Serve Your Passion
Deployed twice to Afghanistan, Miguel Rosa witnessed extreme life and death situations on the enemy line. Upon returning home to civilian life and starting a family, Rosa was inspired to alter his career in finance to pursue an education in nursing.
"In the financial field, I was making money but I wasn't content," said Rosa. "Life is too short to not enjoy what you do."
A Connecticut native, Rosa wanted a nursing program that would prepare him for the rigors of the field.
"The University had such a welcoming atmosphere," he said. "When I toured the facilities I was amazed by the technology available. Quinnipiac was my number one choice."
There are many ways to combine an education with a career in the military. From taking advantage of veteran benefits to earning a degree while on active duty, Quinnipiac's office of veteran and military affairs can help.
"Quinnipiac created my position because the University is committed to increasing and giving back to our veteran population, as well as the dependents of veterans, and military folks who are still on active duty," said Jason Burke, director of veteran and military affairs.
Burke coordinates the efforts of the registrar's office, the bursar and financial aid with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure military members have the support they need.
Rosa was eligible for the federal government's Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides tuition for U.S. veterans and their dependents. He worked closely with Burke before beginning his classes.
"I had a lot of questions about my veteran benefits and transitioning credits from my previous undergraduate school," Rosa said. "Burke worked directly with the VA on my behalf, creating a seamless process. He even set things up with the bookstore for my book stipend. I've never had such an easy experience dealing with veteran benefits."
Other QU students are pursuing their degrees before enlisting. Fellow nursing student Catherine Perrotti is involved in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). She attends classes and lives at Quinnipiac, and travels to the Yale campus twice weekly for Air Force training.
"Quinnipiac was where I wanted to go to school and I also really wanted to serve in the Air Force," said Perrotti. "Attending Quinnipiac allowed me to do both. It's very possible to do ROTC at Quinnipiac. My cadre are really accommodating and flexible and the professors at Quinnipiac are very supportive."
Other students are taking online classes, which allow them to fit in their learning wherever their military careers take them. Navy Petty Officer Xander Gamble is the news director for the American Forces Network (AFN), Afghanistan's Bagram media station and is enrolled in Quinnipiac's online master of science in interactive media program.
"This program has been very supportive of me during my deployment," said Gamble. "When I was talking to the director of the program, before coming out here, I didn't even know if I was going to have Internet. He worked with me on contingency plans in case it didn't work out. I also talked with my class professors, and let them know about my situation, and they have been understanding and supportive, without degrading the integrity of the program."
There's also camaraderie outside of class.
"We have the student veteran group on campus so it's nice to be able to talk to others who can relate to your experience," said Rosa. "We bounce off each other ideas and options about what benefits are available to us."
"The people in my ROTC program feel like family with similar values," said Perrotti. "I feel like being involved in ROTC gives me the structured lifestyle I want. I'm able to stay motivated and do my best."