April 10, 2013

SUNY Empire State College Garners National Award for Service to the Military

CCME President Joycelyn Groot presented 2013 Institution Award. Seen in the front row left to right: Mindy Boenning, communication and development coordinator, Joycelyn Groot, CCME president, Linda Frank, Desiree Drindak, Susan Bruce. Seen in the back row left to right, William Yaeger, Charles Van Vorst, and William Mayeaux.

Seen in the front row, left to right: Mindy Boenning, CCME President Joycelyn Groot, Linda Frank, Desiree Drindak, Susan Bruce. Seen in the back row, left to right, William Yaeger, Charles Van Vorst and William Mayeaux.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – April 11, 2013) The Council of College and Military Educators has named SUNY Empire State College this year’s recipient of its annual Institution Award.

The award is presented to an organization in recognition of its significant contributions to the cause of military education and its direct involvement with voluntary off-duty education to the armed forces. The college’s Office of Veteran and Military Education accepted the award at the recent CCME annual symposium.

“It was an honor to present the 2013 award to SUNY Empire State College,” said Joycelyn Groot, immediate past president of CCME and associate vice chancellor of military programs at Brandman University. “The institution offers unique and flexible programs to meet the needs of military and veteran students, and its dedicated team in the Office of Veteran and Military Education is made up of respected and true professionals.”

“National recognition from CCME for Empire State College’s work in educating and supporting veterans and service members is most gratifying,” said Meg Benke, acting president. “Congratulations go to the college’s faculty for their teaching and mentoring and to Linda Frank and her hard-working staff for their work in supporting veterans and service members in achieving their goals.”

“It’s an honor to have been nominated and selected for the CCME Institution Award. It means a great deal to me and my staff,” said Linda Frank, director of the Office of Veteran and Military Education at the college. “The award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of OVME staff and to the faculty and staff across the college, especially our dedicated faculty and staff at Ft. Drum, who play a critical role in serving and supporting our military and veteran student population.”

The Office of Veteran and Military Education at Empire State College was established to serve students who are veterans or active military service members, and their families, with assistance ranging from course selection to information about housing and financing their education. Approximately 2,000 military students currently are served by OVME.

The college was nominated by James D. McDonough, a retired U.S. Army colonel, who is currently a senior fellow for veterans’ affairs for the New York State Health Foundation.

McDonough has worked directly with returning veterans in numerous capacities, including as the director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs and in the same role as director of the Rochester Veterans Outreach Center.

“SUNY Empire State College's efforts to support our military community are commendable and they are truly deserving of the CCME Institution Award,” said McDonough.  “In my capacity I work with many providers of veterans’ services, including colleges and universities. Very few institutions of higher education demonstrate the strengths of those found within SUNY Empire State College.”

Some of the college’s initiatives McDonough cited include:

  • an online Military Transition Resource center that provides information and resources on financial planning, education, employment and community/family relationships

About the CCME Institution Award

The CCME Institution Award is presented to an organization in recognition of its significant contributions to the cause of military education. The recipient will be a college or university that provides quality education programs to the armed services.

The Institution Award is provided to a nominee meeting the following criteria:

  • nominees must be an institution directly involved in the support of voluntary off-duty education to the armed forces
  • the awards committee, at its discretion, may seek a written recommendation from the nominee's institutional leader, such as the president, provost, or dean
  • the awards committee shall ascertain that the nominee's organizational accomplishments are deserving of the award, and that these accomplishments demonstrate the nominee's dedication and leadership in supporting quality voluntary off-duty education to the armed services
  • a nominee that has been the recipient of any CCME award in the past five years is ineligible.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.

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Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038 (after 5 p.m. and on weekends)