Military Times has included the University of New Haven on its 2021 list of “Best for Vets: Colleges,” recognizing its commitment to supporting those who have served.
August 16, 2021
Before he was a Charger, Cody DiBlasio ’23 served in the U.S. Navy. His career enabled him to travel to all 50 states and to 20 different countries. As a submariner, he served on the USS Topeka 754 out of Guam and on the USS Hartford 768 out of Groton, Conn. Dedicated to his service, he also wanted to continue his education.
A Louisiana native, DiBlasio wanted to remain in Connecticut, and his former captain, Mathew Fanning, helped him make his dream of continuing his education a reality.
“The University of New Haven is one of the best schools to earn a criminal justice degree,” he said. “I am striving to get my master’s degree and be the first member of my family to earn a degree. It has always been my dream to be a part of the FBI, so I am willing to sacrifice to get where I want to be and to help communities.”
Despite the challenges of beginning his time as a Charger during the pandemic, DiBlasio says he received significant support from the University community as he transitioned to college life. This commitment to veterans has been recognized by Military Times, a source for news and information for members of the military community, which has included the University in its 2021 “Best for Vets: Colleges” ranking.
"Earning this designation demonstrates our commitment to those who have served and those who receive benefits from their loved ones, and to honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Danielle Desjardins, coordinator for transfer and veteran student success at the University.
‘This personal connection is our driving force’
To assess and rank schools, Military Times sends a survey each year to colleges and universities across the country, asking about institutions’ programs for veterans. It then uses the results of the surveys, as well as public data on the schools obtained from the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to rank more than 350 schools.
Intended to help military service members and veterans make important decisions about their education and careers, the rankings categorize schools by region, accreditation (i.e., two- or four-year), general education versus career and technical, and type of institution (public, private for- profit, or private not-for-profit). The University was ranked 13th in the northeast region, as well as 26th among not-for-profit schools. It was also included in the top half of four-year schools, general education institutions, and overall.
The University has previously been recognized by Military Friendly, a long-running and comprehensive review of college and university investments in serving military and veteran students, which has included the University on its list of most “Military Friendly Schools.”
“Our dedication to serving this population is deeply rooted in our personal beliefs,” said John Casarella, associate registrar for reporting and compliance and the University’s certifying official. “This personal connection is our driving force to ensure our military community is recognized, supported, and respected.”
‘It is easy to meet new people’
For DiBlasio, the former submariner, the University has been a great fit. He is especially grateful for the support and sense of belonging he has felt as a Charger, and for the connections he has already made.
“The program for veterans and service members is small, so it is easy to meet new people or to reach out to other veterans,” he said. “We have our lounge that makes it easy to hang out with each other. I was also able to start playing with the men’s rugby club through the support of veterans, and the coach is a veteran, too. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, it is a great school to be attending.”