This week, Syracuse University will host a first-of-its-kind summit to address some of the most pressing issues facing the long-term sustainability of the all-volunteer military. Hosted collaboratively by Syracuse and the University of Tennessee, the summit is being held during the 50th anniversary of the end of the military draft and the birth of America’s all-volunteer force—and at a time when both the military and higher education face significant challenges, including recruitment and enrollment.
Syracuse University has a long-standing commitment to being the best place for veterans. Student veterans enjoy the same benefits as all students and a variety of academic, professional and other services developed for veterans and military-connected students.
Higher Education for Military-Connected Students
Students are offered an array of interesting and exciting classes at Syracuse University, and some are uniquely geared toward the military-connected population.
The Defense Comptrollership Program leads to a master of business administration degree and an executive master of public administration degree—from the Whitman School of Management and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, respectively—for employees pursuing careers as comptrollers or resources managers with the Department of Defense.
The Military Visual Journalism Program, offered through the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, trains active-duty service members in military photojournalism and military motion media.
The D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), which was created in 2011 and provides national career training preparation, launched the IVMF Digital Library in 2022. This virtual library for student veterans boasts two curated aggregations of veteran-oriented resources. One is the Employment and Economic Opportunity collection, divided into six subcollections; the other is the Center of Excellence Veteran Entrepreneurship Resource Library, devoted to entrepreneurship and small business management.
Bonnie Chapman Beers ’03, the IVMF’s director of evaluation and innovation, says: “The IVMF Digital Library is making a difference—serving those who serve us.”
The library and these unique programs are just some examples of what is possible in higher education for the veteran community.
I think being selected as Micron’s first hire from the Central New York community is extremely inspiring.
Savion Pollard ’25
Transition to Civilian Life
When Ryan Marquette L’22, a U.S. Army veteran and active member of the Air National Guard, decided to attend law school, he knew Syracuse University was the perfect place for him because of its commitment to veterans.
The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs and the IVMF made Syracuse the obvious choice for Marquette. “Their actions meet their words when they say that Syracuse University is the best place for veterans. Because of the amount of support that the University provides, it really facilitated an easy transition from the active-duty military into an advanced education.”
Marquette and other student veterans also credit the Student Veteran Organization with helping build a sense of community as they transition to student life and build lifelong relationships.
The IVMF is the nation’s first interdisciplinary academic institute focused on advancing the lives of the nation’s military veterans and their families after service. The IVMF offers a number of national career preparation and entrepreneurship training programs, including the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Onward to Opportunity, a career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and employment services support to transitioning service members, members of the Army Reserve or National Guard, veterans and military spouses.
Another way to gain practical career experience is through internships. Savion Pollard ’25, a U.S. Navy veteran studying electrical engineering, was selected as the University’s first student to intern at Micron Technology.
Says Pollard: “I think being selected as Micron’s first hire from the Central New York community is extremely inspiring.”
Because of the amount of support that the University provides, it really facilitated an easy transition from the active-duty military into an advanced education.
Ryan Marquette L’22
Art Therapy for Veterans
Also included at the National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building (NVRC), is an art gallery featuring work that helps veterans work through emotions that come from transitioning to civilian life.
According to College of Visual and Performing Arts professor Jen DeLucia, art therapy has proven to be effective in helping veterans seeking opportunities for personal growth, as well as in addressing depression and other mental health concerns, while also changing those conventional perceptions that can make reintegration into society very challenging.
“The veterans talked a lot about how art therapy cultivated a sense of purpose. I think the activity of making things, the act of creation, is an act of hope,” DeLucia says.
Art therapy is just one of the mental health services available to all students, including veterans. There are other services available through the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, including individual and group counseling through the Counseling Center at the Barnes Center at The Arch, and more. There is also the Syracuse VA Medical Center nearby, which utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide a full range of patient care services.