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From left: David Lassner, Ryan Yamada, Kenith Scott, Larry Mays, Denise Konan, Caren Lauffer, Mary G. Boland, Daniel Gregory and Kristine Qureshi

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa celebrated the grand opening of the Student Veteran Lounge, a joint effort to provide a study and social location for veterans, military connected students and their friends that fosters a supportive environment that promotes student success.

The School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene (SONDH), College of Social Sciences (CSS) and the Office of Veteran Student Services at UH Mānoa teamed up to create the lounge that opened on June 20. The lounge is located in Saunders Hall Room 222 and is open 8 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (times may vary during the summer sessions). A Veterans Affairs work-study student will staff the lounge to provide information about services available for student veterans.

“Our faculty saw a need to have a space dedicated to veteran students,” UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Eby Konan said. “In a short time, the lounge is highly used and provides a vital work, community, and study space on campus. The lounge is bright and modern, and features a coffee machine, computer stations, microwave and refrigerator.”

Dedicated to providing a military friendly campus

“The Veterans to Nurses Program that provides academic credit for medical training received in the military led UH Mānoa to recognize the needs of veterans. Today, we have a campus effort to welcome and recognize their service to our country,” UH Mānoa SONDH Dean Mary G. Boland said.

UH Mānoa is committed to serving as a military friendly campus. UH President and Interim Chancellor David Lassner, Boland and Konan participated in the dedication ceremony. The new lounge is a direct result of their leadership and support for student veterans.

During the 2017–18 academic year many efforts have been undertaken at UH Mānoa to strengthen support for student veterans. The UH Mānoa SONDH has increased the number of student veterans in the bachelor’s of science in nursing program. With funding from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, during the 2017–18 academic year, 13 nursing student veterans received scholarship awards that ranged from $2,500 to $5,000. Outreach, recruitment and academic advising programs have also been put in place for student veterans enrolled in UH Mānoa nursing.

The campus has an Office of Veteran Student Services that provides a wide variety of programs to support veteran- and military-connected student success.

Student Veteran Lounge

Funding support for the lounge came from the UH Mānoa Nursing Achieving a BS in Nursing–A Veterans’ Initiative Program, supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under UF1HP26981 Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program for $1,397,888. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. In addition, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8616 provided a grant to purchase computers for the lounge.

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