Celebrating a Commitment to Student Veteran Success

Photo of the exterior of the National Veterans Resource Center building.

Syracuse University is proud to support veterans and military-related families.

Ryan Marquette: Making his point

Through internships and leadership positions, a law school graduate and veteran enter the legal profession.

Ryan Marquette sitting and smiling

From organizations to internships, Ryan Marquette L’22 explored different areas of law while pursuing a Juris Doctor at the College of Law and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Marquette, a United States Army veteran and active member of the Army National Guard, also gained hands-on experience at the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, Human Rights Clinic, Child and Family Law and Criminal Defense Clinic, gaining exposure to three areas of law in which he previously had little experience.

While there have been veterans clinics at other law schools that Marquette has reviewed, no other school does it like Syracuse, he says. “Their actions meet their words when they say Syracuse University is the best place for veterans, and I’m proud to be a part of that community.”

Marquette knew he wanted to attend Syracuse University because of his commitment to veterans. With the Office of Veterans and Military Affairs and the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), Syracuse was the obvious choice, Marquette says. “Because of the amount of support the University provides, it has really facilitated an easy transition from active duty military to higher education.”

Their actions match their words when they say Syracuse University is the best place for veterans, and I’m proud to be a part of that community.

—Ryan Marquette L’22

Outside of the classroom, Marquette served as president of the College of Law’s Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network. For his efforts, Marquette received the Syracuse University Student Veterans Organization’s 2021 Best for Vets Award, which is given to the student veteran who has done the most to help other student veterans succeed. both on and off campus, and who went way above and beyond for his fellow students.

Marquette urges all students to pursue their passions as he did. “Understand that you are only a snapshot of Syracuse history; during this snapshot, embrace yourself in all that the University has to offer and pursue every passion you have and every interest you have while you are here,” he says. “Get too involved in things you’re passionate about, because at the end of the day, if you’re doing what you love, you’re not really working.”

Nadia Morris-Mitchell: taking the next step

A seasoned, post-traditional student advances her career through Syracuse Global University.

Nadia Morris-Mitchell sitting at home working

As a National Guard member, part-time fitness instructor, and full-time employee, Nadia Morris-Mitchell ’24 doesn’t have much time to waste. “I’m just this person who always runs a million miles an hour,” she says. She wanted to go back to school to learn better management skills, but was wary of time constraints. So when a representative from Syracuse University came to talk to veterans working with the U.S. Air Force at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base about continuing their education through flexible learning, she was intrigued.

Syracuse University Global’s flexibility provided exactly what she needed to finally take the leap. She is currently pursuing a degree in creative leadership through the College of Professional Studies and learning critical skills she can apply to any position anywhere. “I hope to learn how to better present myself in a leadership position, and this program is a perfect avenue,” she says.

My classmates, my professors, and Syracuse University Global are working together to help me achieve my goals.

—Nadia Morris-Mitchell ’24

In addition to diverse course offerings and flexible learning formats, Morris-Mitchell has access to Syracuse University’s world-class faculty and comprehensive, student-focused academic support. “My online classes are very user-friendly,” she says. During the breakout sessions of her online classes, she connects with her classmates, including several other veterans and active-duty service members. Attending classes with other students who share the same background gives Morris-Mitchell, who was in the Navy Construction Battalion, something in addition to academics to bond with.

The University’s commitment to veterans was a factor in her decision to attend Syracuse University. It was important for Morris-Mitchell – who was honored as a local hero at a women’s lacrosse game – to be associated with a university that understood the unique challenges of being a military veteran and made her feel highly. considered and respected.

Overall, earning a degree through Syracuse University Global was a big success for Morris-Mitchell. “It’s crucial to find a balance in doing everything,” she says. “My classmates, my professors, and Syracuse University Global are working together to help me achieve my goals.”

Brian Mixon: Protecting Our Nation’s Cyber ​​Information

From the front lines to behind the computer, an online cybersecurity administration student works to keep Americans safe.

Official military portrait of Brian Mixon.

Not everyone would go back to school to get their bachelor’s degree as a post-traditional student, but that’s what Brian Mixon ’24 did. The U.S. Marine Corps and Army Reserve veteran is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity administration at the College of Professional Studies.

Mixon served as a mechanic in the Marine Corps for eight years, then joined the Army Reserve to train for a career in information technology. As he rose in rank in the Army Reserve, cybersecurity became more important to the nation. He took an active one-year assignment with the U.S. Army’s Cyber ​​Command, then was selected to join the Army Reserve’s First Cyber ​​Protection Team with the Cyber ​​Operations Group. After two years in this role and a total of 20 years of military service, Mixon retired to focus on his full-time career in information technology and spending more time with his family. He now works as a cyber analyst for the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, where he coordinates various cyber testing events as part of a team that provides Marine Corps officials the information needed to make informed decisions about critical resources and acquisitions.

I really feel like my professors are subject matter experts in the fields they teach.

—Brian Mixon ’24

While working with the cyber protection team, Mixon took cybersecurity courses to further his knowledge in the field, before enrolling in Syracuse University’s cybersecurity administration program. The online program gives him the flexibility he needs to continue working full time and spending time with his wife and three daughters in Virginia.

Mixon appreciates the expertise that professors bring to their classes. “I really feel like my professors are subject matter experts in the areas they teach,” he says. “It’s a big thing for me, because throughout my military and civilian career, I’ve been in situations where I haven’t always felt like I could go to my supervisor for expertise in matter. »

Mixon also appreciates the support he receives from the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs (OVMA). As an online student, he receives regular correspondence from the OVMA, which has shared information with him about the Flanik Family Scholarship for Veteran Students. He was especially honored to receive this scholarship because of the sacrifices his family made for his military career. “When I hear ‘Thank you for your service’, I consider ‘you’ to include my family,” he says.

Bana Miller: Supporting and Enriching the Veteran Community

How an alumna is using her experience as a military spouse — and her degree — for the greater good.

Bana Miller with family.

As a military spouse of 16 years, Bana Miller ’04 knows a thing or two about the challenges that come with moving because of postings. She recently made her fifth move in seven years, this time to Seattle, where her husband, Lt. Col. Matt Miller, is now stationed.

Chief among those challenges, she says, is the unemployment and underemployment of military spouses. “It’s incredibly difficult for military spouses to thrive and thrive in their careers,” says Miller, who majored in public relations at SI Newhouse School of Public Communications and marketing at Martin J. Whitman. School of Management. “I credit my education at Syracuse University with giving me a really solid foundation and putting me in the best possible position to thrive in my career when I became a military spouse,” said Miller, who was shortlisted for the prestigious Stand-To Veteran. Leadership Program, a George W. Bush Institute initiative for military-related individuals who are motivated to expand their skills, knowledge, network, and influence across the country.

Although she ultimately did not enroll in the program, Miller considered joining Onward to Opportunity, a job skills program offered by the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families that provides civilian job training, professional certifications and employment services support for transitioning members. Reserve or National Guard members, veterans, and military spouses. This is one of the many services offered by the University to veterans and their families.

I credit my education at Syracuse University with giving me a really solid foundation and putting me in the best possible position to thrive in my career when I became a military spouse.

—Ben Miller ’04

Miller is the Chief Marketing Officer of Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB), a non-profit organization that enriches the lives of veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activities. She is a strong believer in the mission of the RWB team, especially because of her interest in the health and well-being of veterans. “I like to look at the effects and the correlation between physical health and mental health and being able to serve all of the veterans and not looking at veterans and military family members as broken or damaged, but as something really community. I appreciate being able to serve the military veteran community in my own way,” says Miller.

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