“Building on Community,” A Group For Veteran and Military Affiliated Students

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Waynesburg University’s Veteran and Military Student Services and Initiatives program hosted a, “Building on Community,” group for Veteran and Military affiliated students. With this group, Charles Stoddard, assistant director of the veteran and military student services and initiatives, and Dr. Michelle Steimer, director of the veteran and military student services and initiatives program, hoped to connect students, faculty and staff who have any affiliation with the military.

“To be clear, Waynesburg has always valued and worked to benefit the veterans here, but it’s never been aligned under one program before this,’ Stoddard said. “Under this program and [with] Dr. Michelle Steimer, who is the program director, we’re working to really bring together a lot of people across the University… to have the conversations instead of working in silos or disparately but having the collective conversations and working toward the collective good of the students.”

Wednesday morning was one of the first initiatives to connect students, faculty, and staff this semester. Although there was only one student was in attendance, that did not stop Stoddard from starting conversation.

“Dr. Steimer and I are very passionate about the military community. She served for 20 years, I served for 18 years, so we both grew up in the military so we sort of know what it’s like,” Stoddard said. “We really want to connect with this community and understand their needs and how to better serve them. This will not be the last time that we do something like this. We’ll figure out what works better with students, and we’ll definitely connect.”