Student-Vet Ann Little Buoyed by CUNY Vet Initiatives

July 19, 2012

Student-veteran and CUNY staff member, Ann Little, was glad to be in attendance at the 4th Annual CUNY Office for Veterans’ Affairs Professional Development Conference held at the CUNY Graduate Center on February 10th. There she heard remarks by Frank Sanchez, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who informed the audience about research underway to examine the quality of the veteran experience on CUNY campuses and the formation of a special taskforce to provide recommendations to the campuses. This, very positive news to Ann. Ann is a student-vet and CUNY vet center staff member at the College of Staten Island who served in the U.S. army for five years and deployed twice to Iraq—first to Baghdad in 2003 and then to Mosul in 2005. Currently a graduate student at the College of Staten Island with a 4.0 gpa, she will complete her master’s degree in history this May and is presently applying to doctoral programs in history. “This is the second CUNY Veteran Services Professional Development Conference I’ve attended since I began working for the student veteran center at CSI,” Ann says. “Both were very informative; and I witnessed the information shared at the earlier conference being implemented throughout CUNY. This gives me confidence that the information acquired today will also transform veteran services throughout CUNY for the better.” Data shared by representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau confirmed that women tend to not use the benefits they are entitled to through their service. This fact, not a surprise to Ann. “I used my G.I. Bill to complete my bachelor’s degree at a state college and what was remaining to continue on for a master’s. At CSI, I’ve met few other female veterans. I hope that this trend becomes a thing of the past and that CUNY makes an effort to assure female veterans that they have a place in one of its many institutions. My having used my benefits shouldn’t be the exception, but rather the standard.” Notably, the University is again included in Military Advanced Education’s annual “Guide to America’s Top Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities.”