Sean-Michael Green, associate vice president for graduate enrollment and marketing and a veteran of the United States Marines, admits that he feels a bit uncomfortable when people thank him for his service.
"I didn't do anything exceptional," he says. "My brother is a Marine, my father was a Marine. It’s just what we do."
Upon completing his service, he enrolled at a community college, though he said his expectations weren't high after finishing 723rd out of 725 students at his public high school. "But when I went in, I found a part of me come alive," he said. "I loved the intellectual challenge, and I was very curious."
Still, he seemed out of place. "I felt everyone was staring at me," he said. "I just felt like I didn’t belong there."
Green, who joined the UNH community in the summer of 2013, said it would have helped him to know there were other veterans like him on campus. And that is his goal at UNH. "I want everyone here who is a student veteran to know there are other people here like you," he said.
There are nearly 200 student veterans in the campus community, including 45 who enrolled beginning in the fall 2013 semester.
Taking Pride in Being Veteran Friendly
To assist the veteran students on campus, UNH participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and there are dedicated staff members in a variety of offices on campus – including Admissions, Financial Aid and the First-Year Success Center – to work with veteran students.
In recognition of its efforts, UNH has been named by the U.S. Veterans Magazine as one of its "Top Veteran-Friendly Schools." UNH is the only Connecticut school on the list.
Each of the last three years, the University has been recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine among the top colleges nationally for veterans - putting UNH in the top 20 percent of more than 12,000 colleges and universities that recruit military personnel.
Beyond their contributions in the classroom, UNH's student veterans are active volunteers in the community. They were among the first volunteers in Newtown just days after the tragic school shooting in 2012. They have also collected materials and supplies that were donated to a veteran transitional house in West Haven.
"Through their actions, our veteran students serve as role models for the entire campus community, and I commend them all for their actions," said UNH President Steve Kaplan.
Top Veteran-Friendly Schools
Each year, the U.S. Veterans magazine evaluates the nation's employers, initiatives, government agencies and educational institutions. Its nonbiased studies are considered to be valuable resources for jobseekers, business owners, students, consumers, senior management, business associations, employment agencies and consumer groups, according to the magazine.
The magazine states that the goal of the annual evaluations is to not only bring the latest information and guidance to its readers, but also to encourage active outreach and diversity policies among corporations and government agencies. The lists are compiled from market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses. This year, more than 250 companies and institutions participated.
The results are published in the summer issue of the U.S. Veterans Magazine. For more information about the annual Best of the Best survey, visit www.usveteransmagazine.com.