Texas Tech University; Military & Veterans Programs

The First Ever - West Texas Veterans Higher Education Summit


Dr. David DiRamioApril 11, 2012
McKenzie Merket Alumni Center

Keynote Speaker: Dr. David DiRamio
Associate Professor of Higher Education
, Auburn University

Due to the expansion of veterans’ educational benefits at the state and federal level, veterans are returning to college at the highest rate since World War II. In order to more effectively serve the veterans of this region, Military and Veterans Programs and the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement is hosting the first ever West Texas Veterans Higher Education Summit. This one day event will feature Dr. David DiRamio, Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration at Auburn University and co-author of “Veterans in Higher Education” and “Creating a Veteran-Friendly Campus.” In addition, there will be a panel featuring educational leaders from colleges and universities in the region; discussions on the topics of military educational benefits, academic impact and the student experience, and transition and well-being; and a veteran’s services resource fair. Lunch will be provided and this event will be free for all registrants.

If you would like to contribute to the morale of our service men and women deployed overseas, bring a used cellphone to be donated through the Cellphones for Soldiers Drive. This drive is sponsored by Student Union and Activities, Tech Activities Board, The Young Conservatives of Texas Tech, The Veterans Association of Texas Tech, Texas Tech Army ROTC, and Military & Veterans Programs. Each cellphone collected is recycled and a one hour calling card is sent to service member deployed overseas. The website for this program is www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com


Schedule and Program Description

8:00-9:00           Registration and Check In

9:00-9:30           Opening and Introduction

National Anthem: Heather Gerstner
Colonel Samuel T. Studdard, Commanding Officer, 8th Marine Corps District 

9:30-10:30         Institutional Leadership Panel

Moderated by Dr. Juan Munoz, Texas Tech University, Vice Provost, Student Affairs and Undergraduate Education and Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement

Dr. Robert Smith, Provost, Texas Tech University
Mr. Lee Cox, Associate Dean of Student Services, South Plains College Reece Campus
Dr. Brian Starr, Executive Vice President, Lubbock Christian University
Dr. Paul Armes, President, Wayland Baptist University
Dr. Joseph Rallo, President, Angelo State University

This panel will discuss how West Texas colleges and universities are serving veterans and ensuring they are achieving academic and personal success.  Each leader will give his perspective from the type of institution they represent:  community college, four-year public, and private.

10:40-11:30       Veterans Educational Benefits Panel

Moderated by Debra Crosby, Texas Tech University, Military & Veterans Programs, VA Certifying Official

Debbie Alexander, VA Certifying Official, Vernon College
Bernice Flett, Hazlewood Coordinator, Texas Tech University
Janet Pino, Veterans Benefits Coordinator, South Plains College
Brandon Matthes, Senior Analyst, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

This panel will discuss the educational benefits that veterans are eligible to receive.  Regulations and requirements continue to change at both the state and federal level.  This group will discuss the changes and the impact on student veterans.

11:45-1:00         Lunch and Keynote Speaker

Dr. David DiRamio, Associate Professor of Higher Education, Auburn University

David DiRamio is an associate professor of higher education administration at Auburn University. His latest book, “Veterans in Higher Education,” uses well-known theories and models of college student development and applies them to the contemporary phenomenon of the student veteran. David’s other publications include a frequently cited co-authored article, “From Combat to Campus,” about issues facing this generation of combat veterans who are attending college and a co-edited book, “Creating a Veteran-Friendly Campus,” detailing best practices and how campus leaders can help student-veterans succeed. At Auburn University, DiRamio is founder and faculty lead for the school’s Veterans Learning Community, an initiative for students with military experience to take classes with other student-veterans, as well as serving as faculty advisor to the student veterans’ organization on campus, a Student Veterans of America chapter. He received both B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. David is a U.S. Navy veteran.

1:15-2:00           Academic Experiences from Student and Faculty Perspectives

Moderated by Dr. Andrew Canham, Texas Tech University, Ombuds Office

Calvin Lewis, JD, Associate Academic Dean, Texas Tech University School of Law
Roy Strange, Student Veteran, Texas Tech University
Dr. Elane K. Seebo, Vice President of External Campuses and Graduate Services, Wayland Baptist University

The educational session will assist summit participants in gaining a better understanding about academic experiences student veterans encounter inside- and outside-the classroom. A student veteran will provide his perceptions related to academics, followed by insight from two faculty members. The panelists will also offer guidance on how to better serve student veterans by discussing the strengths and challenges they have witnessed on various campuses, so that best practices may be explored and implemented.

2:15-3:00           Transition and Well-Being Panel

Moderated by Dr. Eileen Nathan, Texas Tech University, Director, Student Counseling Center

Denise F. Bartley, Ph.D., Psychologist, Lubbock VA Outpatient Clinic
Michael Iezzi, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, TTU Student Counseling Center
Terry Waldren, Ph.D., Marriage & Family Therapist, Lubbock Vet Center

It has been reported by various publications that over 25 percent of veterans of the current military conflicts are experiencing psychological challenges and difficulty transitioning back to civilian life. This panel will discuss the services available to veterans that may be facing psychological crises or challenges.

1:00-3:30           Resource Fair

During breaks and at the conclusion of the event, there will be a resource fair to highlight some of the services and agencies available to veterans in West Texas.

3:00-3:30           Meet and Greet with Dr. David DiRamio

Menu as follows:

8:00-9:00: Continental Breakfast
11:45-1:00: Lunch:

Driving directions to Merket Alumni Center

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