Manhattan College Awarded Gold Designation as a Military Friendly School
Manhattan College has a long standing tradition of supporting our student veterans through the transition to civilian life. Recently, the college has been awarded a Gold Designation as a Military Friendly school. This award comes from success in recruiting, retaining, supporting, and graduating student veterans and puts Manhattan College among the top schools in the nation for military students. BronxNet news highlighted this achievement with a piece featuring President Brennan O’Donnell.
One of the programs at Manhattan College that was also highlighted for being a positive experience for student veterans was created by Religious Studies professor Dr. Stephen Kaplan. The Veterans at Ease Program began as a separate Nature and Experience of Religion class for veterans that focuses on both introductory religious studies material but also on stress reduction techniques including yoga and meditation. The purpose of exposing students to these techniques is to help veterans manage stress, which is essential for success in and out of the classroom. In addition to these stress reduction strategies, student veterans enrolled in the Veterans at Ease Program are provided with a trip to the Shivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas to practice and learn these techniques with the Warriors at Ease non-profit organization. Currently, assistant professor of Religious Studies Dr. Rodney Sebastian is the coordinator of the Veterans at Ease Program.
In addition to the Veterans at Ease program, student veterans have been able to engage in other forms of expression. In 2019, several Manhattan College students had their stories represented through artwork in the Experiencing Veterans Art Collaboration (EVAC). The goal of this program is to visualize and tell veterans’ stories through art and interviews. In the fall of 2019, the artwork of Manhattan College students who participated in EVAC was on display at the Flatiron Building.
The Religious Studies Department is proud to host the Veterans at Ease program and provide a supportive environment for our student veterans at Manhattan College.