Wright State University prides itself on its accessibility for students from all walks of life. In 2023, Wright State was once again recognized for its military-friendly service with a Military Friendly Silver Award, up from its 2022 designation, the Bronze Award.
This year, over 1,800 schools participated in the military-friendly survey, and 530 schools received a designation of top 10, gold, silver or bronze.
The Military Friendly designation is sponsored by Viqtory Media, a company that focuses on working with military publications, including the Military Times, which shares news and information about the military.
In 2022, Wright State was also named a Collegiate Purple Star campus by the state of Ohio in recognition of the university’s “excellent job providing a supportive environment for those veterans and service members making the transition to college and the workforce,” said Randy Gardener, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Also last year, Wright State was named a Best for Vets college by Military Times.
Seth Gordon, Ph.D., director of the Veteran and Military Center (VMC), said he is proud of the Silver Award designation from Military Friendly. He said the VMC strives to be flexible and work to accommodate veteran and active-duty students.
“Wright State is always looking for ways to demonstrate our commitment to our student veteran and military-connected students. Our recent dedication of the Captain Shawn L. English VMC Champions Garden was realized through the collective effort of our extended Wright State community and dedicated alumni,” said Gordon.
Gordon encourages faculty and staff to go the extra mile for students. In September, the Veteran and Military Center began offering a VMC Student Champion co-curricular certification for students, faculty and staff.
Inspired by the work of the university’s Mental Health Task Force, this program incorporates VMC-sponsored trainings with other offices and services to ensure that those seeking to work with veterans have experienced at least 15 hours of training in four areas. They include exposure to military culture, participation in a “Green Zone” training that explores a serious aspect of mental health as it relates to veteran and military-connected students, and completion of Question, Persuade, Refer suicide prevention training and Mental Health First Aid training.
“Military service can serve as a dramatic catalyst for learning and success in other fields for many student veterans and military-connected students,” Gordon said. “We want our staff, faculty and students to be able to recognize early when any student is experiencing the stress of college and juggling their external responsibilities. Student veterans and military-connected students may experience more issues as a result of their previous or current service. Having a population that respects that service and is trained to appropriately address is invaluable.”
Campus partners involved in the VMC Student Champion initiative include the offices of Disability Services, Public Safety and Student Involvement and Leadership.
Wright State also facilitates priority registration for veterans and active-duty students and advocates for veterans and active-duty students to assist in resolving any issues that may arise for students throughout their college career.