UH Manoa Office of Veteran Student Services (OVSS) hosted the 2017 Veterans Day Celebration on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at Hawaii Hall Lawn on campus. The event honored all veterans and recognized 13 veterans who received scholarships to pursue careers in nursing.
OVSS at UH Manoa supports active duty military, veterans, reservists, National Guard, and military-connected students. The office is committed to providing support for veterans transitioning to college and during the journey through college. Kenith Scott, MPA, is the director for OVSS and served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. He received his master’s degree in Public Administration and his BA from UH Manoa. Previously, Scott worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs in the Health Administration Services.
“The government provides a great education benefit to veterans and military-connected students. As a recipient of the GI Bill myself, I know firsthand the huge impact that furthering your education can have on your life. So it’s important to me to help other veterans achieve their goals” said Kenith Scott, MPA, director of the Office of Veteran Student Services. “Veterans face a variety of challenges when returning to school and OVSS is a campus resource that understands their experiences and will customize support for veterans and military-connected students.”
The UH Manoa Veterans to Nurses Program also provides support to veterans interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. The Veterans to Nurses Program provides college credit for veterans past medical experience, creating a pathway to professional nursing and employment for service members with skills and experience in health care. The initiative is the first program of its kind in Hawaii and is part of the national effort to address the growing demand for health care services throughout our nation.
This is the third year that the Veterans to Nurses Program received funding from the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust to provide 13 scholarships to student veterans pursuing careers in nursing. Student veterans received between $2,500 to $4,400 to further their nursing education at UH Manoa and Kapiolani Community College. Scholarship recipients are all veterans and have served in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Army Reserves, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.
UH Manoa Nursing Dean Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN said, “UH Manoa Nursing is proud to be one of 20 schools of nursing and the only program in Hawaii to participate in this national initiative. Veterans are a vital community asset and we are fully committed to providing them with excellent nursing education.”
The celebration included Posting of Colors by the UH Manoa Army and Air Force ROTC Joint Color Guard and singing of the National Anthem and State Song by a UH Manoa student veteran, Chorelle Ramirez who previously served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. A moment of silence to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war was followed by remarks from Office of Veteran Student Services Director Kenith Scott, UH Manoa Nursing Dean Mary G. Boland, and UH System President and UH Manoa Interim Chancellor David Lassner. The celebration was followed by a reception honoring the U.S Marine Corps 242nd birthday on November 10.
James T. Hirai, Brigadier General (Retired), U.S. Army – a UH Manoa alumni, a recent UH Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni recipient, and currently the deputy director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies – was the keynote speaker for the celebration. BG (Ret.) Hirai served for 31 years in a range of leadership positions in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2006, BG (Ret.) Hirai joined the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) as deputy director. DKI APCSS is a Department of Defense executive education center that conducts in-residence and outreach activities designed to enhance effective and accountable security sector governance in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
This event was supported by the Office of Veteran Student Services, UH Manoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing – A Veterans’ Initiative Program and the UH Manoa Student Activity & Program Fee Board. Special thanks to the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust for supporting nursing student veteran scholarships. For more information about the Office of Veteran Student Services visit http://studentaffairs.manoa.hawaii.edu/veterans.
The UH Manoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing – A Veterans’ Initiative Program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Grant no. UF1HP26981. For more information about the Veterans to Nurses program visit www.nursing.hawaii.edu/vetstonurses.
Photos from the event can be viewed online: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uhmanoanursing/albums/72157688208224551.
About the Office of Veteran Student Services
The Office of Veteran Student Services is a campus resource for veterans and military-connected students at UH Manoa. Our mission is to provide the highest quality support to veteran and military-connected students to equip them with the tools necessary for academic excellence and personal success. Our goal is to simplify the transition from the military into higher education and to support students throughout their academic journey. The office provides a network of university and community resources and services, and has qualified counselors who provide a broad range of services. Visit us at http://studentaffairs.manoa.hawaii.edu/veterans.
About UH Manoa Nursing
UH Manoa Nursing, the Nursing Capitol of the Pacific, is the leader in nursing education and research in Hawaii with outreach to Asia and the Pacific Basin. We support the mission of the University of Hawaii at Manoa: to provide an innovative, caring and multicultural environment in which faculty, students and staff work together to generate and transmit knowledge, wisdom, and values to promote quality of life and health for present and future generations. The school offers the BS, master’s, and doctoral programs. To reflect Hawaii’s unique cultural diversity and heritage, UH Manoa Nursing is committed to increasing the representation of Native Hawaiian and other underserved people in all nursing programs. Visit us at www.nursing.hawaii.edu.