New Program Announced At Montclair State for Returning Veterans

Montclair, New Jersey—Montclair State has announced a new program to assist veterans who are returning to college. With veterans and active military personnel already attending classes at Montclair State, this new program has been especially timed to coincide with the new Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, which is set to go into effect August 1, 2009.

"Montclair State has a history of welcoming returning veterans and providing special services to diverse student groups, " said Karen L. Pennington, vice president for student development and campus life at Montclair State University. "The new program, in preparation for the new GI Bill, moves our effort to a new level with individual counseling and placement based on a vet's experience and background."

The University recently hosted an orientation program for new veterans. The orientation provided the students with an overview of what they can expect from the new GI bill, as well as offering participants an opportunity to speak with representatives from key campus resources. Under the GI Bill, eligible veterans and active duty personnel will receive a monthly housing allowance and book stipend, and their tuition and fees - up to the rate charged undergraduates at the most expensive public institution in their state - will be paid directly to their colleges.

Current veterans on campus are also getting involved. Recognizing the importance of peer leadership, David Gisonno, a Montclair State sophomore and veteran, obtained the signatures required to charter a veteran association for students on campus. Gisonno hopes the organization will help new veterans assimilate into the college environment. He also plans to get involved in local philanthropic activities.

Denise Y. Rodak, new coordinator of Veteran and Military Resources at Montclair State University, will be responsible for coordinating all veteran and military services at the University, working closely with key university offices to ensure veterans and active military personnel have the opportunity to achieve their educational goals. Rodak has been advising students at Montclair State since 2002. She has worked with many different student populations and has also managed special project areas including transfer orientation programs, faculty advising collaborations, and public relations.

Released: March 11, 2009