A person stands in front of a presentation screen with the words Green Zone.
Geoff Roberts, military program coordinator for Nontraditional and Military Student Services, led Green Zone training to increase support for military-connected students at BGSU. (BGSU photo/Haven Conn '22)

BGSU strengthens support network for veteran and active military students through Green Zone training

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The training identifies ways for faculty and staff members to engage with and support military students

By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07

As the No. 1 university in the Midwest for veterans and active military students, Bowling Green State University is committed to developing new ways to bolster support for military-connected students across campus.

Nontraditional and Military Student Services (NTMSS), in collaboration with the BGSU Center for Faculty Excellence, recently held a Green Zone training to help faculty and staff members understand their roles in assisting military students throughout their educational journeys.

Green Zone training emphasizes building a knowledgeable and supportive network across BGSU to create a more military-friendly environment, said Geoff Roberts, military program coordinator at NTMSS, who led the training.

“The central focus of Green Zone training is to understand that every military person’s situation is unique, and it’s paramount they have allies throughout the BGSU community who know how to help and support them,” Roberts said.

BGSU is consistently recognized nationally for its comprehensive services, support and commitment to the success of veterans and active military students by Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings.

Recognized as a top military-friendly institution consecutively since 2013, the University’s personalized, student-centered approach and dedicated student veteran center, where students can build a supportive community, illustrates a steadfast commitment to supporting military students.

Through the Green Zone training, Roberts dispelled myths surrounding military subculture in the U.S. and recommended ways for faculty and staff members to engage with veterans and active military students inside and outside the classroom.

A person writes notes in a yellow notepad.
BGSU is ranked the No. 1 university in the Midwest for its steadfast support of veterans and active military students. (BGSU photo/Haven Conn '22)

He also identified crucial campus and community resources to ensure faculty members and advisors can connect students to the proper resources based on their needs.

“My intent is for military students to know that regardless of who they encounter at BGSU, that person can recommend an organization or resource helpful to their particular situation,” Roberts said, emphasizing that the NTMSS office is the main resource on campus for military students.

Roberts said one of the biggest challenges for military students is navigating activation orders and education benefits.

Calls to serve often occur randomly, and dates can change at a moment's notice. There also can be delays in receiving education benefits from outside sources, which Roberts said can affect class registration or a student’s ability to purchase books for a class.

“By educating the learning community about the complexities involved with military service and education benefits, there will be more of an understanding of the students’ situations and a willingness to be flexible when those situations occur,” Roberts said.

Carly Snyder, coordinator for student conduct and conflict resolution in the Office of the Dean of Students, said she found the training beneficial.

“I appreciate the opportunity to learn how I can better support our military student population at BGSU,” Snyder said.

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

Updated: 04/04/2024 11:35AM