Transitioning to college life can be hard for every student — especially veterans. The Veteran Student Academic Services office is a hidden gem on campus that is available to help veteran students.
The office, along with the new Veteran Success Center, offers veteran students a place to study, interact and seek academic assistance in transitioning to college life.
The primary task of the program is to coordinate with campus, community, state and federal organizations to provide services to more than 850 veterans and military-affiliated students in Stillwater.
Leading the charge in the office are Rick Hansen, coordinator of Veteran Student Academic Services, and Amy Cole, director of Transfer/Veteran Academic Services. Both Hansen and Cole are veterans themselves.
Hansen said he knew from the age of 12 that he wanted to be in the Marine Corps. He quickly rose through the ranks and received an opportunity to go to college to become a commissioned officer. As an officer, Hansen chose to remain in the infantry and eventually commanded three Marine companies, which he calls the greatest experience of his life.
Hansen describes his time at OSU as the second best job he’s ever had and enjoys working with younger veterans.
Cole started her enlisted service in the United States Air Force as a security police officer before being cross-trained for special actions under personnel. She was serving as a staff sergeant when she decided to get a college degree. After being honorably discharged, she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She is currently working on a doctorate at OSU in educational leadership.
Cole feels a special connection to both transfer and veteran students. Cole is especially glad to see the students she works with achieve their goals and believes she receives as much motivation from them as they do from her.
The Veteran Student Academic Services office and Veteran Success Center are located on the first floor of the North Classroom Building. For more information about services offered, visit okla.st/osuveteran.