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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

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OHIO awarded 'Military Friendly Schools' designation for second straight year


For the second straight time in as many years, Ohio University was presented with G.I. Jobs' 2013 Military Friendly Schools designation, according to a press release from the magazine.

The award annually recognizes the top 15 percent of post-secondary institutions working to ensure educational success for America's military and veteran students.

"The recognition is especially a benefit to our veteran students," said Melissa Toretch, who serves as the University's coordinator of special populations, which includes veterans' academics. "It's a recruiting tool, as it establishes resources for veterans who have needs that are different than the typical college student."

Toretch said the honor makes it known that Ohio University supports veterans and will continue to enhance its service and dedication to veteran students.

The 2013 list includes 1,700 schools that represent the top tier of United States colleges, universities and trade schools assisting military students. More than 12,000 schools, all of which are approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, applied for the designation.

"There is a University-wide recognition that has been in place for some time that it is our responsibility as a public university to do everything we can to help men and women who serve the country," said University College Dean David Descutner. "Those returning for a university education deserve our best efforts to help them succeed."

Devon Aey, veteran affairs commissioner for Student Senate and president of the Combat Veteran Club, said the University's commitment to veteran and military personnel is especially crucial now with the downsizing of military branches and the number of incoming veterans growing each year.

Descutner attributes the recognition to the encouragement of veterans that radiates from all corners of campus and the hard work of many individuals from various departments, including the University Libraries, Student Affairs and Facilities.

"We appreciate the veterans, as they have been significantly involved in this effort as well," said Descutner.

"They are not just in the receiving end of the benefits, but they have been doing a lot of work identifying best actions and ensuring that the decisions we make are the best decisions to meet their needs."

Aey said he values the opportunity to contribute to the Ohio University's military friendly efforts.

"I'm honored to be apart of the University's Veterans Committee board," he said. "This board has done a lot in the short two years that I have been apart of it, and I look forward to seeing it grow, and taking Ohio University to the forefront of Veteran Friendly Schools."