Military Community

September 2017-Ashford University Newsletter

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Military Development and Engagement

The Military Community Newsletter at Ashford University was created for you to learn about and share community events, resources, and key topics relevant to service members, veterans, and their families nationwide. Please contact Ashford's Military Development and Engagement Specialist if you have questions or additional resources you would like to share with your fellow military community.


  • September is National Suicide Prevention Month
  • Military Speaker Series
  • Military Education Outreach Team and Events
  • Millennials’ Professional Networking Behaviors
  • Clinton Team Members, Ashford Students Come Together for a Cause
  • Patriot Day in the United States

  • Military CHAMPS Student Success Program Coordinator: Sierra Bartlett-May
  • Gold Star Family Day- Debbie Lee
  • Nationwide Conference Calendar by Month: US Veterans Magazine

  • Previous Editions

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

National Suicide Prevention Week is September 4-10, the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day which is September 10. It's a time to share resources and stories, as well as promote suicide prevention awareness. Learn more here:

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Military Speaker Series

Jenny DuFresne enlisted in the Marines at a time when few opportunities existed for women in the Marine Corps. Serving for 10 years (1986 – 1996), Jenny served in the administrative field later transitioning into logistics/embarkation. Jenny left the Marine Corps at the highly respected rank of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7). Since her time in service, Jenny successfully navigated from a life in a military uniform to that of a civilian, becoming a transformational leader, speaker, and entrepreneur. As such Jenny holds degrees from Harvard University and George Mason University, is recognized for founding and leading the only all-male public charter elementary school in Washington, DC, and the only all-male early childhood program in the nation. Jenny writes about the impact of this extraordinary leadership experience in her bestselling book, From Empty to Overflow: 5 Radical Actions Women Leaders Use to Rejuvenate, Grow Profits, and Inspire People, where she highlights five radical actions women leaders can use to create happy, harmonious, joyful lives. Now the CEO of the DuFresne Solutions Group, a leadership development and training company, Jenny and her team develop tailored solutions for pressing leadership and followership challenges.

Jenny shared her personal journey in navigating success, the role the military has played in her leadership style, and the monumental shifts she’s seen for women in uniform. Jenny uses her service as a Marine as a powerful compass for women leaders to push past artificial boundaries and limitations.

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn

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Military Education Outreach Team and Events

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The Military Education Outreach (MEO) Team acts as a liaison between the military education community at Department of Defense (DoD) installations worldwide and the university. The team visits installations to meet with current students, attend education fairs and base graduation recognition ceremonies, and meet with education staff to ensure Ashford students have the support and resources they need to be successful. The general email for the team is
Click For Military Education Outreach Team and Events

Meet the Ashford Military Outreach Team and find out when they will be on a base near you!

Millennials’ Professional Networking Behaviors

LinkedIn data shows conversations can lead to job opportunities. LinkedIn conducted an online survey of 15,509 LinkedIn member across 17 countries. The data includes more than 7,000 millennials (aged 18-34).

Blair Decembrele, Consumer & Editorial Marketing Communication at LinkedIn wrote an article about the findings of the survey. She was able to go into detail about the top barriers participants saw when it came to the topic of networking.

  • Unsure how to connect
  • Don't know what to say
  • Too much time has passed
  • Don't have enough time

Find the full article and see the methodology used here:

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Clinton Team Members, Ashford Students Come Together for a Cause

Ashford's Clinton Campus was back at it again in the month of August! Our consistently generous Iowa team members held a Sharing Time and Resources or S.T.A.R. hygiene product drive for current and former military personnel throughout August. They collected $482.15 in funds and more than 950 personal care items, including toothbrushes, razors, and shampoo to keep our military friends fresh and clean.

On Saturday, August 19, current and former Ashford students partnered with our Clinton team members onsite to help pack some of these hygiene items for distribution to local Midwest military families. The rest of the items and all of the funds are being sent to other military members, including some deployed troops.

Thank you to our dedicated Clinton Campus team members, who never forget our active military heroes and veterans.

If you are interested in planning a S.T.A.R. event in your area please contact

Patriot Day in the United States

Patriot Day is an annual observance on September 11 to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. Many Americans refer to Patriot Day as 9/11 or September 11.

Read more about Patriot Day here:

Military CHAMPS Student Success Program Coordinator: Sierra Bartlett-May

I am so excited to join the CHAMPS team, specifically as a Military Coordinator pairing military mentees and mentors together. I’ve worked at Ashford University for over 5.5 years and started as a Military Student Advisor. I was lucky enough to work with students who were active duty, veterans, and spouses, and they opened my eyes to the struggles our military students go through in order to complete a degree. It was a humbling experience and gave me an appreciation for our service members beyond what I already had. In my tenure at Ashford, I also worked in the Career and Alumni Services department helping all students and alumni in their career development. This work consisted of reviewing resumes, discussing networking strategies, and preparing for interviews.

Now, as a CHAMPS Student Success Program Coordinator, I get to help students build a lasting connection with a mentor or mentee. We have developed milestones specifically targeted toward the needs of our military students. Those who complete this program will have guidance on using academic tools such as Grammarly and The Writing Center. Additionally, they will identify hurdles they are currently facing and strategies to overcome them with the support of someone who has gone through a similar situation. And my favorite takeaway from the program is step by step guidance on how to create and use a LinkedIn account to become more marketable to civilian employers. Overall, strategically pairing students together who have both served in the military provides students with a like-minded ear and support system, and I am excited to be a part of it!

Learn more or apply to be a CHAMP here.

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Gold Star Family Day- Debbie Lee

In 2013 President Barack Obama presented a Proclamation designating the last Sunday in September as "Gold Star Mother's Day" (Presidential Proclamation -- Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day, 2013).

From Debbie Lee:

The title, Gold Star Mother, can sound like an exclusive honor that is highly sought after and rarely earned by being the best of the best in mothering. I remember doing a radio show and the host introduced me as a Gold Star Mother and then congratulated me for the honor. I was stunned and realized he had not done his homework or read my bio. I gained my composure and educated him that the title Gold Star Mother, Father, Widow, Sibling or Child is earned because your loved one gave their life while serving in the military, defending our freedoms.

The Gold Star “Club,” while very exclusive, is never anything any of us desired to join and we are not recruiting for new members. I became a Gold Star Mother on August 2, 2006, when my son, Navy SEAL Marc Lee, gave his life in Ramadi, Iraq. He was the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq and one of the main characters portrayed in the movie “American Sniper.” I have been a widow for 23 years, but losing my son was the most devastating thing I had ever been through.

Marc willingly stood in the direct line of fire three times that day. He sacrificed his life to give the gift of life to his teammates and for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Marc wrote an amazing letter several weeks before he was killed that has inspired millions of lives around the world. In response to that letter we started America’s Mighty Warriors (AMW) to continue to support our troops and families of the fallen through numerous programs.

I had no choice about the news I was given on that day. I could have refused to answer the door, put my fingers in my ears and refused to listen but nothing would have changed the fact that my son was killed in combat. I did, however, have a choice in how I responded. My choice was to put on Marc’s boots, pick up his weapon and stay in the fight for those who pay the costly price for our freedoms. For more info on Marc or AMW, please visit

Nationwide Conference Calendar

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Nationwide Conference Calendar by Month

Stay up to date on nationwide events that could impact you. Career expos, transition workshops, and everything in between. Presented by US Veterans Magazine.

Previous Editions

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Previous Military Community Newsletter Editions

Click here to view the Military Community Newsletter Archives in case you missed a past edition.

* The newsletter may contain now or in the future links to other websites, such as links to military charities, discounts or offers, or other third parties that may provide services or products to you. These links and this information is being provided to you for your convenience and as a resource. We are not responsible for the privacy practices, the content of, or any other actions of such other websites or their owners or operators, information they may collect or information they may share. Further, the inclusion of an organization on this newsletter does not indicate an endorsement of such organization (or of any religious or political point of view promoted by such organization) by Ashford University or its affiliates.

About the Editor

Stephanie Kinman is the Military Development and Engagement Specialist at Ashford. She served six years as a Navy Corpsman with two of those years attached to a Marine unit. She is well versed in understanding the unique challenges military students face. She achieved her undergraduate degree in Psychology from University of Phoenix and her MSW with a focus on Military and Veteran Populations from University of Southern California.

Stephanie is dedicated to the military student population and brings her education, social work background and personal experience, both in the military and in the classroom, to provide resources, community events, and pathways for students to connect outside of the classroom.