Student Veterans’ Mentoring Program

Student Veterans’ Mentoring Program

Penn State Mont Alto’s Mentoring Program connects veteran students with Penn State Mont Alto veteran faculty and staff members for mentorships. Mentors and veteran students define the goals of their mentorship together. The program is focused on supporting student veterans in their transition from the military into higher education, in their academic success and future civilian careers.

Program Commitments

Over the course of the mentorship, participants are encouraged to connect at the beginning and end of each term and a minimum of once per month. Pairs may choose to interact more frequently if they so choose.

About Student Veterans and Mentors

All student veterans who are enrolled at Penn State Mont Alto are encouraged to participate in this program. They come from diverse military backgrounds and represent various ages, education levels, ranks and branches of the military. Some may still be serving on active duty and planning for an upcoming transition or military retirement. Some may have recently separated from the military and others may have separated several years ago and have decided to return to school to pursue their education.

The mentors are faculty and staff members who are veterans and also come from diverse military backgrounds as well as two staff members, including Mont Alto’s veterans’ certifying official and the Academic Support Center’s student advocacy specialist. Other staff members who also serve as resources to the program are the career services coordinator, campus nurse, and counselor. In order that they bring best practices to the program, each has completed the Penn State World Campus course, “Serving Those Who Have Served.”

Program Mentors

Paul Bart (US Air Force, ret.), Instructor in Computer Science and Information Science Technology

Bart was active duty U.S. Air Force at the end of Vietnam. He spent ten years in active duty as a staff sergeant and entered civilian service at the Headquarters Department of the Army Command and Control Support Agency, Pentagon as senior site analyst, where he was later promoted to the Joint Data Systems Support Center providing C4 support to the National Military Command Center and Authority.  Later in his career, he also served as the chief of software and systems support for the Operations Group at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barrack. During this time, he received the Army Superior Civilian Service Medal for support of Operation Joint Endeavor.  Later in his 30 year IT career, Bart served as chief technology officer for a Pennsylvania state agency and was chief information officer of the Naval District in Washington, D.C. At the end his service to the United States Navy, he helped the formation of the senior leadership team of the new echelon 2, Commander Naval Installations, command.

Dr. Anne Devney (US Navy, ret.), Instructor in Nursing

Devney served as a United States Navy nurse during and after the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam era, she worked at St. Albans Naval Hospital from 1970 to 1972 and in Iwakuni, Japan, from 1972 to 1974. She retired in 1989 with the rank of commander after 20 years in the Navy Nurse Corps. Along the way, she discovered not only her love of nursing but also her love of education and received two master’s degrees in education, teaching at the Naval Hospital Corps School in San Diego, Calif., and the Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Illinois, respectively. She also completed her doctorate degree in adult and continuing education at Northern Illinois University and then served as an instructor and director of health services at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.

Dr. Sherry Goertz (US Army, ret.), Assistant Professor of Nursing

After high school, Goertz joined the U.S. Army Reserves as part of the 316th Station Hospital based in Harrisburg, Pa. Following basic training, she became a medic (91B), studying and working at the burn center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. From there, she completed clinical specialist (91C) school at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver, Colo., where she served those having open heart surgeries. She was on active duty for sixteen months and then served one weekend a month in Harrisburg to complete three years of service. In addition, Sherry has spent two-week summer camps in the intensive care unit at West Point in New York.

Marla Minnich, Student Advocacy Specialist

In her role at the Academic Support Center, Minnich works diligently with Penn State Mont Alto students including adult learners  many of whom are veterans. Concentrating on students’ academic goals, she provides quick question support or ongoing support designed to offer solution-focused guidance for various issues which students may encounter. Email Marla at mum30@psu.edu.

Lisa DeGregorio, Veteran Certifying Official

DeGregorio manages all services related to students who are veterans of military service at Penn State Mont Alto. In her role as Veteran Certifying Official, she counsels and advises student veterans receiving GI Bill®Educational benefits and processes their enrollment certifications to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Email Lisa at ldd23@psu.edu.

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