Club Spotlight: Student Veterans Association

With Veterans Day upon us, there’s a new resource for Rollins students who served in the armed forces.

(Photos by Scott Cook) (Photos by Scott Cook)

As a major in the Marine Corps, Carlos Cuevas ’16MBA led hundreds of men into combat. Today, he’s on a new mission: helping fellow veterans transition to civilian life, diploma in hand.

At Rollins, 85 students receive G.I. Bill benefits. Until recently, however, the College lacked a club dedicated to students who served in the military.

Shortly after Cuevas enrolled at Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business last summer, he approached administrators about launching a chapter of the Student Veterans Association (SVA).

“Based on my military experience, I’ve never been one to let a need go unmet,” says Cuevas, whose military service included tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Advocating on behalf of men and women in uniform is something that resonates deeply with me, and I’m proud that Rollins shows such support to its veteran population.”

About the SVA

Year founded: The national organization, incorporated in 2008, has grown to include more than 1,300 chapter affiliates. Rollins’ chapter received recognition in January 2016. 

Number of members: 23

Leadership: When Cuevas concludes his one-year term as president on November 12, Daniel Mock ’18, a former Army Ranger, will take over. Board members include: Jordan Lorenzen ’18 (Marine Corps), Steffen Rosen ’18 (Navy), Scott Dishman ’13 MHR (Navy), Adam Roderick ’18 (Army), Jose Leon ’20 (Army), and Priscila Kalagian ’18MBA (Army).

What to expect: Meetings occur the first Thursday of each month in various locations—leaders are working with administration to establish a student veterans center—and the chapter participates in several events on and off campus. Members include active duty, reserve, veteran, and non-veteran students from all three Rollins schools (College of Liberal Arts, Hamilton Holt School, and Crummer). Three branches of the military are currently represented: the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. 

Upcoming events: On November 11 at noon, the Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement is holding a Veterans Day reception in the Mills Building’s Galloway Room to honor student veterans. Everyone is welcome and refreshments will be served. On November 17 at 5 p.m. in Crummer Room 107, the SVA will hold a public discussion panel in which veteran alumni share how Rollins has shaped their academic and professional experience. Panelists include Victor Rivera ’16MAT, Crystal Snyder ’15, and Garren Work ’14 ’16MBA. The SVA is also forming a team to compete in February’s Warrior Dash obstacle race in Clermont.

Community engagement: Outreach events include participation in the Seminole County Homeless Veterans Stand Down, SPARC Day, Rollins community fairs, and Meet Crummer events.

How to get involved: Visit the chapter website, attend a meeting, or email Daniel Mock for more information.

Did you know? Among regional universities in the South, Rollins is No. 2 in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges for Veterans” rankings.