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By Pavel Stankov. October 2, 2013 - 2:48 pm
On Friday Sept. 27, HPU opened a renovated and expanded Military/Veterans Support Center on the ninth floor of the UB building.
The new location includes a dedicated lounge for military students where they can socialize or simply grab a complimentary cup of coffee.
The opening tour included a rich palette of guests representing legislators Brian Schatz and Tulsi Gabbard, as well as people from the Regional Veterans Affairs Office, former and current military duty students, and a representative of a clinical psychologist doing research on post-traumatic stress disorder.
Provost Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth briefly spoke to the importance of the military community at the school and emphasized HPU’s continuing commitment to support “active duty, reservists, the National Guard, ROTC, veterans, and family members.”
“Who could’ve imagined that one of our military students who completed her education online from Iraq will one day become a US Representative?” asked Liao-Troth, referring to HPU’s own Tulsi Gabbard. “She is just one example of our active military graduates making a difference in their respective fields.”
The reception also served as a meet-and-greet to the Military Campus Programs staff, which recently added rehabilitation and mental health counselor Gwen Dangto assist new veteran students.
Since the 1970s HPU has become a favorite choice for Hawaii’s troops pursuing higher education.
The school recently was honored by websiteMilitaryFriendlySchools.com as Hawaii’s only institution to make the 2014 list.
An important part of HPU’s diversity also comes from the inclusion of military students from all branches.
This recent expansion to a more spacious office was also welcomed by HPU alumni with military background.
Chris McNair, graduate of HPU’s MA in Organizational Change and a supervisor at the Outreach program at VA Hawaii, commented that the new hangout spot is a positive development.
Comparing veterans to student clubs, McNair asserted military students’ need to have a sense of community and camaraderie.