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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 5:02 am | Fair 43º


SBCC Hosting Veterans Resource Day on Tuesday

Community and college groups will assist veterans with available services and information

In recognition of current and former SBCC students, faculty and staff who served in the armed forces, SBCC will host a Veterans Resource Day from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Friendship Plaza on SBCC’s East Campus.

More than 30 community and college groups will participate and provide information to assist veterans with services available to them.

At noon, a special presentation will be held featuring a welcome from Superintendent/President Dr. Andreea Serban and remarks by current and former veteran students.

Master of ceremonies Jason Walker works at SBCC as director of educational applications. In the late 1980s through early 1990s, Walker served in the Army National Guard and the Marine Corps for six years. While in the Marine Corps, Walker was stationed at Paris Island in South Carolina, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Camp Fuji on mainland Japan and Camp Pendleton in California.

“As a veteran and member of this community, I am very impressed with the Veterans’ Program and support services that SBCC offers to veterans,” Walker said. “The challenges of adjusting to the civilian world and being a ‘returning student’ in 1993 were overwhelming and seemed impossible at times. I can’t tell you how much it meant to have Magdalena Torres (student program adviser for the SBCC Veterans Affairs Program) with her dedication and compassion ready to extend a helping hand on behalf of the college.”

Speaker Max Ramirez attended SBCC from fall 2004 to fall 2008. He served in the 1st Marine Division, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion from 2000 to 2004 Ramirez was stationed at Camp Pendleton and deployed on a West Pac and two tours to Iraq. After his enlistment, he decided to pursue his love of technology and computers by enrolling at SBCC.

“My experience at SBCC was awesome. I couldn’t have asked for more,” Ramirez said. “I took advantage of services like the Veterans’ Services that helped me when I needed it as well as made sure that I was getting all the VA benefits that I was entitled to.”

Ramirez was named SBCC Veteran Student of the Year in 2008. After completing his studies at SBCC, he transferred to UCSB and graduated this June with a degree in computer engineering and a certificate in technology management. He recently started working for a local startup, helping design the next generation of 3D medical cameras.

Speaker Marissa Munoz Lopez, a native of Santa Barbara, served in the U.S. Army from 2001 to 2006. She was stationed at Hunter Army Air Force Base, Fort Lewis, Cedar Iraq and Mosul Iraq. She is married to a fellow veteran who is training to become an OCS officer in the Army. Once her husband graduates and completes training, he will be deployed.

Lopez is studying for her SBCC associate’s degree in general studies while bringing up the couple’s two children, ages 4 years and 7½ months. Her goal is to transfer and complete her bachelor’s degree, depending on the circumstances with her husband’s deployment.

To raise the visibility of veterans on campus, Torres coordinates a number of special events open to the college and community including Veterans Welcome Week, Veterans Appreciation Week and Veterans Resource Day in November, and Recognition of Women Veterans and Women in the Armed Services in March. At the close of each academic year, SBCC also names one Outstanding Veteran Student of the Year.

In October, SBCC was recognized as one of the top 101 “Best for Vet” colleges and universities in the United States by Military Times EDGE magazine. The college was cited for its excellent financial aid, academic policies, and supportive campus culture and student services that assist veterans to make a successful transition from military to college life.

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.


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