UMES launches VET-Connect program

  • Friday, September 15, 2017

    Stephanie Hallowell's affinity for the university as an alum ('16) and her passion for working with veterans and people with disabilities has led her to a service post as UMES' new VET Connect program coordinator. 

    “A lot of Vets from the area don't realize what resources are available in the community,” Hallowell said.  “My primary responsibility is information and referral-I give military veterans, survivors and their dependents information on services, connect them with local resources and then follow up to make sure they received the services (if eligible).” 

    Referrals to services are, but not limited to, education, counseling, job training and employment, financial and legal assistance, housing, and information on health care available through state and federal VA programs. 

    Hallowell, who holds a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation services from UMES and is pursuing a master's in rehabilitation counseling, will split her full time hours between an office in Suite 2103 in the Student Services Center and being out in the field.  Increasing the quality of life of veterans and their families is the main objective of the project she said. 

    The program is the project mission she and university representatives have launched as her designation as an AmeriCorps VISTA member through the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic. 

    “We are intent on UMES achieving a Yellow Ribbon status through the Veteran's Administration, which designates us as a veteran's friendly school,” Hallowell said.  The designation would help not only local veterans, she said, but it also would attract more funding to the university for enrollment and retention of that student population. 

    A step in that direction, Hallowell said, is a focus on an early intervention program geared toward career and technology education for children of veterans.  She has already contacted the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, AmeriCorps VISTA and Dr. Michael Nugent, teacher credential coordinator in UMES' Education Department in that vein.

    “Parents would be informed of their benefits for the education of their children and through early intervention, potential students would have the mindset to pursue a college education and would have an idea of where they would like to attend at an earlier age,” she said. 

    Hallowell will work with middle and high school guidance counselors to assist with college preparedness and the dual enrollment program in Dorchester County Public Schools, which has an established agreement with UMES. 

    Call 410-651-8377, email smhallowell@umes.edu or visit www.umes.edu/uell or more information.