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After a very successful inaugural conference in 2015, we are pleased to announce a second conference that is focusing on Veteran Transition to Higher Education.  We are targeting the conference to administrators/staff associated with student admissions, financial aid, and retention, counseling, student affairs, and student health; deans and department heads; and faculty in higher education including adult education.  Attendees will learn about best practices related to transition, from military to student, from DoD to VA healthcare, and from student to career.  They will also have the opportunity to network with colleagues from other two- and four-year colleges and universities.


NC STRIVE 2016! Conference Agenda

Sharing best practices to better serve our nation’s veterans, service members, and

their family members in seeking higher education

Dennis A Wicker Civic Center

1801 Nash Street, Sanford, N.C. 27330

 June 15, 2016


Mission statement:  To enhance student success by providing them with the necessary information, opportunities, and resources to achieve their career goals.


7:30         Registration


8:00         Welcome – Major General Cornell Wilson, USMC, Ret., Secretary, North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs


8:05         Welcome – Flo Stein, Deputy Director, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services


8:10         Welcome – Bud Marchant, PhD, President, Central Carolina Community College


8:15         Student Panel

Moderator:  Ann Marie Beall, Director of Military Education, Federal Relations and Military Affairs Division, University of North Carolina General Administration

·      Phoebe Comeau, UNC Wilmington

·      Julius Cook, Fayetteville State University

·      Leslie Lingo, Methodist University

·      Michael Rafetto, Campbell University

·      Megan Weis, Methodist University


9:30         Green Zone Training for Community Colleges

·         Gail Cummins, Career Services Counselor, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

·         Ricky Gray, Executive Assistant in Student Services, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College


9:30         Transition Tracks: 

·         Track One:    DoD to VA: Eligibility and Access To Care

Track Description:  Learn about Veteran transition out of the DoD to the Veterans Administration (VA) system of healthcare as the VA offers an array of services and resources.  Access to comprehensive care includes behavioral and medical health and a myriad of solutions for long-term and short-term care. Studies reflect a direct link between access to healthcare and academic success for our Veteran population.  Understanding this process and the resources available will enhance services for Student Veterans on your campus.

9:30-10:45 a.m.       Session 1: Innovations and Ideas to be and do more

10:45-12:00 p.m.     Session 2: Practical Application of working with the Transitioning Veteran

·         Track Two:    Military to Higher Education: Facilitating Academic Success

Track Description: A panel discussion on developing new student orientation sessions for student veterans as well as a presentation on how to maximize the use of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits.

o   Establishing a Student Veteran Orientation Program: Methodist University, Fayetteville State University, UNC Wilmington, Central Carolina Community College, and Wake Technical Community College

o   How to Maximize VA Educational Benefits: Dawn Whetstone, Veterans Affairs Coordinator, North Carolina Central University and SSG Thomas Parker, GI Bill Manager, North Carolina National Guard


·         Track Three:  College to Career: Enhancing and Building the NC Workforce

Track Description:  Helping veterans obtain the degree or certificate they want is not enough.  Colleges need to know how to help Veterans get the job and start the career they need.  This track starts by covering federal, state, and military-centric job-seeking resources.  Participants will then hear about a North Carolina Veteran-focused program that is designed to help graduates win the job for which they apply.  The track concludes with an overview of entrepreneurship as a career path for veterans as well as how your college can engage your students in entrepreneurship (30-minute presentations plus a seven-minute Q&A between presenters).

o    Federal and State Job Seeking Resources.  Presenter:  Jessica Locklear McLeod, NCWorks.  The focus of this presentation is to provide colleges an overview of all Federal and State job-seeking resources so that the colleges can then transfer that knowledge to all students needing work.

o    Military Centric Job Seeking Resources. Presenter:  SSG Jeffrey Whitman, NC National Guard (NG).  The focus of this presentation is to build upon the NCWorks presentation by expanding the discussion to those resources that are military/veteran-centric such as the NCNG Education and Employment Center.  Military-specific aspects of USA Jobs will be covered as well.  Colleges will then be able to assist and refer military/veteran students to appropriate resources.

o    Transitioning from the Military to the Job.  Presenter:  Charlene Callahan, Fayetteville Technical Community College.  This session will build upon the previous two sessions by providing an overview of the Transition Tech program.  Specific attention will be given to the human resource development aspect of the program so that colleges can benchmark off the success of Transition Tech.

o    Engaging Students in Entrepreneurship.  Presenter:  Scott Daugherty, Small Business Training and Development Center.  This session will focus on the importance of entrepreneurship as a career track and state-level resources available to entrepreneurs, as well as how colleges can engage students in entrepreneurship.   Particular attention will be given to programs/initiatives that colleges can implement to increase student engagement in entrepreneurship.


12:00       Lunch and Vendors


1:20         Plenary:  Meg S. Dutnell, Ed.D. Associate Dean of Students, Bridgewater College

A phenomenological study:  The Experience of Women Veterans in Transition and Adaptation to Higher Education


2:00         Green Zone Training for 4-Year Colleges and Universities

·         Brian Papajcik, Assistant Dean of Students, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

·         Amber Mathwig, Student Veteran Assistance Coordinator, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


2:00         Transition Tracks (see descriptions of the Tracks under the 9:30a slot):

·         Track One:    DoD to VA: Eligibility and Access To Care

·         Track Two:    Military to Higher Education: Facilitating Academic Success

·         Track Three:  College to Career: Enhancing and Building the NC Workforce


4:30         Close





Cancellation policy

Please contact Dr. Fang at if you are unable to attend so that your seat can be freed up for another to attend. Thank you.

For a copy of the agenda, please go to 


Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center 1801 Nash Street, Sanford, North Carolina, 27330, United States Get Directions


NC STRIVE is committed to the sharing of best practices to better serve our nation's veterans, service members, and their families in seeking higher education.