Lisa Beatha

Director of Veterans Affairs at  the City University of New York (CUNY)
Lisa Beatha  served in  the U.S. Army during the Gulf War era and trained as a 91 Alpha (Army Medic) at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.  Since 2001, Ms. Beatha has earned both her undergraduate and graduate degree from CUNY.  From 2003-2008 she was an  Assistant Registrar at the College of Staten Island, in which role she was responsible for the evaluation of transfer credits for domestic, international, and military courses. Then, from 2008-2013, she served as the CUNY Central Director of Transfer Information. Read More

Currently, Ms. Beatha serves as the University Director of Veterans Affairs for the CUNY Central Office, where her responsibilities include supporting and fostering change for the 3,000 veterans enrolled in CUNY and facilitating the transition of veterans from the military to academia. She has been charged with advancing CUNY’s commitment to student veteran access and success in their post-deployment education and careers. To do this, she promotes collaboration and partnership within and across campuses, as well as between CUNY and community partners. In this way, she hopes to increase awareness and sensitivity to veterans’ unique needs.

In her role as the University Director of Veterans Affairs, Ms. Beatha manages university-wide activities to help veterans transition from the military to academic life. Much of this work is accomplished through her leadership of CUNY’s Council on Veterans Affairs, which conducts targeted outreach and assessment of veteran needs and resources across CUNY. She is particularly passionate about the issues women veterans face as well as about student outreach, retention, academic equity for credentials, and the enhancement of programs and services for CUNY’s veterans, guard, reservists, and military family members.

Ms. Beatha has been a member of American Association of Collegiate Registrars (AACRAO) as well as of the Council of College &  Military Educators (CCME). She has also been a member of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Academic Credentialing Taskforce, which is a collaboration of representatives from Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Education. Recently, she was nominated by her peers to represent the North East/Region 1 IHLs as a  board member of National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA).

Robert Ptachik

Robert Ptachik

Senior University Dean for the Executive Office and Enrollment
Robert Ptachik, CUNY’s Senior University Dean for the Executive Office and Enrollment, served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. In addition to supervising the Office of Executive Search and Evaluation, the Office of Admission Services, University Application Processing Center, and the University Office of Student Financial Assistance, his responsibilities include serving as liaison to the New York State Education Department and the Middle States Association, in addition to other assignments in the Office of Academic Affairs. Previously, he served as Deputy to the President at Adelphi University, and as Associate Provost for Academic Administration at Baruch College. Read More

He has over 20 years of experience in higher education administration and ten years of teaching experience in business and management. He received his Ph.D. in Public Administration at the Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service at New York

Victor Milian

Lehman College, 2014
Victor Milian was conferred his BA in Liberal Arts and Science from Lehman College with the class of 2014. Victor, an Alum of Kingsborough Community College, earned his Associate in Applied Science Degree with Honors in June 2008, graduating from the Maritime Technology Program at Kingsborough Community College. Victor, the father of 4 boys, has 3 granddaughters, a grandson, and a great-great granddaughter. Prior to attaining this distinction, Victor had a distinguished career in defense of our nation, serving in numerous branches and capacities within the United States Military. Read More

Enlisting with the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1966, PFC Milian was attached to Military Assistance Command Viet Nam (MAC-V) Advisory Team 3 in Viet Nam’s ancient royal capital Hue City during the 1968 Tet Offensive. His stateside duty stations were at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and Camp Pendleton, Ca. before his Honorable Discharge as a Lance Corporal in May 1969. Victor dedicated the next decade to his family before joining the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves (1980-1982) when Corporal Milian was attached to F-Company (Infantry) in New Rochelle, NY. In 1984, Victor joined the U.S. Naval Reserves, and was detached to the LPH Nassau, Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn. Transferring to the Patrol Squadron V.P.-66 at Willow Grove Pa., Victor trained to become an Aviation Airframe Structural Specialist, participating in missions from Iceland, Rota Spain, the Azores, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, attaining the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class before leaving in 1991 to join the U.S. Army Reserves. During his sixteen year stretch in the U.S. Army Reserves, Specialist Milian was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Operating as a Cargo Specialist, Victor was attached to the 1174th Terminal Transportation and Logistics Branch at Fort Totten, Flushing N.Y., training to manage domestic and foreign marine ports. From January 2003 to February 2004, Sgt. Milian was assigned as a Marine Port Safety Specialist in Kuwait supporting Iraqi Enduring Freedom, with his unit responsible for the safe loading and discharge of all military cargo entering or leaving Iraq. In 2007, Victor reached the mandatory retirement age of sixty and was Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves.

Kingsborough Community College ’08

Victor Milian earned his Associate in Applied Science Degree with Honors in June 2008, graduating from the Maritime Technology Program at Kingsborough Community College. Prior to attaining this distinction, Victor had a distinguished career in defense of our nation, serving in numerous branches and capacities within the United States Military.His stateside duty stations were at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and Camp Pendleton, Ca. before his Honorable Discharge as a Lance Corporal in May 1969.

Victor dedicated the next decade to his family before joining the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves (1980-1982) when Corporal Milian was attached to F-Company (Infantry) in New Rochelle, NY. In 1984, Victor joined the U.S. Naval Reserves, and was detached to the LPH Nassau, Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn. Transferring to the Patrol Squadron V.P.-66 at Willow Grove Pa., Victor trained to become an Aviation Airframe Structural Specialist, participating in missions from Iceland, Rota Spain, the Azores, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, attaining the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class before leaving in 1991 to join the U.S. Army Reserves. During his sixteen year stretch in the U.S. Army Reserves, Specialist Milian was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Operating as a Cargo Specialist, Victor was attached to the 1174th Terminal Transportation and Logistics Branch at Fort Totten, Flushing N.Y., training to manage domestic and foreign marine ports. From January 2003 to February 2004, Sgt. Milian was assigned as a Marine Port Safety Specialist in Kuwait supporting Iraqi Enduring Freedom, with his unit responsible for the safe loading and discharge of all military cargo entering or leaving Iraq. In 2007, Victor reached the mandatory retirement age of sixty and was Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves.

Because of his logistics and port facility training he decided to enroll in the Fall 2006 Semester into the U.S. Coast Guard approved Kingsborough CC Maritime Technology Program. During his time at KCC, he gained 250 days of sea-time, applicable toward a Captains License or United States Merchant Marine Officers license. He plans to obtain his Blue Water License to qualify him for work in international waters. Victor is the father of 4 boys, has 3 granddaughters, a grandson, and a great-great granddaughter.

Stephen Joness Vertical

Stephen Jones

Queensborough Community College, 2014
During the recent 2014 Queensborough Community College Commencement, President Diane Call paid tribute to the graduating veterans who have served in the armed forces. Among them was Stephen Jones, a “Vietnam Era” Veteran, who graduated from Queensborough with an Associate in Applied Science Degree in New Media Technology. He has a G.P.A. of 3.3 and is on the Dean’s list. Mr. Jones also received further achievement as the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for exceptional leadership for exceptional leadership in promoting racial harmony and appreciation of cultural diversity. Read More

From the podium, he exclaimed to his fellow graduates, “It was scary coming back to school at 60, but I made it–we made it!”
Stephen described growing up in South Jamaica, Queens where he left school at the end of eighth grade. By 17, he had enlisted in the United States Army and returned home at 19 as a “Vietnam Era” Veteran with no high school diploma and no job prospects. For years he worked in low-wage maintenance jobs at factories.
“I knew there had to be a better way to make a living” said Stephen, who eventually earned a Veterans General Education Diploma (GED). Determined to keep moving forward, he began exploring area community colleges to further his education. He noted that Queensborough offered what others did not: small class sizes and a multitude of support programs for nontraditional students. He enrolled full-time in the fall of 2012—43 years after earning his GED.
Stephen Jones received a rousing standing ovation as he received his diploma.

Carolina Vazquez

John Jay College, 2013
Carolina Vazquez, U.S. Navy Veterans and a John Jay College BA Graduate was the President, V.P. and Secretary of the John Jay Veterans Association. Carolina was also very involved in JJC student government and held the position of Junior Class Representative. She was a leader in the Veterans Lounge who instituted many initiatives for the military students, and student veterans on and off campus. Read More

She increase participation of the students at the Veterans Day parade, volunteers at two food pantries for homeless veterans in the city and directed the assembly and distribution of Easter egg baskets for 55 children. She was instrumental in the addition of volunteers to Habitat for Humanities and exploring internships for veterans. Carolina was responsible for the growth of the association and spear heading the women veterans’ luncheon on a biweekly basis and the first NY State Women’s Veterans Empowerment Symposium at John Jay College. Carolina through the CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs during 2013 acquired an internship at the Guggenheim Foundation and by her solid work ethic, leadership and diligent was hire as a full time employee at the end of her internship.

Rafael Monteagudo

Bronx CC ,2013
Rafael Monteagudo, a native of New Haven Connecticut, enlisted with the U.S. Army in 2003 and served nine years because he “wanted to serve his country.” Specialist Monteagudo deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan three times as a member of the 82nd Airborne, and chose Bronx CC in 2013 to begin his college education. As an upper freshman at BCC, Rafael is pursuing an Associate Degree in Engineering Science, and intends to continue-on and earn a Baccalaureate Degree. Read More

He continues to lead and giveback on campus, working as a student assistant under the VA work study program for the Office of Veteran & Military Resources at BCC, participating with the campus Math tutoring program and is helping lead the growth and development of the BCC Student Veteran Organization as Co-president.

Roger Sherwood

Roger Sherwood

Associate Professor of Hunter School of Social Work and Director of PROVE Program
U.S. Army
Dr. Roger Sherwood has been an Associate Professor at Hunter College School of Social Work since 1979. He has published literature in the areas of veterans, Post Traumatic Stress, dialysis patient compliance and gerontology. He has been a clinical consultant at the Hudson Valley Veterans Health Care System – Montrose Campus since 1986 where he treats Vietnam veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was one of the initial organizers for the Annual Conference called “Still Hidden Clients: Veterans and Their Loved Ones”, which started in 1983. Read More

He has been a consultant for Sherwood Associates, Inc., an eldercare planning and management company, since its inception in 1991. He is an avid tennis player and for the past six years has been a volunteer assistant coach to the men’s tennis team at Binghamton University.

Glenn Peterson

Glenn Peterson

Chairperson of Anthropology Department, Baruch College
U.S. Army
Glenn Petersen has been teaching at Baruch College since 1977, and also at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center since 1987. He teaches anthropology and geography at Baruch; at the Graduate Center he teaches in the Ph.D. Program in Anthropology and in the Master’s Program in Liberal Studies (MALS), where he specializes in international affairs. He did his undergraduate studies at California State College, Hayward, and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Prof. Petersen served for a time as a member of the Federated States of Micronesia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Read More

He taught international affairs at the University of Puerto Rico in 1992-93, where he has also conducted comparative research on Puerto Rico’s political status. He has also been a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, among other sources.

John Byrnes

John Byrnes

Hunter College, 2006
U.S. Army
On September 11, 2001, I was in the swimming pool of Hunter College when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I was in a Hunter College classroom a half hour later when over the shrill sounds of sirens heading south along Lexington Avenue, a young woman in the back of the class called out, “A plane just hit the World Trade Center”.
When I returned to school as an adult student, CUNY was a natural choice. After testing the waters at LaGuardia Community College, I transferred to Hunter College. Read More

As an active duty veteran and a serving member of the NY Army National Guard residing in New York City, the public education available at CUNY was a perfect fit for my interests and my budget. Hunter’s political science professors are among the best in the city and the Thomas Hunter Honors Program allowed me to explore my intellectual curiosity by designing my own program.
It wasn’t always an easy ride. On September 11th my guard unit was called to duty. I spent two weeks down at ground zero. I was called to duty several times after that. In October of 2003, just a few credits shy of a January graduation, I was mobilized for duty in Iraq. It was fifteen months before I was able to return to college. The interruptions of schooling caused by my deployments were frustrating, and at times it seemed like no one at school understood the situation. The system wasn’t prepared for military students.
Through it all, in spite of the frustrations, Hunter College administrators worked with me. The President and the Dean of Students were always there for me, encouraging me, and intervening, when necessary, to ensure that deployment-related problems were resolved. When I graduated in June of 2005, Hunter College President Jennifer Raab made a point of telling my story to everyone in attendance. As an alumnus and a veteran, I’m now working with the University to help make CUNY an even friendlier place for veterans.

Jennie Fisher

Jennie Fisher

Queensborough Community College, 2007, Queens College, 2009
U.S. Army
Jennie Fisher joined the United States Army in response to September 11, 2001. Wanting to “defend her city and get back at the people that did it,” Fisher interrupted her second semester at Queensborough Community College to enlist for 4 years of active duty and began Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After completing the 18 requirements for soldiers to graduate, including qualifying with the M16A2 rifle, passing the Army physical fitness test, and participating in unarmed combat training. Read More

PVT Fisher was next sent to Wiesbanden, Germany as a member of the 3rd Corps Support Command (3rd COSCOM). In March 2003, PVT Fisher deployed to Camp Virginia located near Udairi Range in Northern Kuwait prior to the start of the war in Iraq. The 3rd COSCOM deployment integrated with V Corps, tracking and managing the flow of all classes of supply (except medical), the movement of troops and equipment on all forms of transportation, and unit maintenance. In May, Fisher and her unit moved-up into Iraq to Balad Airbase, approximately 70 kilometers north of Baghdad. Fisher’s unit was responsible for setting-up the strategic airbase to launch F-16 fighters, Army helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, and nearby Camp Anaconda prior to redeploying back to Germany in February 2004. Specialist Fisher spent her final military year in Washington D.C. in the command of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington (MDW). Fisher, who grew-up in Forest Hills, Queens returned to NYC and completed an A.A. degree at Queensborough Community College in August of 2007. Currently she is pursuing a B.A. degree in Elementary Education and Anthropology at Queens College.

Don Gomez

Don Gomez

City College, 2010
U.S. Army
Don Gomez grew up in Queens, New York. After graduating from Martin Van Buren High School in the year 2000, he joined the United States Army in 2001. Beginning his military training at the U.S. Army Armor and Infantry training site at Fort Benning, Georgia, Don next joined the 82nd Airborne Division, successfully graduating from Advanced Airborne School. As a paratrooper, Gomez deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom on two occasions, first in 2003 and again in 2005. Prior to his Honorable Discharge in 2006, Don distinguished his service as a Rifle Team Leader, General’s driver, and also achieving the Joint Service Commendation Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge. Read More

Don began attending college in Greensborough, North Carolina before transferring to The City College in the Fall 2007. Presently he is pursuing a degree in International Studies with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies, and will be entering his junior year of studies this fall. Don has been the recipient of a Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Military Scholarship, designated as a Colin Powell Center Scholar for the 2008-2009 academic year and this past May was the recipient of a newly implemented City College scholarship for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In addition, Don currently serves as the Vice President for the Student Association of International Studies. Outside of The City College, Don is an operations intern with the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. Don aspirers to utilize his past experience and his studies to prepare himself for future service with the United States government.

Orley Pacheco

Orley Pacheco

Borough of Manhattan Community College, 2010
U.S. Marine Corps
Orley Pacheco is a 24 year-old native of The Bronx and presently a Borough of Manhattan Community College student veteran who served five years with the United States Marine Corps. Prior to enlisting in September 2002, Pacheco had been exploring business career options in the corporate sector as an analyst with Goldman Sachs the global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, and as an administrative assistant with WPG Design Group a New York City-based interior design company. As a Marine Corps recruit, Pacheco reported to Recruit Depot Paris Island, South Carolina for the 3-phase 13-week Training Matrix where he learned “the core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment”. Read More

During 2002-2003, Orley was also stationed in Pensacola Florida and enrolled in Aviation Structure Courses prior to relocating to North Carolina at Camp Lejeune’s aviation site at New River. Here, Pacheco worked on maintaining the navigation and electrical systems of the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters as a member of the Black Knight Marine Helicopter Squadron -264; In 2004, Orley’s squadron participated in Combined Joint Task Force – Haiti and Marine Air Ground Task Force – 8. Pacheco’s unit was deployed to Iraq in 2005, and stationed at Al Asad Airfield, the second largest airbase in Iraq, in addition, Orley has served as a Recruiting Assistant and liaison with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program. Pacheco returned to CUNY at BMCC and is now working to complete his A.A. Business Administration degree. Orley and other Student Veterans were instrumental in establishing the Military Veterans Club at BMCC and he continues to be very involved with “bringing the Veterans back to education” and working to “help other Vets transition into college.”

Adrian Jenkins

Adrian Jenkins

Student, Medgar Evers College
U.S. Marine Corps
I served four years honorably in the United States Marine Corps, and I am very proud of it. I was Stationed at Camp Pendleton California, and assigned to the 2/4 Infantry Combat Battalion. This was the toughest time for me as a United States Marine since finishing Boot Camp in March 2003. In February of 2004, I served my first tour of duty in Iraq. I have patrolled and fought along side with my brothers in arms in the city of Ramadi, Iraq, as well as other parts of the Anbar Province. I have also been deployed to Okinawa and Fuji, Japan, as well as training conducted in the Philippines. Being a United States Marine gave me some of my best experiences of my life, and allowed me to meet some of the best Friends I will ever meet in my life. Read More

I was honorably discharged in January of 2007, and immediately joined CUNY at Medgar Evers College. I am currently pursuing a degree in Business Management; however, I also look forward to pursuing an MBA. I am pursing my education not only for myself, but for my fellow service men and women that fought along side me and lost their lives at war. Because they never got the chance to get a degree, I have to live the dream for them. I hope I continue to meet great people and ambitious Veterans such as myself at CUNY and let’s continue to growth and network. – Semper Fidelis

Nelida Perez

Nelida Perez

Student, Bronx Community College
U.S. Army
Nelida Perez served as a mechanic sergeant in the U.S. Army. She has been on two deployments to Iraq. Nelida is completing a degree in Criminal Justice at Bronx Community College and is transferring to John Jay to finish her baccalaureate. She is considering becoming a police officer.

Quentin Holzendorf

Quentin Holzendorf

Student, Bronx Community College
Quentin Holzendorf served in the U.S. Army as a 92G (Food Service Specialist). He has served in both Korea and Iraq. His goals are to achieve a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and start his own business. He is currently studying at Bronx Community College.

Carlos Fermin

Carlos Fermin

Student, Bronx Community College
Carlos Fermin served 4 years in the Marine Corps as an infantryman. He has had two combat tours in Iraq. Carlos is new to Bronx Community College but excelling in all of his classes. His major is Political Science; he would like to pursue a masters degree and seek federal employment afterward.

Audrey Cruz

Audrey Cruz

Student, Bronx Community College
Audrey Cruz served in the U.S. Army as a medic at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. She is currently pursuing a degree in Nursing at Bronx Community College.

Matt Beatty

Student, The CUNY Graduate
Marine Corps Reserve Matt Beatty enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in March of 2001 as a small computer systems specialist. He was activated twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom: serving in Camp Commando, Kuwait, and in Camp Pendleton, California. He graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in English. He is currently studying in the Graduate Center’s MALS program, concentrating in Film Studies. He also works as a mentor and tutor for college students with autism at a non-profit organization called JobPath. After finishing his M.A., he is looking to enter a Ph.D. program in English literature, and, eventually, start a career as an English professor.

Jason Kam

Jason Kam

Student, Borough of Manhattan Community College & the CUNY Baccalaureate Program
Jason Kam served in the Air Force for six years (2000-2006). He graduated from BMCC in 2009 with an Associates degree in Business . He is currently studying in CUNY Baccalaureate with an American Politics and Economics concentration . Jason is setting himself up for an internship within city politics and his goal is to become an officer in the Air Force.