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October 2013
UHCL Veterans

UHCL Veterans

Adjusting to college life can be a daunting experience for any student, but student veterans face even more challenges. In an effort to assist those who have sacrificed so much for their country, University of Houston-Clear Lake created the Veteran Services Office on March 1, 2013.

Read more.

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Fall Alumni Events

Upcoming Fall
Alumni Events

Do you have a college bound child or grandchild who would like to be a part of UHCL's first freshman class, or are you a veteran interested in meeting other UHCL alumni who are also veterans? The UHCL Alumni Association is hosting two upcoming AlumNights just for you!


Top Stories

Campus NewsCampus News
What's in a Name? UHCL Hawk Name to be Announced ... Read more.

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Do you know Dr. Bob, '95 MA?
Veterans serve more than their country; they serve each other. The spirit that begins in basic training tends to extend throughout a veteran's life. Various programs at UHCL tap into that characteristic—an annual Veterans Day event and the new Veteran Services Office—but it is also in the lives of our alumni that we see "veterans serving veterans." Witness, Dr. Bob.

Read more.


Do you have securities that you've owned for more than one year and are worth more than you originally paid for them? Cyber Security for Decision Makers

Join the UHCL Road Scholars Walk Team for the 2013 Bay Area Heart Walk

UHCL Veterans

Celebrating UHCL
Left to right: Marine Sgt. Michael Medina; Navy PSSA Heather Scott; Navy EO2 Alejandro Rodriguez; Army SSG Trisha Ruiz; and Navy Chief Harlan Bates.

Adjusting to college life can be a daunting experience for any student, but student veterans face even more challenges. In an effort to assist those who have sacrificed so much for their country, University of Houston-Clear Lake created the Veteran Services Office on March 1, 2013.

The VSO provides guidance and support to student veterans, including certifying student enrollment to the Veterans Affairs Regional Office, which allows students to receive their GI Bill. The office also determines eligibility for and processes Hazelwood and Hazelwood Legacy exemptions, as well as assists students with House Bill 269, which allows institutions to grant general electives of credit toward a degree based on military experience. To connect student veterans with an even larger military community, the VSO has connected with community veteran organizations in the greater Houston area.

This new office is coordinated by Army Staff Sgt. Trisha Ruiz and four additional veterans who are also currently enrolled as UHCL students. VSO objectives are certainly near and dear to Ruiz's heart. After six years of honorable service with the military police, Ruiz left the Army and used her GI Bill to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. When she earned her degree in May 2010, she was the first one in her family to graduate from college. While this was an exciting time for her, the experience was not without difficulties.

"One day I was a staff sergeant in the Army with an overwhelming amount of responsibilities and the next day I was a 25-year old college student amongst what seemed like only 18-year olds. I felt out of place; needless to say, the transition was very difficult," says Ruiz. "I made uninformed decisions and did not take full advantage of other programs available because I was not aware of them."

These challenges lead Ruiz to her current line of work. Before coming to UHCL, she helped Texas A&M University-San Antonio create a Veterans Affairs Office and served as their veterans benefits coordinator for two years.

"I made it my mission to make sure that all of the students at my institution were fully aware of all of the programs available at the federal and state level," Ruiz says. "I also wanted to connect them to the many wonderful organizations that I never took advantage of, but should have."

Ruiz has made enrollment one of her priorities at UHCL. She would like to see the military student population grow, and establish a military community on-campus for those students. In the month of October alone, the office will help graduating student veterans prepare for their careers with résumé writing and interview workshops, in addition to launching a Military Spouse Support Group.

The office is not only essential at UHCL, but imperative.

"A student should never feel as if they are an inconvenience," adds Ruiz, who feels that processing a student veteran's GI Bill should be a pleasant experience. "It should be an experience that says ‘thank you' for what you have done for this country; now let's get you the benefits that you've earned."

Under Ruiz's leadership, the office has established itself as a vital part of the university's culture and she understands its importance.

"The VSO staff must understand the value of stellar customer service and constantly review their processing procedures to identify areas of improvement to make sure students are being processed as expeditiously and accurately as possible," says Ruiz. "[This kind of office] should serve as advocates for veteran students across campuses. To be ‘military friendly' means that all departments across campus must work together to give the student the most informed answer."

To show your support for our country's veterans and their families, join UHCL for its annual Veterans Day Celebration on Monday, Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. The event will take place in the university's Liberty Park and will feature keynote speaker Commander R. Eric Santos, M.D., US Navy Battalion Surgeon, US Marine Corps, Afghanistan; a presentation of colors by the Clear Lake High School Jr. Army ROTC; and a UH-1 Huey helicopter and vintage military vehicles on display. For information about the Veterans Day Celebration, please visit. www.uhcl.edu/veteransday.

On Nov. 11, UHCL is also celebrating the lives of those who gave all and will participate in the National Remembrance Day Roll Call, a simultaneous reading of the names of those who paid the ultimate price for freedom in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Please consider volunteering to read names during a 30-minute period. To register, call Office of University Advancement Executive Secretary Cheryl Rohde at 281-283-2024.

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What's in a Name? UHCL Hawk Name to be Announced

Show Your Spirit for UHCLI Heart UHCL Day is always a special day for students, faculty, staff and alumni to put on their blue and green and show their UHCL "heart" and pride!

This year's event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 16 and promises to be one of the most memorable yet as the official name of the UHCL Hawk will be revealed for the first time.

What will the name be? Talon? Hawkins? Hunter?

Join us around 3:30 p.m. in the Bayou Building, Atrium II to find out during a very special ceremony, where the UHCL Hawk mascot will be on hand to learn its name.

There will be special giveaways and prizes featuring the mascot's name and opportunities to have your picture taken with the hawk.

If you can't make it to Atrium II, don't worry! We'll be posting updates and photos on the university's Facebook page so you'll be able to see history being made at UHCL.

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Do you know Dr. Bob, '95 MA?

Do you know Dr. Bob, ’95 MA?Veterans serve more than their country; they serve each other. The spirit that begins in basic training tends to extend throughout a veteran's life. Various programs at UHCL tap into that characteristic—an annual Veterans Day event and the new Veteran Services Office—but it is also in the lives of our alumni that we see "veterans serving veterans." Witness, Dr. Bob.

Bob Sindylek, '95 MA, known as Dr. Bob, has taken a life of military service and turned it into a life of service to the military. A self-avowed "military brat," he was born in a military clinic and moved constantly for 40 years thanks to his father's military career and his own. He constantly wears his "Retired Marine Corps" baseball cap, as he works in the community serving veterans and their mental health needs. A former Gunnery Sergeant, he has transformed that role's awareness of service, support, advice and logistics from the battlefield to the lives of veterans and the organizations that support them. Service to, and support of, veterans remains central to his life.

As he travels around the community on his motorcycle, he touches lives. At one time he was in charge of counseling at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Today, he works with the Wounded Warrior Project and other programs to provide support and service to veterans in need, particularly with those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. He uses a process that he calls "covert counseling," though his dedication to veterans is anything but covert.

He speaks with fondness and appreciation of his education and experiences at UHCL, and he has offered his services in support of his alma mater's veterans-based programming.

Veterans serve veterans—and they help their alma mater do the same.

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Cyber Security for Decision Makers: A Non-Technical Presentation

Tues., Dec. 10
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Gilruth Center (NASA/JSC)
$150/person | Register here.

This event will inform, enlighten and educate decision makers about the issues surrounding cyber security of their information systems and the need to change many of the strategies that have been in place for the past 20 years. Many of those concepts have been made obsolete by the continuum of technology changes that have emerged since the turn of the century.
Proposed topics include:

  • A layman's explanation of cyber security;
  • Changing landscape of attacks;
  • Dangers of cloud computing;
  • Security and your people;
  • Protecting intellectual property; and
  • Employee mobile devices in the business.

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