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Help Us Reconnect with Veterans & Active Duty Military Alumni from Suffolk County Community College

Calling all Suffolk County Community College

Veterans and Active Duty Military Alumni

Vets Square

Suffolk County Community College has a long history of assisting veterans not only in maximizing their benefits, but also in supporting a successful transition to college life and achieving their educational and personal goals. Suffolk embraces the leadership skills and many other unique qualities military service members bring to our institution. With Veterans’ Clubs on each of our three campuses our student Veterans play a vital role in our tri-campus community.

With a wide variety of programs: associate degrees and shorter-term certificates in many career and transfer programs as well as extensive workforce training and development programs, SCCC stands ready to serve our returning Veterans.

Veteran alumni continue their education at institutions such as:

  • Columbia University
  • Hofstra University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • St. John’s University
  • St. Joseph’s College
  • SUNY Albany
  • SUNY Old Westbury
  • Stony Brook University
  • And many more

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https://sunysuffolk.thankyou4caring.org/veteran

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Newsday – With state grant, Suffolk community college opens new vets center

newsday-photo-2016-12-21

SCCC Director of Veterans Affairs Shannon O’Neill ’00 sits with Vincent Miller, an Army vet and student at Suffolk County Community College, in a temporary space for vets on the Selden campus. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Updated December 20, 2016 6:00 AM
By Sophia Chang  sophia.chang@newsday.com

Suffolk County Community College has long reached out to a special group of students: veterans. Last spring, the school opened dedicated resource centers for the veterans on all three of its campuses.

A new $23,000 grant from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council will go toward building a 1,700-square-foot permanent facility on the Ammerman campus in Selden to assist veterans, moving the center out of its temporary home and into a new facility in Kreiling Hall, which is also slated for renovation.

The grant was part of a total of $62 million awarded to 101 projects on Long Island, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Dec. 8.

“The crux of the new grant we’re getting will help us to renovate the new facility,” said Shannon O’Neill ’00, director of veterans affairs for Suffolk County Community College.

O’Neill said the school has about 700 veterans or military-connected students among its 26,000 students. The resource centers gather all of the relevant programs and information for the students and help veterans apply for various benefits and assistance.

“The resource centers provide benefit advisement for the GI Bill as well as tuition assistance. We also assist with some job placement programs, especially for specific organizations and corporations looking to recruit veterans,” O’Neill said. “In addition, we work with all local organizations to assist veterans transitioning from the military back into civilian life.”

Vincent Miller, 43, a student from Westhampton Beach, said he’s made use of the SCCC centers as a physical sanctuary as well as a place to learn about benefits.

“It’s been a great asset for veterans coming back in to school – [it] points them in the right direction and a place where you can just come back and relax inside an area with people who have been through the same situation as you,” said Miller, who is studying business management and hopes to run his own automotive or craftsman business someday. “A lot of times you get the resources here you need, like reading materials or scholarships that are strictly for veterans.”

Miller served in the Army as a sergeant first class and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. He’s met fellow veterans in the resource centers as well. “It’s just a great way to reach out and touch other people who have been in the same position,” Miller said.

Another student and veteran, Jason Chervin, 27, of Holbrook, works part-time at the center and says the resource centers offer veterans a sense of community.

“We have veterans coming in with questions that they had coming out of service that aren’t completely answered, and they’re able to use the resources that the VA has to help guide them through the program,” said Chervin, who is planning to transfer to Stony Brook University’s nursing program upon graduating from SCCC. “They have a path, they have some place to go with questions where there’s people who have been through it already or understand or specialize in the field.” he said.

Chervin served in the Navy as a petty officer third class.

Nassau Community College also has a veterans center on its Garden City campus for its 310 veteran students, according to NCC spokeswoman Kate Murray.

The renovation of Kreiling Hall and the construction of the new veterans resource center are to begin in April, and school officials hope to open the center in the spring of 2018.

newsday-2016-12-21

Copyright © 2016   Newsday. All rights reserved.


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Suffolk County Legislature’s Veterans Affairs Committee hears from Shannon O’Neill ’00

Suffolk County Community College Director of Veterans Affairs Shannon O’Neill ’00 testifies before the Suffolk County Legislature’s Veterans Affairs Committee about how our college works to aid the men and women who have served our country, and their eligible dependents.

See more on the Suffolk County Community College Facebook page


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Steven Webb ’14 – Greenport Marine carries Old Glory when he runs — rain, snow or shine

by   The Suffolk Times 01/29/2016 6:00 AM

Greenport_Marine

Maybe you’ve seen him running on the North Fork with an American flag in his hands. Maybe you went to Greenport High School with him or heard about one of his three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Or maybe, while you were sitting inside your Greenport home during Saturday’s blizzard, you noticed Old Glory waving somewhere in the snowy distance, carried by Steven Webb.

No matter how you heard his story, Cpl. Webb, a Greenport native who was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2011, doesn’t carry the American flag with him while he runs along the roads of the North Fork to bring attention to himself.

He carries it to raise awareness about a specific group of veterans who are unable to hold the flag — the men and women who killed themselves after experiencing the horrors of war.

“You know, recognizing troops overseas,” Mr. Webb said when asked why he was carrying the flag around during the middle of what was technically considered a blizzard Saturday. “And, I don’t know how to say this, but veteran suicide is a big problem right now … Airborne Tri-Team is trying to put an end to that. That’s one reason.”

Mr. Webb’s “whole family had been in the military,” he recalled, spawning an interest in joining the armed forces upon his graduation from Greenport High School in 2007.

His grandfather, who died before he was born, received a Purple Heart for his service in World War II. His great-grandfather served in World War I. His father served in Vietnam. His older cousin, with whom he grew up, also served.

After returning from his last deployment, however, the camaraderie Mr. Webb had grown to love in the Marines wasn’t waiting for him when he got home. He managed to find it again with Airborne Tri-Team.

Ron Hurtado founded the organization last year, officially gaining nonprofit status last fall.

According to its website, “The vision of Airborne Tri-Team is to provide extraordinary but accomplishable physical goals to rebuild and maximize self-esteem and to promote a better quality of life — to promote awareness of veterans with invisible wounds who are all around us.”

Staff Sgt. Hurtado, who served in the Army from 2007 through 2015, had trouble sleeping after returning from one of his three deployments. He was reluctantly placed on medication — “I didn’t want to get kicked out of the military,” he said — and had an incident during which he apparently tried to kill himself.

“Apparently” because he doesn’t remember it.

“They tried to put me on more meds and I said, ‘No way,’ ” Mr. Hurtado recalled this week. Instead, he got himself into shape mentally and physically by running 5Ks, 10Ks and triathlons.

Later, Mr. Hurtado noticed a friend falling into a similar pattern he had succumbed to. The two teamed up and “everything came together.” Airborne Tri-Team was born.

After meeting Mr. Webb last year, Mr. Hurtado invited him to become one of the 12 members of Airborne Tri-Team.

“He’s very motivated,” Mr. Hurtado said of the Greenport resident. “He believes in it as much as we do.”

One of the nonprofit’s major missions is to reduce the number of veterans who kill themselves.

A 2012 Suicide Data Report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs noted that “an estimated 22 veterans will have died from suicide each day in the calendar year 2010.” The 56-page report notes the actual number itself “may be subject to reporting error.” In fact, only 21 states were studied. However, the number 22 has since become a rallying call for those lobbying on behalf of veterans, including Mr. Webb and Airborne Tri-Team.

As the report ultimately concludes, even one veteran killing themselves every day is too much: “As long as veterans die by suicide, we must continue to improve and provide even better services and care.”

“We just need more organizations to start up. We need more help,” Mr. Webb said. “And the VA needs to step it up a little bit more, I guess.”

In the meantime, Mr. Webb will be running with his flag — snow or shine.

Photo Caption: Steven Webb walks down Main Street in Greenport during last weekend’s blizzard. (Credit: Cerria Torres)

jpinciaro@timesreview.com


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Veterans Day Activities – 2015

TO:                 The College Community

FROM:           Dr. Shaun L. McKay, President

SUBJECT:    Veterans Day Activities – 2015

In honor of Veterans Day, I would personally like to thank every Veteran student and employee for their service to our country. To mark this important day of remembrance, the entire college community is cordially invited and encouraged to participate in the various College activities that are being planned across our campuses in November. These include:

MONDAY, November 9th  – Ammerman Campus
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Student Veteran Association (SVA) Student Panel Discussion: “Transitioning from Military life to Student Veteran” – Mildred Green Room

11:00 a.m. – Veterans Day Ceremony – Veterans Plaza – Please join the Student Veterans Association as they honor all of our Veterans.  There will be a color guard, honor guard, musical performances, as well as remarks from Veterans including the Campus Executive Dean Wes Lundberg.  The ceremony will be followed by a special luncheon for all Veterans in the Eaton’s Neck Room of the Babylon Student Center.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – SVA Student Panel Discussion:The Female Experience: Honoring, Understanding, and Appreciating the Role of Women in the Military” – Mildred Green Room

 

TUESDAY, November 10th  – Ammerman Campus

11:00 a.m. – “Witness to Liberation” event – Islip Arts Building, Room 115 – Please join the Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding as Holocaust survivor Werner Reich and World War II veteran Marvin Bochner come together to share their unique experiences of concentration camp liberation.

WEDNESDAY, November 11th: Veterans Day – College is closed – please take this time to honor and thank all who sacrificed and served for this country.

THURSDAY, November 12thEastern Campus

11:00 a.m. – Veterans Day Ceremony – Shinnecock Building, Room 101 – Please join the Student Veterans Association as they honor all of our Veterans.  There will be a special viewing of a student’s experiences while deployed in Iraq, documented via a go-pro camera.  In addition, student veterans will be sharing their experiences. The ceremony will be followed by a special luncheon for all Veterans in the cafeteria.

FRIDAY, November 13thMichael J. Grant Campus

9:30 a.m. – Flag-Raising Ceremony by the Student Veterans Association along with a student veteran sharing his experience. The ceremony will be followed by a special Veterans breakfast in the Faculty Dining Room.

 

SATURDAY, November 14thMichael J. Grant Campus

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Women Veterans Writing Workshop – This workshop presented by Veterans Legacy and Professors on Wheels, aims to give women veterans an opportunity to share their story and prepare it for presentation or publication.  Please RSVP to casaliw using college email.

SUNDAY, November 22nd  – Michael J. Grant Campus

4:00 p.m. – Health, Sports and Education Center (HSEC) MD 105 – The Telling Project  – sponsored by the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund – please join us as seven local veterans and military family members share their stories of service and sacrifice.  For more information, please visit the telling project online.

Please plan on attending as many events as you can as a way of showing support to the student Veterans at Suffolk County Community College.  I am sure you are as proud of the service our Veterans have provided as I am.  This calendar of events is one way we can come together to show our support for each and every Veteran at the College and in the community. I look forward to seeing you during this time.

Connect with Suffolk County Community College Military Alumni


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Shannon O’Neill ’00 Appointed Director of Veterans Affairs at Suffolk County Community College

Shannon Oneill

Shannon O’Neill

Shannon O’Neill has been appointed Suffolk County Community College’s Director of Veterans Affairs after a national search.

“We are committed to serving the veterans at our college and to assist them with their academic and post military service endeavors. Having Shannon on campus full-time to assist veterans in this process will be instrumental,” said Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay.

O’Neill will direct all aspects of veterans’ affairs and services at the College and will be the College’s point of contact for student veterans, active duty military, Reserve/National Guard personnel and military dependents.  O’Neill will be located on the Ammerman Campus in Selden.

O’Neill will be responsible for developing and implementing training sessions for faculty, administrators and staff about best practices for providing services to veterans, develop policies related to veteran’s affairs, design and implement student veteran recruitment strategies and complete the design and implementation of on-campus Veterans Resource Centers.

O’Neill comes to Suffolk County Community College from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue where she most recently served as assistant dean for professional studies-Office of Military and Veteran Services where she led a 300% growth in the number of students served by that program over the course of five years.  Her experience includes planning, outreach, compliance, and successful submissions of grant proposals to support veteran services, as well as several years of classroom and online teaching in business, health studies and first year experience.  Prior to her association with St. Joseph’s College, she was director of admissions for the Lake Grove Treatment Centers of New York in Medford.

An alumna of Suffolk County Community College, O’Neill has both a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health and Human Services and a Master of Science degree in Management with a concentration in healthcare from St. Joseph’s College.

Source: Suffolk County Community College

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Ultimate Beach Party Tribute Band at Suffolk County Community College’s Van Nostrand Theater

 Jimmy Kenny
It’s five o’clock somewhere, so let’s let not let the summer leave quietly. Playing the best of Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown, as well as country favorites, summer pop, reggae and tropical classics.

Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.

Van Nostrand Theatre
Sagtikos Arts and Science Center
Suffolk County Community College
Michael J. Grant Campus, Brentwood

  • General admission: $19
  • Students 16 years of age or younger: $10
  • Suffolk County Community College faculty, staff and alumni association members, and senior citizens: $18
  • Veterans and Suffolk County Community College students with current ID: One FREE ticket

For more information call 631-851-6589

General Admissio
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Lisa Jacoby, RN ’07 earns Samaritan of the Month Award

Lisa Jacoby '07, RN

Lisa Jacoby ’07, RN

Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, West Islip, N.Y., has chosen Lisa Jacoby, RN, as its Samaritan of the Month for December.

She joined Good Samaritan in 2002 as an EKG technician and is now a nurse on the surgical ICU.

Previously, she served in the United States Air Force, which included two deployments to Kuwait and Iraq. Jacobsy serves in the Army Reserves with the 344th U.S. Combat Support Hospital.

She has earned many honors and achievements while serving her country, including various medals from the Air Force, the Army and the Army Reserves, according to a hospital news release.

In 2007, she earned her ADN from Suffolk Community College. She later completed a BSN from Chamberlain College School of Nursing in 2011. She is now enrolled in an NP program at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University.

Nominations for Samaritan of the Month are submitted for review to a committee from co-workers, supervisors and patients. Samaritans are surprised in their department with a bouquet of flowers, and a presentation is held at the hospital with the winner’s co-workers and family in attendance.

Source: Nurse.com

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Salvatore A. Esposito, Student and veteran pens book about his time in Abu Ghraib

IMG_0545 copySource: Campus News

By Nathaniel Villano
Campus News

Salvatore A. Esposito was an Army medic in Abu Ghraib, but before that life was different. He grew up in Farmingville where many migrant men and women from Central and South America settled. After working side by side with them during summer jobs and being exposed to so many cultures, he developed a love for diversity. After graduating from Sachem High School, he wanted more exposure to diversity and culture and found it in the Army.

Sal joined the Army when he was 19 in 1991, right after high school, and did three years of active military service for his first term. Before that though he had thought of becoming a nurse but enlisted with a career in health science in mind. He attended basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and attended medic school in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. During his first term of service he was stationed out in Kansas and Germany. His biggest motivator to get through basic training and medic school was doing the best he could so that when reality came he would be able to help those in need of care.

Honorably discharged in 1994 he began writing and working. Soon after his discharge though his love for writing took over but he still found it very rewarding to help people, which is why when he reenlisted he stayed as a medic instead of pursuing combat journalism. After 9/11 he felt the need to reenlist for his second term and joined the Army Reserve assigned to the 344th Combat Support Hospital.

He was 33 when he signed up for his second term of service. During that second term of service he was assigned to 344th’s home base in Fort Totten, Queens. They trained there, Washington State, Louisiana and Wisconsin. After training he was sent out to Abu Ghraib. He felt blessed to be assigned to a unit perfectly fitted for the mission of raising the standard of detainee health care in the infamous facility where they were abused and humiliated. With the guidance and support of all the nurses and doctors and other medics, he performed well in his duties on sick call for the detainees in the field detainment setting. They were especially helpful to him when he was assigned to work within the hospital’s Emergency Treatment Room for a month. There he was not only able to help the detainees but also the Iraqi civilian population and the Coalition Forces. They had their bad days but overall he says it was a very rewarding experience.

One of the biggest wounds he had to take care of happened when a soldier’s Humvee had been hit by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device, better known as a roadside bomb) while he was on patrol of Abu Ghraib’s outside perimeter. The shrapnel shot up through the carriage and tore through his body. The toughest part about being a medic was not the wounds but when the detainees showed their spite and hatred. For the most part he says they were grateful of all the care they received. When the mentioned above soldier was brought in to be worked on, Sal noticed two of the detainees receiving medical workups smiling at the soldier’s mangled body.

Right now Sal is currently enrolled at Suffolk County Community College as a Liberal arts major. He works full time at SCCC at the Selden campus in the blue collar unit as an Auto Equipment Operator. When he left Abu Ghraib, Sal spent a lot of time promoting a charity for permanently disabled veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project. After graduating from Suffolk he plans on staying at the college to use his GI Bill to get certifications that will enhance his resume for a future supervisor position. “It’s a good civil service job that helps me connect with the community.” said Sal of his current position. He plans on reenlisting but until after his mother passes. She is a cancer and stroke survivor and he needs to be there for her during her twilight years. He plans on serving one more term, hopefully out in Afghanistan, he said. “Being in the military has fulfilled my desire to help people, to travel and to learn more about the world. I’m still learning,” said Sal.

Sal currently has a book out in libraries called “Abu Ghraib: After the Scandal.” The book is not only about the 2003 abuse scandal that took place, but he also included the sadistic history of the prison when it was under the control of Saddam Hussein and the way he used the prison to instill death and fear to maintain his power. “And I write that we had set the Iraqis up as straw men, claiming they had weapons of mass destruction. Soldiers were in turn set up as straw men, as we were branded with a stigma that accused all of us of human rights violations. Lastly, I wrote the universal brotherhood of man,” said Sal.

Writing the book did not take him long; what took years was getting a publisher. Between agents and publishers, he was rejected about 500 times before he finally found McFarland Publishers in North Carolina. He wants to keep the book as only a reference in libraries and not bookstores so when patrons, particularly students, look up the story of Abu Ghraib they will learn more about what happened in 2003. Several years ago when he started writing it his friend Doug Childers, who co-authored books with best-selling author Dan Millman, convinced him to put it together. “I was reluctant because I knew of all of the resistance I would face. Just bringing it up to folks that I’d served in Abu Ghraib with opened up assumptions, not a dialogue. Were it not for his insistence that it is a story that must be told, I would not have persevered.” His book was published/released in December 2012. He plans on writing another book and has written several other books including a comedy along with a play. After graduation from Suffolk Community College, he plans on seeking an agent.

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Suffolk County Community College Veterans Video Series

What does a veteran look like?

Take a moment to watch and listen to our 7 part series about veterans here on the Suffolk County Community College Campuses.

You will be surprised about the veterans among you all.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Thank a Veteran.

 

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