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.
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.”
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.
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 [email protected].
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. Lisa is the Army spouse of retired LTC Andrew DeGregorio, who served in the Army Reserves and Pennsylvania National Guard for a total of 30 years. He served two deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Email Lisa at [email protected].
Alice Royer is a Penn State Mont Alto Assistant Teacher Professor for English & Women's Studies. She is an Army spouse of a 20 year Military Intelligence Officer who served four deployments. Alice also held a position at the First Army Surgeon's Office in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Jeff has worked in various college and university roles since 2005. He is currently the Campus Registrar. Jeff served in the Army Reserves for six years.
After graduating from Penn State at University Park in 1991, Carrie Malpica enlisted in the Navy and served four years as a Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) stationed in Virginia. While supporting her husband’s naval career for over two decades, Carrie served as an Ombudsman for two deploying commands where she assisted families during arduous deployments; she has also been a dedicated full-time volunteer for Fleet and Family Service Centers. During her husband’s last command, Carrie worked at the Personnel Support Detachment. Following her family’s retirement from active duty, Carrie joined the Penn State Mont Alto campus as administrative support in the Advising Center.