterans Education and Transition Services.
Since 2000, the number of veterans enrolling at the UA has increased 56 percent, from 194 in2000to303in2012.
"We've had a long-standing, very close relationship between the UA and student veterans on campus," said Shay Stautz, the UA's associate vice president for Federal Relations. "The UA certainly understands the broader societal commitment to our returning veterans who have served their country. These individuals are an important part of our community."
The UA offers a range of programs and services geared toward student veterans. They include:
"Other universities have one or two elements of the support infrastructure we have on campus," Stautz said. "Very few of them, to my understanding, have all of these elements."
In addition, the UA has just opened a new student center at the Arizona Health Sciences Center for military veterans and their allies. The center, which is located in the Arizona Health Sciences Library, offers meeting and study spaces and is staffed by student veteran work-study recipients.
"It's the most central area there and can bring in people from pharmacy, nursing, public health and medicine," Nicholls said, emphasizing the importance of providing a space specifically for those in graduate and professional programs. "It's a great location and it is easy to get to."
This spring, the one-credit "Transitional Resiliency" course will be offered, providing a condensed version of the three-credit SERV courses. Each of these courses is designed to help student veterans have an easier tradition into higher education, aiding them in their academic success and in building resiliency. The courses also include workforce development training.
"What we really pride ourselves on is what we do above and beyond for our student veterans, especially in what the rankings recognize in terms of meeting the needs of our students," Nicholls said.
Joining military veterans and their spouses from across the nation, three University of Arizona students have been named to the fifth class of Tillman Military Scholars.
April 20, 2005 - Junior tennis
Dec. 1, 2004 - A little more than two weeks after the El Tour de Tucson bike race rolled through Pima County, athletes from throughout the country will trade their bicycles for sneakers as the Northwest plays hosts to the 11th Annual Holualoa Tucson Marathon.
Oct. 13, 2004 - AHEAD OF THE GAME: As many golfers throughout the Grand Canyon State could probably tell you, finding a tee-time, even in a golf-centric state such as Arizona, this time of year sometimes can prove difficult. October is the month where traditionally all golf courses shut down for a two- week stretch for the over-seeding of their courses.