Ohio Air National Guard service member ‘extremely supported’ at BGSU

BGSU student Kailyn Grant balances military and student responsibilities with help from the University's Nontraditional and Military Student Services (NTMSS).

Kailyn Grant balances military and student responsibilities with help from Nontraditional and Military Student Services (NTMSS)

By Laren Kowalczyk '07

This article is part of an ongoing series of stories highlighting active-duty and veteran students, their mentors and the University's nationally top-ranked programs that support military and veteran students in achieving their mission of higher education at BGSU.

Kailyn Grant knew enlisting in the Ohio Air National Guard as a freshman in college would be challenging and could extend the time it takes to get her degree.

But it was a commitment she was eager to make to serve her community and country.

“It is sort of challenging to be wearing both hats at the moment,” said Grant, who is deployed overseas. “But I like to think that I am getting an experience as a college student that not many people get, so if it means taking a little longer to finish my degree, it’s worth it in my eyes.”

Grant, a junior transfer student at Bowling Green State University, enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard in 2019. She said she’s always wanted to serve, and the benefit of being assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing in Swanton, Ohio, is being close to home most of the time.

“Being in the Ohio Air National Guard is fulfilling because your service is extremely close to your own community, and you’re more involved with the community surrounding your base, which I love,” Grant said. 

This is Grant’s first overseas deployment and her second activation. Her first was serving as a nurse’s aide at ProMedica Toledo Hospital from December 2021 through February 2022.

Each time, Grant has taken classes through the University’s online options to stay on track with her aviation management and operations degree. She’s currently enrolled in two classes and works on coursework after her shift ends.

“I feel extremely supported at BGSU as a military student,” Grant said. “Everyone is very understanding and willing to go out of their way to help you with balancing the military and school.”

Nontraditional and Military Student Services (NTMSS) provides veterans and active military students like Grant with a crucial support network, including one-on-one counseling, peer support and connections with outside organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs and Student Veterans of America.

As a result, BGSU is highly ranked nationally for its support of veterans and active military students. The University climbed in the Military Times' Best for Vets: College 2022 rankings to No. 2 in the nation and retained its title as the best public university in the Midwest for veterans and active military students.

BGSU was also among the first group of 33 Ohio colleges and universities to be designated a Collegiate Purple Star campus for its efforts to support students with military backgrounds.

“BGSU has a long tradition of supporting our military. From the training of Navy pilots during World War II to staying connected with our currently activated and deployed service members, BGSU has not wavered from its commitment to serve our military students,” said Dr. Barbara Henry, assistant vice president of NTMSS.

“BGSU is consistently recognized for our support of service members and veterans thanks to the ongoing dedication of our students, staff and faculty. Most important is the positive support and encouragement our students receive on campus and in the local community.”

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 02/15/2024 04:45PM