Reflecting on 2014

Written by: James Schmeling IVMF | Co-Founder. Managing Director, Programming. This past year has been one of the most fulfilling years for me professionally with my evolving role at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. I stepped away from supervising our research team with the hire of Nick Armstrong as our Senior […]

Sports Venue and Event Management: A Great Field for Vets

Students at the graduate level tend to differ from their undergrad counterparts in one distinctive way. They know what they specifically want from their degree. This is the reason why graduate programs must cater to unique interests and niche fields. The Master of Science in Sport Venue and Event Management is one such unique program […]

The Freshman Forum – Student Veterans Taking on the College Experience Together

Written by: Meghavaty Suresh  Stepping onto a brand new campus of over 21,000 students could be a daunting experience for anyone, not just returning veterans. Understanding this predicament, Jennifer Jeffery, Academic Advisor for the Veterans Career Transition Program at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF), oversees the Freshman Forum for student veterans […]

High Tech Careers, High Demand for Vets

Written by: Ryan Rabac When reading over G.I. Jobs’ Top 20 Hot Jobs for Veterans in 2014 , some of the job titles might surprise you. IT Specialist, Business Administrator, and Telecommunications Technician are among the top positions demanded by employers hiring veterans. agrees, noting IT Specialist as one of its Five Hot Jobs […]

Collective Impact: Channeling Waves into Currents for Veterans in the Sea of Goodwill

Written by: Nicholas J. Armstrong, Ph.D., Colonel James D. McDonough, Jr., (USA, Ret.), Daniel SavageNothing brings a smile to a deployed warrior’s face like a care package. And nothing embodies American pride and support for its military like sending care packages to nameless or ‘adopted’ warriors. On the receiving end, it’s a heartening experience to […]

UPS Won’t Hire Veterans out of Charity

Written by: Lori Volkman UPS Veterans Affairs manager Patrick O’Leary vividly remembers his first night of Marine Corps recruit training like it was yesterday, even though it was nearly 40 years ago. “When you finally arrive at boot camp it’s late, and I’m sure that’s not by accident. We were finally taken to squad bay full […]

Five Ways Student Veterans Bring Value to the Classroom

Written by Meghavaty Suresh and Ryan Rabac Student veterans are great contributors to the classroom and tend to stand out among their classmates. Their experiences enable them to look at things from a different perspective and solve problems in unique ways. Here are a few reasons why professors enjoy having student veterans in their classrooms: […]

Why Entrepreneurship for Veterans?

Written by Ryan Rabac Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management emphasizes three priorities in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) for Veterans program: leadership, entrepreneurship, and service. While one would expect leadership and service to be natural skills for veterans, many ask the question, why entrepreneurship? Military training develops many of the skills that parallel with […]

Highlights of the 2014 of Military Family Lifestyle Survey

Written by Ryan Rabac This year Blue Star Families collaborated with the IVMF on its fifth annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which examines contemporary issues facing military families. The study provides a comprehensive picture of the needs and challenges of over 6,200 military spouses, service members, and veterans. Many of the results are critical to understanding […]

Home: Where it all begins and matters most

By COL (Ret.) James D. McDonough, Jr., Daniel Savage and Jim Lorraine When soldiers and airmen like us (and more than two million others like us) returned from our deployments, we were welcomed home in crowded gymnasiums by our families and friends who eagerly awaited our return from war; we didn’t go to the White […]

On Veterans Affairs: Where’s The Big Idea?

By: Mike Haynie, PhD and Nick Armstrong, PhD C. S. Lewis said that while it’s “hard for an egg to turn into a bird,” it’s much harder for the “bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg.” The point is that cultivating discontinuous organizational change sometimes means going back to the beginning­—back to the […]

And the winners are…

Written by: Molly Blake With a double fist pump and a mega-watt smile on her face, Jill Hinton told an audience fueled up on coffee, Katy Perry’s women kick-butt-anthems and country music singer turned vet advocate Michael Peterson that she wanted to be the Oprah Winfrey of the outdoors Hinton had 90-seconds to pitch her […]

Finalists have been announced!

Written by: Molly Blake After Kristina Guerrero, the owner of and genius behind TurboPup, finished her presentation, the three judges watching were thrilled when she passed out samples. ‘This one’s peanut butter,” said the former Air Force C-130 pilot of her complete meal bars for dogs, made with 100% American sourced, human grade ingredients. Guerrero […]

Now or Never

Written by: Molly Blake Sonia Deal stood at the dark-wood paneled podium and smiled confidently.  Her hands shook a bit but the panel of three judges, seated a few yards away at a table, couldn’t see the tremble.  All they saw was a passionate, smart registered nurse with an idea. “Our collaboration through case management […]

Ending Veteran Homelessness: Tools for Staying on Track

Written by: Gary Shaheen, Director of Community Based Technical Support Initiatives President Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki have challenged the nation to end veteran homelessness by 2015. By some estimates, the number of veterans who are homeless has dropped by 24% over the past six years, but according to the most recent HUD Point in […]

5 Things Nonprofits Can Do to Best Serve Veteran Families

Written by: Jim McDonough 1. Become more competent in military culture to better understand the unique needs presented by veteran families. Take active steps to train staff on the unique needs presented by veterans and military families. Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for help; they have wonderful instruction in the application of trauma-informed care […]

Who is a Veteran?

Written by: Dan Savage As our nation marks Veterans Day, I thought it fitting to put some context to those we are honoring, by asking the question, “Who is a veteran?”  For some reading this, the answer to this question may seem obvious, but for others, it’s not quite so simple. It turns out that […]

Veterans and Economic Development: CNY Regional Economic Development Council Progress

Written by: James Schmeling, Co-founder and Managing Director, IVMF About two years ago, I wrote a column on regional economic development and veterans. At the time, it was meant to call out what I saw as a lack of attention paid to veterans outside of accessible housing and homelessness, a missed opportunity related to employment and entrepreneurship. […]

10 Questions Military Members and Families Should Ask Themselves Before Transitioning

Written by: James Schmeling and Kelly McCray Veteran service members and families have a lot to consider as they separate from service and return to their civilian lives. Due to a lack of emphasis on what comes next for the prospective veteran and family, we offer these 10 questions for transitioning veterans to ask themselves […]

“The Hornet’s Nest” – If You Want to Thank a Veteran, Please Watch This Film

Written by: Jennifer Jeffery “The Hornet’s Nest,” produced and directed by David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud, is a documentary with many layers. On the surface, the story follows news journalist Mike Boettcher’s journey to reconnect with his son, Carlos. The two have not been close because of Boettcher’s 32-year career as a war correspondent, and […]

IVMF Entrepreneurship Programs as Solution for Veteran Women/Minority Employment Challenges

Written by: Mirza Tihic, Director of Program Support services and Rosy Maury, Director of Research at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families  IVMF analysis of employment data which examined demographics (e.g. age, gender and race) and their relationship to unemployment has identified that minority, female and young members of the workforce face the greatest […]

Rekindling 9/11 Unity by Serving Those Who Serve

Written by: Mike Schoeneck I recall it like it was yesterday. The date was September 11, 2001 and I was a high school senior at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, N.Y. The day started out with first period study hall; my fellow classmates and I were taking on the daily crossword puzzle in the cafeteria […]

VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program: Communities Putting Important “Skin in the Game” to Serve America’s Veteran Families

  Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released its long-awaited report on the effectiveness of its permanent housing program, known more commonly as its Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. For those unfamiliar with the program, SSVF is a first-of-its-kind initiative for the VA in that it is a community-based, competitive grant […]

Umm, you’re wearing your flag backwards.

A national call to action to maintain America’s brand. Written by: Lyndy McLaughlin Do you know why the American flag is worn backwards on military uniforms? I didn’t. Living in America, there is an ingrained, unspoken understanding that the flag should be displayed with the stars in the upper left hand corner and the stripes […]

Veterans and the ADA

Written by: Jim McDonough and James Schmeling The coming drawdown of our military will see one million additional service members separate from military service over the next five years, and create additional opportunities for employers and disabled veterans alike when it comes to efforts to reintegrate them into today’s workforce. We know and understand that […]

Marty Skovlund Jr. Provides Student Perspective on 2013 EBV-SU Program

Written by: Marty Skovlund Jr The seventh-annual Barnes Family Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) continues this week at Syracuse University. Each of the 28 veterans accepted for admission into the program is hard at work attending lectures and participating in workshops aimed at perfecting their business pitches until the program’s closing ceremony on […]

A National Conversation on Service

Written by: Andres F. Lazo “A dollar a day” ─ a quote from my grandfather that would serve as one of my earliest childhood lessons on service to others.  My grandfather would proudly recount his youth in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  He earned a dollar a day, he would say, and at the end […]

A Veteran’s Perspective on Independence Day: 2.5 million – A compelling number in 1776, but enough for today?

  Written By: Colonel (Ret.) James D. McDonough, Jr. This year, think about this when celebrating Independence Day, our nation’s birthday: when America’s original 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence gathered, there were some 2.5 million people living in the newly independent nation of the United States of America. Today, that same number – […]

Independence Day: A Celebration of Freedom and Service

Written by: Eliza Spencer, IVMF marketing and communications intern Last year on the 4th of July I was home in Vermont, relaxing after my first year of grad school. I didn’t celebrate in any special way; my parents and I watched the fireworks on a boat docked in Lake Champlain, had drinks and ate cake. […]

Upstate New York Economic Development, Veterans and a Nationally Replicable Model

Written by: James Schmeling, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Institute for Veterans and Military Families About three years ago I began to think about how veterans could be the backbone of significant economic development activities here in Upstate New York, and what it would take to make that happen. I knew that we would have many […]

The GI Bill’s Impact on the Past, Present and Future

Written by: Jared Lyon, EBV and EBV-F National Program Manager On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly referred to as the GI Bill of Rights. This one piece of legislation fundamentally shifted the way in which veterans from Europe and the Pacific returned home. The Veterans […]

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