William & Mary provides training to professors, helping military-affiliated students

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The College of William & Mary is sending its professors to Green Zone training.

Green Zone: Jackie Rodriguez, chair of the William & Mary Military and Veterans’ Affairs Working Group, gives opening remarks at the pilot program for Green Zone training on March 20 at the Sadler Center. Photo by Stephen Salpukas

It may not be boot camp, but the training that these university professors are receiving is in an effort for them to relate better with military students, which make up three percent of the school’s population. The university says that 47 undergraduate and 210 graduate students that are active duty, reserves or veterans in the military, attend William and Mary.

“Specifically, we’re trying to bring awareness to potential issue areas like vets who live far from campus, have families, PTSD, or plainly, the challenges accompanied with transitioning from boots to books,” said Corey York, who leads the university’s Student Veterans Association, and is a former U.S. Marine.

With professors dealing more regularly with traditional aged college students from around the ages of 18 to 22, adapting to military students needs are more unfamiliar.

W&M Office of Diversity and Inclusion is providing support for the program, which is named “Green Zone” for the secure international zone in Baghdad, Iraq, which is a place familiar to many post-9/11 service members, according to the university.

The program begin at Virginia Commonwealth University back in 2010, and is now offered at 100 universities nationwide, according to VCU’s website.

“We want military-affiliated students to know they have allies amongst the campus community,” said Jackie Rodriguez, an assistant professor in the university’s School of Education and a chair of W&M’s Military and Veterans’ Affairs Working Group. “When faculty and staff hear of an instance where a student veteran is having difficulty, we want them to advocate on that student’s behalf and to know they have the resources to do so.”

For more information about Williams & Mary’s Green Zone program, click here.