Campus Life

Serving Those Who Served

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Military veteran students face many challenges that not everyone fully understands. Josh Monson, coordinator of student veteran affairs at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, was once a student veteran, so he knows the struggles (mental, emotional, and physical) that are unique to these men and women who served our country. 

“Many student veterans have readjustment disorder entering into the new college culture with so many decisions at their fingertips. Most of them entered the military right after high school and have been told where to be, what to wear, when to eat etc. They haven’t had to make a lot of decisions so it can be overwhelming,” explains Monson. He and his team make it their priority to ensure that this transition process is as seamless as possible for these students. 

Monson addresses the college.

Monson came to UC Blue Ash last year and currently works with more than 200 military-connected students (includes veterans and immediate family members of those who served). In this short amount of time, he has proven that he knows exactly how to equip student veterans with the resources they need. From leading work to create a veteran’s lounge on the third floor of Muntz Hall to helping a student veteran in the dental hygiene program win a free car through the national Recycled Rides program, to coordinating a recruiting event for veterans with GE Aviation, Monson is already making a big impact. 

“Josh has been a tremendous help since my starting at UC Blue Ash,” says Samantha Roberts, a Navy veteran, single mother and outstanding student who was selected as the winner of the Recycled Rides car after she was nominated by Monson. “It was very overwhelming, but Josh took me under his wing and made sure that I had everything in line for me to start on time.” 

Additionally, Monson and his team encourage student veterans and give them the confidence to pursue their goals. “Josh has connected with community partners to provide a variety of resources to student veterans,” says Sarah Wolfe, Director of Student Engagement at UC Blue Ash. “This includes financial resources by way of scholarship and emergency funds, as well as resources to support access to medical care, career development, and social interactions.” 

According to Monson, the best thing non-veteran students can do is to not categorize all those who served into one box. “Some struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety, or hyperawareness, but some have an easy time transitioning with few bumps in the road,” Monson states. Each student veteran at UC Blue Ash College deserves the respect from others of knowing that they are not all struggling with the same things. Monson grants them this understanding and strives to ensure that their time at UC Blue Ash is an enriching and rewarding experience as they pursue their education and the next steps in their journey.

About Hannah Roberts

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