Morrisville College earns Military Friendly School Designation

Published Jun 3, 2018 at 9:00am

MORRISVILLE — Morrisville State college has earned the 2018-19 Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media for its support to students who have served in the military.

Now in its 17th year, the Military Friendly Schools list sets a standard for higher education institutions to provide important opportunities for veterans and their spouses, according to a college announcement.

This list provides a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families using data sources from federal agencies, veteran students and proprietary survey information from participating organizations.

“There was a concerted effort to improve how we support student veterans on our campus,” said Laura M. Pierie, Morrisville assistant professor of teacher education and the college’s veterans advocate.

“We have a vibrant and supportive Veterans Task Force that has provided ideas and implementation for programming on campus. This has allowed events to take place throughout the year, not just on Veterans Day, recognizing veterans who may be students, staff or faculty on campus.”  

SUNY Morrisville offers a host of educational benefits for eligible students in addition to veterans support services.

As the on-campus veterans advocate, supported by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity, Pierie coordinates with support services to provide outreach to the college’s student veterans. She also has organized professional development sessions and guest speakers on and off campus to raise awareness of issues surrounding student veterans and how faculty and staff can support those students’ needs. 

Morrisville’s active Veterans Task Force, comprised of campus and community volunteers, also assists with developing activities and support services to students, faculty and staff with military service and their families. An on-campus Veterans Lounge, equipped with a computer lab and study areas, serves as a meeting point for student veterans to connect.  

“I’m thrilled with the commitment SUNY Morrisville has made and with the work of our veterans advocate Laura Pierie, who, with the support of the Veterans Task Force, has done a tremendous job increasing the support, services and programming available for our veterans,” said SUNY Morrisville Chief Diversity Officer Mary Bonderoff.

The college also reaches out to veterans through a campuswide Veterans Day recognition ceremony, in addition to volunteering at various veterans’ organizations throughout the community, such as Clear Path for Veterans, a private nonprofit in Chittenango which provides services to veterans and military families.

This past Veterans Day, an exhibit showcasing art created by veterans, their friends and family, and their supporters was on display in Morrisville’s Donald G. Butcher Library Gallery. Supported by Clear Path for Veterans and the Veterans Task Force, the exhibit was one of a series of projects developed by Morrisville faculty and staff to celebrate and support the service of veterans.

The Morrisville Athletics Department also has been active in supporting veterans. For the past two years, the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have held a benefit game for the Gary Sinise Foundation, whose outreach supports active duty military members, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones. Additionally, the Morrisville men’s soccer team holds various annual benefit games supported by Clear Path for Veterans and the Veterans Task Force.

Additional programming is being planned for the upcoming academic year.

“As we move forward we will continually assess and make improvements to what we offer to ensure veterans are successful here at SUNY Morrisville,” Bonderoff said.

The 2018-2019 Military
Friendly Schools list has been published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at the Military Friendly website.

For more information about Morrisville’s student veteran programs, visit the college’s Veterans Task Force website.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. More than 1,400 schools participated.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military

Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, Victory Media’s chief product officer.

SUNY Morrisville’s curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.

The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about SUNY Morrisville, visit www.morrisville.edu.