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The 21st Century Student Veteran Support Center: Coordinating Mentors in Virtual and Interpersonal Space * *As Delivered, with Speaker comments in the.

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Presentation on theme: "The 21st Century Student Veteran Support Center: Coordinating Mentors in Virtual and Interpersonal Space * *As Delivered, with Speaker comments in the."— Presentation transcript:


2 The 21st Century Student Veteran Support Center: Coordinating Mentors in Virtual and Interpersonal Space * *As Delivered, with Speaker comments in the “notes” area Professional Development Symposium: Council on College and Military Educators (CCME) Anaheim, CA, January 28, 2015 Barton Buechner, PhD, CAPT US Navy (Ret) *Dave Cass, CEO, UVIZE

3 The Issues: Many veterans leave service without a clear idea of what they will do afterwards, and receive little guidance when separating – more will be coming Schools and Universities were largely unprepared for the large numbers of veterans using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits – but a lot has been learned… Most employers lack a coherent strategy of reaching Veterans when they are leaving service and while they are in school – strategic points! More coordination is needed at all stages – and mentors can fill in the gaps

4 “We All Serve” Campus Structures are Fragmented Veteran Support Services Certifying Official Veterans Resource Center Student Veterans Organizations (SVA, others) Student Affairs Campus Life Diversity/Disabilities Student Success Career Services Work/Study and “Service Learning” Internships Campus Career Fairs Not usually in coordination May not be attuned to veteran culture Counseling Mental Health Spiritual Support Faculty Pedadogical Layered

5 The “Resourced Veteran” “We have veterans who are resourced now. To squander that resource, no, that’s just wrong. So to get them here, and have them not be successful, would be such a tragedy…. I learned so much by coming back to school, and most of it was about becoming part of something again that was significant. In the military what I did was significant. I was part of something great. Maybe you are just a little piece of it, but when you get here, you are part of something great again…. - Ken

6 Social Entrepreneurship  Veterans leave service with paid education Employers should partner to leverage college campuses as integration points for recruitment in transition to mentor and prepare veterans as future employees  Veterans are trained to look for mentors Integrate a mentoring approach to training, with focus on developing strengths  Many veterans want to continue to serve Consider institutional attunement to a culture of personal development and higher purpose and context NEEDED : A business Case AND academic (empirical) Evicence!

7 READJUSTMENT: “Better than any other kind of experience, schooling can restore the veteran to the communicative system of society” (Waller, 1944) HEALTH AND GROWTH: From the Harvard Grant Longitudinal study: Education was the single best predictor of overall future health (Vaillant, 2012) Developmental Mentoring Source: G. Vaillant (2014)

8 Why Multiple Mentors Matter: Trust is is difficult, may be conditional, and can be developed over time in networks Encountering appropriate advisors is often a matter of chance especially in an unfamiliar landscape Communication skills can be a blind spot Veterans need multiple mentoring relationships or sources of advice to navigate complex change

9 Identity formation and re-individuation…

10 9 Mentoring Domains SYSTEM AND CULTURE ADAPTATION – Traditional “Paving the Way” mentoring – Environmental Attunement – Peer group mentoring DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH – Making meaning from difficult “Lived Experience” – Spiritual growth – Motivational Drivers and Contexts – Communication and networking competence

11 (The Student Veterans Lounge is) the midpoint between collectivism and individualism. I think of this as the hub. They go to class and learn they get to have their own opinion about things that they are allowed to say out loud; and then they come back here and recharge. Then they go to another class where they learn to speak in public, in front of other people; and then they come back here where it’s safe.” - Pat “Culture” Mentoring – Bridging the gap

12 Our Organizational Environments shape what we become - “How can we structure our Institutions so they support the evolution of consciousness?” - W. Barnett Pearce (2007)

13 Dave Cass Towards a Veteran-Centric Context in Higher Education

14 Dave Cass Strategic Student Veteran Concepts: Demystifying college academics prior to arriving on campus Scheduling time efficiently Utilizing on-campus resources Adopting effective study, test-taking, and classroom skills Managing stress Harnessing technology

15 Mentoring Dynamics: Mentorship + Preparation = Persistence “ Creating a culture of trust and connectedness” Keys to Success, #1

16 Networks of “Interdisciplinary” mentors “Contextual Mentoring” Engages all four domains of human experience: Mind Brain Culture System Bridges Social Worlds Supports individuation and re-individuation Promotes personal growth Looks “at” (not “through”) communication “Normalizes” mental health as a positive construction

17 MIND CULTURE SYSTEM BRAIN Coherence Coordination Mystery Interior Exterior Individual Student Veteran Organizations (MTMM) - Peer Mentoring Psychoeducation and Therapy (OTMM) – Behavior Formation and Development (OTOM) – Developmental Veterans Service Office Organizational Support (MTOM) - Advocacy Bridging Family Influence Social World Resources Engagement and “quests” Cognition and Neuroscience Phenomenological Lived Experience Adult Learning Affect and Emotion Observable Behavior Plasticity Collective Social Justice Somatics

18 MTOMMany-to-one mentoring MTMMMany-to-many mentoring OTMMOne-to-many mentoring OTOM One-to-one mentoring PGMPeer group mentoring Group Mentoring types (Huizing, 2012)  Significant Mentor influences included educators, peers, family members, military leaders and clinical counselors, across temporal boundaries

19 Support and lead Embody values Don’t “sugar-coat” … Are true “Mentors” Few parallels outside of service An Essential Warrior Archetype – Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO’s)

20 How “NCO Leadership” is Made Coordinated System of the Inspector General Teach and Train Inspect Fact-finding Assist (Social Justice) Emergent Properties: Self-confidence Loyalty to each other Acountability Leadership by example Sharing the Moral Code

21 “Contextual Mentoring” Coordinated effort, led by someone who “gets” veterans’ experience, and cares (empathic) at the personal level Builds bridges between military social and future worlds. Brokers “loose-tie” connections to others Integrates elements of Family values (primary socialization), Peer support, Formation, Mental Health, and role models Orchestrates existing lifeworld resources and aspects of advising, counseling, coaching, tutoring, social support - with intention Individual attention to help veteran find their own path or “quest” Re-builds moral codes through Mentor Communication

22 Organizations can develop everyone every day. They can turn student and employee struggles into growth opportunities to create a new kind of competitive advantage. A new way of working that can be transformational for organizations and all of their people. Research and practice about understanding how such cultures work and making more of them possible. Towards Deliberately Developmental Communities: Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming, and Claire Lee Shift in focus from performance to growth and capacity-building New ways to measure personal growth outcomes in Higher education?

23 Super Integral - witness self, being-centric view, (emergent) Integral - holistic, autonomous, worldcentric, “Cosmopolitan” 4% of US pop, evolved 50 years ago Pluralistic - sensitive self, individualistic, idealistic, 10% of US pop, 100 years ago Rational - scientists, data-driven decision-making, logic, reason, 25% of pop, 300 years ago Mythical - hierarchical religions, conformist, good/bad, ethnocentric, 40% of US pop, 5000 years ago Egocentric - 'me'/'I want it now', evolved 10,000 years ago, 20% of US pop. Magic - tribes, clans, gangs, superstitious, safety/survival, 10% of US pop. Archaic - Basic survival, <1% of US population Loevinger’s (Integral) Stages of Development Development and our Organizations

24 Practical steps for “21 st Century” Mentoring programs Partnerships between education institutions and employers, through the veterans support and career services offices Coordinate through a multi-disciplinary team that includes Student Veterans, Faculty, Staff, Community groups and Employers Teach and Train around the transition process, develop shared values, and discuss social impact Create space for this to happen naturally (social events with employer veteran affinity groups, etc) Widen the circle: encourage mentors to reach out and reach in - cross formal organizational boundaries

25 Mentors and Mental Health Honoring experience as well as service We say that we ‘hate the war and love the warrior’…. But what does that really mean? We can understand that (soldiers) can participate in a larger pattern that requires them to do certain things, and when they come back home, they need to know that we appreciate it, but they also need to know that we “get” what it does to them. Their stories and experiences may be at odds with how they think (about it afterwards), so need to be able to listen, and help sort that out for people when they return…. - JPS

26 Panel discussions Book discussions and readings Participate in ESGR “Bosslifts” and Employer Orientations Creating a more veteran-attuned Campus Culture:

27 Some Fundamental “21 st Century”Shifts: Newtonian physics to Quantum Mechanics Fragmented knowledge to integration “Content” to “process dynamics” “Transmission” Communication to Social Construction “Single Point” relationships to Networks “Acquiring skillsets” to developing

28 Long-Term Ideas for “Veteran Friendly” employer-Acacemic community partnerships Joint employer-academic outreach to demobilization sites, military bases, State National Guard, etc. Pursue “Deliberately Develomental” approaches to employee career progression and work unit orgnization Formalize the mentoring approach as a bridge from service to campus to the workforce Change the way we measure process and outcomes to include transition support and development

29 Barton Buechner, PhD CAPT, USN (ret) (707) 812-0204 Dave Cass, CEO, UVIZE

30 PRESENTER BIO: Barton Buechner is a 1978 Alumni of the US Naval Academy; a 1993 graduate of the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management, and a 1997 graduate of the Naval War College. He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 2008, and earned a doctorate in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University in January, 2014. He has been a leader of military and veterans programs at the state and federal levels, including consulting team leader for the Commander, US Pacific Fleet; Deputy Veterans Home Administrator with the California Department of Veterans Affairs; Director of Plans, Policy, and Training with the the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and Military Assistant to the Inspector General of the US Department of Defense. Dr. Buechner is presently an Adjunct Professor in the Military Psychology MA program at Adler University; serves as the Military Knowledge Community Coordinator for the National Association of Student Program Administrators (NASPA) Region IV-E, and is the Michigan State Vice-Chair for ESGR. Barton Buechner: (707)

31 PRESENTER BIO: Dave Cass the CEO and founder of Uvize Inc., an education technology company with a focus on academic planning tools for student veterans. He is also an adjunct professor of business at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the author of The Strategic Student Veteran: “Successfully Transitioning from the Military to College Academics”. Dave is a Navy Lieutenant Commander who served as a helicopter pilot in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is now in the Navy Reserve. Dave holds a BA from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of Colorado Boulder. Contact Dave at

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