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Press Release: Pace University to Host Series of Events Honoring Veterans

11/09/2020

Press Release: Pace University to Host Series of Events Honoring Veterans

Student Veterans Appreciation Week Starts Nov. 9

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – November 9, 2020 – Pace University is hosting a series of events from Nov. 9 through Nov. 13 honoring students who have served in the military, the University’s Office of Veterans Services announced today.

Student Veterans Appreciation Week, which kicks-off today, includes a virtual career session, lectures from respected military leaders, a 5K road race on the Pleasantville campus, a virtual tour of the 9-11 Museum, and visits to historically significant military sites and museums in the region including the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and Fort Montgomery State Historic Site. View the full schedule of events.

“At Pace University, we are grateful for the sacrifices that our veterans have made to serve our country,” said President Krislov. “On this Veterans Week and throughout the year, we are proud to support our student veterans and their families, and we honor all those who have bravely worn the uniform.”​

Student Veterans are a vital and integral part of Pace University’s campus community. In fact, the University’s Office of Veterans Services offers ongoing support to 300 student veterans and their families on all three of its campuses – in New York City, White Plains and Pleasantville.

In addition to offering unique programs such as UNV 101 for Veterans class, Pace University recently opened a new Student Veterans Center -- made possible with the help of a $200,000 grant secured by New York State Senator Peter Harckham -- that serves as a one-stop resource center. The new SVC is centrally located on campus inside the Kessel Student Center on the Pleasantville campus.

The SVC offers a central location on campus to connect, socialize and use the school's resources. Veterans, for example, are able to obtain information on how to work with, and navigate, the VA, as well as the various educational benefits student veterans are entitled to including the Forever GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program and Vocational Rehab.

“Veterans are an esteemed group who have honorably served and sacrificed so much for our nation,” said COL (Ret) Peter Riley, director of Pace Office of Veterans Services. “Student Veterans contribute to the character, diversity and dynamism of campus life here at Pace University, which is why we are proud to sponsor Student Veterans Appreciation Week.”

About Pace University
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and a Law School in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on our news website.

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NBC News featured Pace graduate Bonita Rodriguez in "How this Marine found her voice, confidence to pursue the career she loves"

09/30/2020

NBC News featured Pace graduate Bonita Rodriguez in "How this Marine found her voice, confidence to pursue the career she loves"

After her enlistment, inspired by her Master Gunnery Sergeant, Rodriguez ended up at Pace University in New York City, originally studying psychology, but she linked up with other student veterans who told her about the many job opportunities in information technology. She graduated with her degree in 2019 and now works as a Media Tech Associate at NBC Universal on a rotation program, a role she said she loves.

Read the full NBC News article.

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Military Families.com featured Pace University 2019 graduate Bonita Rodriguez in "Pace University alumna named Student Veteran of the Year"

08/19/2020

Military Families.com featured Pace University 2019 graduate Bonita Rodriguez in "Pace University alumna named Student Veteran of the Year"

Bonita Rodriguez, a 2019 graduate of Pace University, received the organization’s award because of her dedication to helping other student veterans in their transition. SVA is a coalition of student-veteran groups on college campuses across the globe, with 1,500+ chapters representing 750,000+ student veterans.

Rodriguez was working as an administration specialist in the Marine Corps when she decided to pursue college. But her reasons for this pursuit went beyond bettering herself. As a child she saw her parents, Mexican immigrants, work hard with little to show for it.

“They didn’t have many opportunities and seeing them work their butts off gave me the motivation to want to do more and show them what their hard work has provided for me,” she said.

As the first in her family to go to college, Rodriguez says she wanted to set an example.

“I have younger siblings and I want them to know there’s more out there in the world, and as long as you keep pushing yourself there are no limits.”

But the gap in school after completing high school left her feeling intimidated. Rodriguez, however, received an unexpected push from her master gunnery sergeant. He took time with her to make sure she researched information and would be set to reach higher when she left the military.

“He basically forced me to look up colleges and took his time to help Marines transition from active duty. To see someone so high up make time in their day to check on me and make sure I have a plan was really inspiring,” Rodriguez said.

So, she began her hunt.

Last year, Rodriguez graduated from Pace University with a degree in Information Technology. The process wasn’t easy but it was the intentionality of the military supportive programs the school offered that helped her process.

Read the full Military Families.com article.

 

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Westfair Online featured Veterans Director Peter Riley in "Peter Riley: Congress passes legislation allowing vets on GI Bill to get full benefits"

03/27/2020

Westfair Online featured Veterans Director Peter Riley in "Peter Riley: Congress passes legislation allowing vets on GI Bill to get full benefits"

The job of educating students amid the coronavirus pandemic has become increasingly complicated for higher education as classes move online and social distancing drastically changes campus life for the foreseeable future.

While so many students are being adversely impacted and must be taken care of, it’s especially important that our student veterans don’t fall through the cracks.

Steven Garcia, a U.S. Marine veteran attending Pace University in Pleasantville, was worried that the monthly housing allowance he receives under the GI Bill could have been significantly reduced now that students can no longer attend classes in person.

A senior majoring in accounting, Garcia served from 2010 to 2014 and was stationed in Japan, Afghanistan and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He was one of thousands of veterans who feared that if Congress and the president did not act quickly, they could lose a substantial amount of housing allowance benefits under the GI Bill.

That won’t happen as Congress has passed a bill and the President signed it. It’s precisely the type of quick mobilization that is required during these unprecedented times.

Here’s some backstory.

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency. Responding to an environment that is changing daily, if not hourly, and for the safety and security of students, staff and faculty, Pace University – like colleges and universities across the country – made the decision to move all classes to an online/interactive format.

The switch to online classes, however, put in jeopardy GI Bill funding that many of our veterans depend upon. As a result, many Pace student veterans could have lost more than $2,000 a month in benefits due to circumstances beyond their control. That sum would have been reduced because of the way the Veteran’s Administration approves a school’s program. There are effectively three options for a program to be approved for VA education benefits: distance; hybrid; and in-residence education.

“Living in Westchester is very expensive,’’ said Garcia, 28, who lives in Cortlandt Manor with his mother. “Without this assistance half of veterans would not be able to pay car payments, mortgages and bills.”

Read the full Westfair Online article.

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News12 featured Lubin student and veteran in the Marine Corps Steven Garcia in "Congress passes bill to protect G.I. Bill benefits for veterans"

03/20/2020

News12 featured Lubin student and veteran in the Marine Corps Steven Garcia in "Congress passes bill to protect G.I. Bill benefits for veterans"

A bill was passed by the U.S. Congress Thursday to protect thousands of dollars of monthly G.I. Bill benefits for veterans and their families earning a college degree. 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges and universities in the area to cancel most, if not all, in-person classes and have students take online courses. Steven Garcia, who was a corporal in the Marine Corps for four years and now studies accounting at Pace University in Pleasantville, says while veterans or their family members are earning a degree, they receive a monthly housing allowance from the G.I. Bill.

Read and watch News12.

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