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MFRI appoints new director of education and employment

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NEWS RELEASE

June 29, 2015

Military Family Research Institute Appoints New Director of Education and Employment

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Military Family Research Institute announced on Monday, June 29, that Lauren Runco Williams has joined the organization to lead its growing education and employment initiatives.

Williams comes with a wealth of experience in the student veteran space, having previously served as the Director of Military and Veteran Services at Marywood University, as well as the VA Certifying Official on its Scranton, Pennsylvania campus. She also draws from her personal experience as a military family member who understands firsthand the challenges that service members face as they enter higher education institutions and workplaces.

As MFRI's new director of education and employment, Williams will continue research efforts and build partnerships with institutions of higher education, as well as national employers.

"I am excited to join the leadership team and look forward to further developing MFRI's programs to improve the lives of military members and veterans as they transition from active duty to other educational and professional pursuits," she said.

Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, director of MFRI, said "Lauren's breadth of experience and training within higher education institutions, as well as her clear dedication to and understanding of the military and veteran community will allow MFRI to engage new frontiers in our work with educators, administrators and employers."

While at George Mason University, Williams created "Beyond GI Joe: The Contemporary College Student Veteran," to teach student affairs professionals best practices when working with student veterans on campus. She has presented at multiple regional and national conferences.

Williams currently serves on the board of GI Jobs Military Friendly Schools, and the Pennsylvania Student Veteran Coalition. In addition, she serves as the NASPA Region II Representative of the Veterans Knowledge Community and in March 2015 was named the chair-elect of the Veterans Knowledge Community. She has received a number of honors, including the Department of the Army Commander's Award for Public Service, and the "Supra et Extra" award from the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community.

Williams holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Scranton and a master's in higher education administration from Marywood University.

 
  •  Posted on June 29, 2015

Latest higher education report released by SVA, MFRI

Student Veterans of America, in partnership with MFRI, has released the fourth in an eight-part series of higher education reports today (June 25).

The Landscape in Higher Education series documents the promising practices and lessons learned through the efforts of MFRI's higher education initiative, Operation Diploma.

The newest report, "Appreciating military service realities: Higher learning institution policies regarding deployment and GI Bill benefits," recognizes the complex nature and demands of military life, including its multiple commitments and competing obligations. The report also describes how to help mitigate the challenges of military service and minimize delays in academic progress for service members and veterans.

Operation Diploma awarded grants to two- and four-year public and private institutions, which used the funds to better serve more than 6,000 student services members and veterans. Schools that received Operation Diploma grants submitted accountability reports describing their progress and results.
Other Landscape reports will be released this summer.

  •  Posted on June 25, 2015

SVA, MFRI release new higher education series

Student Veterans of America, in partnership with MFRI, has released the third in an eight-part series of higher education reports today (June 11).

The Landscape in Higher Education series documents the promising practices and lessons learned through the efforts of MFRI's higher education initiative, Operation Diploma. The newest report, "Rallying the troops: Enlisting support of faculty, staff and community veterans" identifies ways student veterans can successfully engage faculty and staff in activities that help them better understand military culture.

Through Operation Diploma, grants were awarded to two- and four-year public and private institutions. These grants, and their proceeds, affected the lives of more than 6,000 student service members and veterans. Schools that received Operation Diploma grants submitted accountability reports describing their progress and results.

Other Landscape reports will be released this summer,

 

  •  Posted on June 11, 2015

Double your impact, thanks to Purdue leadership

Supporters of military and veteran families have a new opportunity to make a difference, increase their impact and sustain the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University through a strategic initiative challenge match made possible by university leaders.

In conjunction with the Office of the Provost, the College of Health and Human Sciences and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, MFRI is using $250,000 in non-recurring funds to match philanthropic gifts that establish a permanent endowment. This program will help ensure MFRI's long-term financial strength by creating new recurring revenue funds that are flexible and reliable, said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, the institute's executive director.

Such support will help MFRI continue its mission to improve the systems for military and veteran families through attention to the multiple domains in which they live, she said. This includes health care, post-secondary education, employment, community mobilization and research. MFRI works to support and strengthen military and civilian infrastructures. In addition, MFRI conducts research on military and veteran families, and using the research to build impactful and innovative programs. The challenge match will help to advance these goals.

MFRI will provide a 1:1 match for new endowments that provide unrestricted support up to $250,000. The minimum gift amount is $25,000, but smaller gifts will be used with others to meet the minimum. To qualify for the match, gifts must be outright donations of cash or securities and may be paid over five years.

To learn more, contact Mike Johnson, director for development for military programs at Purdue University. To make a gift, text PurdueMFRI to 41444 or donate online.

 

  •  Posted on May 6, 2015

SBHP working in 7 states

States across the nation are registering community members and behavioral health providers for a no-cost training program that aims to increase attendees’ understanding of military and veteran issues.

Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) is holding trainings in six states: California, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and South Carolina. A seventh state, New York, is scheduled to begin trainings later this year.

Created in Indiana, this three-tiered program expands behavioral health care options for service members, veterans and their families through trainings that deliver information about specific challenges associated with military service. For up-to-date training locations and dates, visit www.starproviders.org or view the SBHP informational video.
 

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  •  Posted on May 6, 2015


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