Archive for the 'Transition' Category

Disabled Veterans Transition to STEM Fields

Aug 26 2014

CathedralofLearningReturning from the battlefield isn’t always easy – and trying to fill in the holes, referred to as “Swiss cheese” by one veteran, can make the transition even harder.

Now there’s a program at the University of Pittsburgh that gives veteran students living and housing stipends, and enrolls them in a program called ELeVATE (Experiential Learning for Veterans in Assistive Technology and Engineering). Veteran mentors help the students through rehabilitation research in STEM fields for academic credit.

Inside HigherEd describes the program this way:

But addressing other problems – such as an inability to relate to non-veteran peers, or cognitive and physical disabilities caused by injury – requires painstaking day-to-day work.

Such work is happening at the University of Pittsburgh, where a college transition program for disabled veterans interested in STEM disciplines has earned the admiration of national student veterans’ groups…

…The lab specializes in assistive technology – devices for people with disabilities — and receives funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Rory Cooper, the lab’s director, is an Army veteran who sustained a spinal cord injury while serving.

All the participants have cognitive or physical impairments – most commonly traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The program, called ELeVATE (Experiential Learning for Veterans in Assistive Technology and Engineering) began in summer 2011, with the help of a $470,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Five or six veterans participate each year. The fourth group of participants finished the program at the end of July…

qoltcThe program at the University of Pittsburgh has gained the backing of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the notice of the American Legion. Hopefully ELeVATE will successfully help integrate disabled veterans into STEM fields, and become a model for other universities in the future!

Cathedral of Learning (9279174346)” by Brandon SheaCathedral of Learning Uploaded by crazypaco. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Veteran Hiring Tool for Employers from Hiring our Heroes & USAA

Aug 14 2014

Published by under Transition

hiring_our_heroesThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes program and USAA launched a first-of-its-kind resource for employers looking to hire veterans and military spouses: the Employer Roadmap.

Hiring Our Heroes spoke with employers of all sizes across the country and heard a consistent theme: they needed access to a comprehensive and personalized resource for veteran and military spouse hiring efforts. This free online resource was created to meet that demand and will provide:

  • Customizable and interactive veteran and military spouse hiring action plans for organizations of all sizes to address companies’ frustration with a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring.
  • Advice, best practices and case studies from employers with a proven track record of creating successful hiring programs for veterans and military spouses.
  • Content divided amongst three sections – prepare, hire and empower – to enable companies to easily access the topics most relevant to their current goals.

Take advantage of the new Employer Roadmap, and share this resource widely so we can help our returning veterans!


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The Veterans Innovation Partnership Fellowship Program

Aug 12 2014

Published by under Transition

copy-vip4Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP)  is a new public-private alliance platform launched by the Department of State, aimed at serving America’s veterans and separating service members by preparing them for diplomacy and development careers, providing education and employment resources and expertise while enhancing America’s global leadership.

VIP will help build and deploy strategic partnerships between the U.S. government and U.S. private sector to mobilize resources and build networks to promote foreign affairs career opportunities for veterans. The Partnership will focus on the following elements of engagement to support veterans’ transition to diplomacy and development careers:

  • Education: Assist with educational opportunities to study international relations;
  • Fellowship: Establish fellowship opportunities at U.S government foreign affairs agencies;
  • Employment: Facilitate international public and private employment opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements

VIP fellowships are open to veterans who have completed a master’s degree in the fields of international business or international relations. Applicants must apply within two years of graduate degree completion, except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years after degree completion to apply. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic developmental program.

Apply for the fellowship at Deadline for 2014 fellowships is September 15, 2014!

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Veterans Career Path Seminar

Aug 07 2014

Published by under Transition

military_civilianBoulder Crest Retreat for Military and Family Wellness, an excellent nonprofit organization in Bluemont, Virginia, 60 miles west of  Washington, D.C., is conducting a free Veterans Career Path Seminar on Saturday, August 23 from 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., including a networking lunch and dinner. 

The seminar aims to provide veterans with tangible, useful tools and resources to support them in career transition and enrich their lives. Enlisted and junior officers who are preparing for transition are encouraged to attend, but all military and veterans can register if space is available. Participation is limited to 32 military/veterans.

Participants will receive very personalized transition coaching and mentoring in areas including personal branding, resume and LinkedIn development, interview skills and networking.  The day-long event is free and includes lunch-time panel discussion and dinner and fireside chat with a successful CEO. Participants must complete a short application to attend due to the small class size.

Get more info on the Boulder Crest Retreat (PDF). Or register for the event online.

And for more tools to help you through your transition to the civilian life, check out MOAA’s transition center at Not eligible for MOAA membership? Voices for America’s Troops allow senior NCO’s to have access to career transition services, too!


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Congrats to the Recipients of the 2014 SecDef Employer Support Freedom Award

Jul 29 2014

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announced today 15 recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor DoD gives to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees.

“I’m honored to announce the recipients of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. “Guardsmen and Reservists across the nation rely on strong bonds with their civilian employers. By recognizing these 15 exceptional employers, the Department of Defense celebrates the contributions made by American employers to our Citizen Warriors. I commend these extraordinary employers for their unwavering commitment to service members and their families.”

The 2014 Freedom Award recipients below will be honored at a ceremony in the Pentagon Sept. 26:

  • Arizona Public Service
Phoenix, Arizona Army Reserve
  • AT&T
Dallas, Texas Coast Guard Reserve
  • Capital One
McLean, Virginia Army National Guard
  • CH2M-WG Idaho
Idaho Falls, Idaho Navy Reserve
  • General Mills, Inc.
Golden Valley, Minnesota Army National Guard
  • J.G. Management Systems, Inc.
Grand Junction, Colorado Air Force Reserve
  • Los Angeles Fire Department
Los Angeles, California Navy Reserve
  • N.H. Department of Environmental Services
Concord, New Hampshire Army National Guard
  • PNC Bank
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
  • Shofner Vision Center
Nashville, Tennessee Air Force Reserve
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Memphis, Tennessee Army Reserve
  • Triumph Pharmaceuticals Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri Army National Guard
  • UNC Health Care
Chapel Hill, North Carolina Navy Reserve
  • Washoe County School District
Reno, Nevada Air National Guard
  • Zions Bank
Salt Lake City, Utah Army National Guard


The 2014 recipients were selected from 2,864 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists for going far beyond what the federal law requires to support their military employees. Last year, recipients met with President Barack Obama and senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.


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