Military Community

December 2017-Ashford University Newsletter

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Military Development and Engagement

The Military Community Newsletter at Ashford University was designed as a way for you to learn 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.


  • Military Education Outreach Team and Events
  • Career and Alumni Services
  • Immigrant Veteran Research Project
  • San Diego Veterans Day Celebration
  • Military Speaker Series Follow Up
  • When to Plan For Leaving The Military

  • Final

  • Student Spotlight: Ty Smith
  • Ashford University Employer Outreach Team
  • 5 Reasons Why Veterans Are Great Networkers
  • Cigna Introduces 24/7/365 National Support Line for Veterans, Families, Caregivers And Mindfulness for Vets Sessions
  • Nationwide Conference Calendar
  • Previous Editions
  • Citations and URL Image Retrieval

Military Education Outreach Team and Events

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. Email the team at
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!

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Preparing you for present and future opportunities, Ashford University’s team of Career Specialists provide you with customized career-planning, resume and cover letter review, one-on-one coaching, and job search assistance to help you reach your goals.

As an Ashford University student or alumnus, you are given every resource you can use to navigate the challenges of today’s job market. By working with Career Services, you can search for jobs, plan your career, and reach your greatest potential.

You can also contact Career Services at 866.974.5700 ext. 20057, or email to take advantage of these features:

  • Career guidance
  • Job postings and job search assistance
  • Resume and cover letter reviews and guidance
  • Resume Builder
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Individualized career coaching
  • Networking skills and strategies
  • Professional development webinars
  • Skills and personality assessments

Immigrant Veteran Research Project

Are you an immigrant veteran? If you are a veteran who was not a US citizen when you joined the US Armed Forces, you are eligible to participate in a sociological study, “Citizenship Acquisition among Immigrant Veterans.”

Dr. Sofya Aptekar is a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a scholar of immigration and has written a book about naturalization in the United States entitled The Road to Citizenship: What Naturalization Means for Immigrants and the United States.

Dr. Aptekar’s current project is focused on the experiences of immigrants in the US military. For the past two years, she has been speaking with veterans across the country to learn more about their decision to enlist, their career choices, their path through the immigration system, and their lives after service. Dr. Aptekar believes that it is important to ensure full access to rights and benefits for those who serve, including the right to vote and protection from deportation.

Your participation in this study will help increase our knowledge of the process of naturalization for immigrant members of the military. This information is important to ensure full access to rights and benefits for those who serve, including the right to vote, and protection from deportation.

You do not need to be a US citizen to participate. Interested?

Contact the researcher, Professor Sofya Aptekar, at the University of Massachusetts Boston by email ( or by phone (347.916.2568) to sign up for an interview lasting 40-90 minutes. You will be asked to share your thoughts on citizenship, the process of naturalization, and experiences as an immigrant in the military and as an immigrant veteran.

Participation is voluntary and confidential. All participants receive $20.

San Diego Veterans Day Celebration

As an organization committed to hiring, developing, and supporting military service members, veterans, and their families, Ashford observed Veterans Day on November 9, 2017 with some exciting events:

· Military Speaker Series: Ashford’s Military Speaker Series and Teaching & Learning Conference (TLC) proudly presented distinguished guest speaker, Linda Citroen, a branding expert who has made a career of helping people and companies create new or enhanced identities.

· San Diego Staff - Flag Pole Dedication: The flag dedication at Ashford's San Diego office was a success. Staff, students, and guests gathered as Brittany Smith, Financial Aid & Services Manager, sang the National Anthem, and CEO Andrew Clark dedicated the American flag honoring the nation's service members and veterans. It was a proud moment to see the flag fly high and will serve as a constant reminder at the San Diego office.

· Pre-Screening "Served Like a Girl": Ashford hosted onsite and online the opportunity for TLC attendees to view the documentary, Served Like a Girl, which chronicles the lives of female veterans as they compete for the crown of Ms. Veteran America. After hosting 2 viewings of the documentary, not scheduled to release until spring 2018, Ashford hosted a virtual panel discussion with the film’s director and a veteran from the film, along with Ashford alum, Sally Rejas, who was a finalist in the competition.

Ashford staff demonstrated patriotic spirit by wearing red, white, and blue at the event, and have a dedicated day to wear RED to “Remember Everyone Deployed,” held on the last Friday of each month.

Veteran Resources: We’re grateful for the sacrifices our military men and women make to protect our freedom. At Ashford, we especially appreciate our team members and students who serve and have served. Please connect to the Veterans Resource Center for additional resources.

Military Speaker Series Follow Up

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Did you miss the military sessions at this year’s Teaching and Learning Conference? Not to worry, you can view the recordings online. This year the Military Speaker Series partnered with TLC to bring special guest Lida Citroen.

Lida Citroën, is a branding expert based in Denver, and has made a career of helping people and companies create new or enhanced identities. Lida is passionate about helping veterans learn how to compete for careers in the civilian sector. A TEDx Speaker, Lida presents her unique personal branding training programs across the U.S., at military installations and events, serves on the Board of Directors of NAVSO, volunteers with ESGR, and has produced numerous programs and materials to help military veterans successfully transition after service. If you have a transition question Lida can help answer, email her at She is also the author of the best-selling book, "Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition," available at and on Amazon.

Be sure to watch her Keynote address on the Value of a Veteran in Academia. Click the link below to view the recording.

Value of a Veteran in Academia Session

Please note this link will expire December 22, 2017

When to Plan For Leaving The Military

There is a single fact that is true for everyone in the military - no one stays on active duty forever. Even when it is hard to imagine a time when you're not serving, thinking about it now can make it easier when it does happen.

Start thinking about all the things you need to know and consider these questions on how to prepare for transition:

1. What happens to your medical coverage?

2. Where will you live?

3. Can you take terminal leave, or will you sell back leave? Learn about the pros and cons of each option.

4. What is your entitlement for your final move?

5. Will you be eligible for unemployment if you can’t find a job?

6. How do you find a job in your field? How do you network? Do you need to set up a professional online presence?

7. What does your family’s financial situation look like now? What do you want it to look like in the future? What can you do between now and then to get closer to your goal?

For additional transition tips and a customizable transition plan, visit the Transition Center


Click here to learn more about Final Salute

Student Spotlight: Ty Smith

Many Ashford University students go from jobs to family to schoolwork all in the course of one busy day, but Navy SEAL Ty Smith sometimes fought the Taliban in Afghanistan for 18 hours and then debriefed his team before hitting the books for the day.

“It would literally be an hour between fighting the Taliban and transitioning to classes at Ashford University,” he says.

But the flexibility of Ashford’s technology and professors—along with Ty’s tenacity—made it work.

“I learned that Ashford had done a good job of streamlining the process and the portal was easy to navigate,” he says. “Once I got into a rhythm, I thought it was perfect and exactly what I needed, especially being on active duty. I was able to access my reading material from anywhere, be it laptop, iPhone, iPad. It was amazing.”

Growing up in East St. Louis, Illinois, Ty never planned to go to college.

“When I was in high school, not even once did any of my teachers or counselors ask whether I wanted to go to college one day,” he says. “I knew the military was my way out of that life.”

Although he had a rewarding military career, he knew he needed to plan his next move. Not entirely sure what to major in, he decided on Organizational Management and quickly found it not only to be a great fit but challenging to boot.

“The quality of the education was amazing,” he says. “The professors would always ask me to delve a little deeper. It was kind of contagious because the more I interacted with the professors and the students, the more I learned.”

Ashford sparked a love of education, particularly for business, that led Ty—the first male in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree—to continue his education at the University of Southern California (USC), Marshall School of Business. There he found his Ashford coursework prepared him for challenging graduate curriculum.

“Even at a school as distinguished as USC, I found I had already scratched the surface of [my graduate coursework] in my undergrad at Ashford,” he says. “Ashford isn’t somewhere where you can just stroll in and walk out with a degree. They did a really good job of preparing me for grad school by keeping me honest and making me work.”

Since graduating from USC, Ty started his own business, Vigilance Risk Solutions, a San Diego-based security consulting and risk mitigation company with a focus on workplace violence prevention.

“I started from scratch two years ago and now we’re negotiating major contracts with Fortune 500 companies,” he says. “Before I went to Ashford, I knew the structure of a military organization, especially the minutia of special operations organizations, but as far as a corporate entity, I had no idea. Every day I find myself using lessons I learned at Ashford.”

Connect with Ty Smith on LinkedIn

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Ashford University Employer Outreach Team

Ashford University’s Employer Outreach team is shaking hands and making phone calls to build relationships that foster career success for Ashford’s students and alumni. As we begin to work with these employers, we strive to align their organizational vision and talent with Ashford’s qualified candidates. Through this effort we have found incredible companies specifically looking to hire active military, veterans, and military spouses. Check out some of these exciting companies below! You’ll also find their veteran employment pages updated frequently with new opportunities.


Comcast, a leading company aspiring to shape the media and technology industry, has earned many awards to boast its standing as a great place to work including one of LinkedIn’s Top Companies List and Military Times’ 2017 Best for Vets Employers list. The company makes it easy for transitioning military to align their skills with a variety of positions on Comcast’s job board through a variety of on-site resources.


ViaSat helps support internet connectivity to the world. Many projects are military affiliated so the company requires a broad range of employers to hold expertise in aviation, defense and homeland security, and emergency response to name a few. ViaSat welcomes veteran job-seekers and hosts events throughout the year to support their career success.


Amazon openly connects their organizational values to the military mission. This year, Amazon was awarded Gold Military Friendly Employer and A Best for Vets Employer and Military Spouse Community Choice Award. Not to mention Amazon’s job board is busting with exciting opportunities nationwide.

For support in pursuing these and other career opportunities, please email the Ashford University Career and Alumni Services at We look forward to hearing from you!

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5 Reasons Why Veterans Are Great Networkers

Networking is challenging for the best of us. Even the most extroverted people wrestle with initiating new relationships and extracting value from their contacts. While the concept of networking may have seemed unnecessary in the military, in your civilian career it will be critical (Bajza, S.; n.d) Shared in “3 Reasons Veterans Hate Networking,” it reveals: fear of rejection, being unprepared, and failing to follow up as barriers. However, the Washington Center's Veterans Employment Trajectory Initiative published an article pointing out the top 5 reasons why veterans make great networkers.

1. Comfort with diversity.
2. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
3. Adaptability
4. Appearance
5. Confidence

Read the full article here:

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Free, available to all veterans – Cigna customers and non-customers Responds to opioid crisis within veteran community New Mindfulness for Vets program helps relieve veterans’ chronic pain, stress New Support Line provides assistance with wide range of veterans’ needs

The new support line – 855.244.6211 – is for all veterans, their families and caregivers – whether or not the veteran is a Cigna customer.

In addition, to provide access to alternative therapies such as mindfulness, Cigna is now offering a weekly Mindfulness for Vets session, exclusively for veterans. Mindfulness is an evidence-based therapy proven to have a positive impact on depression, stress, anxiety, performance, sleep, addiction, PTSD and more.

The Mindfulness for Vets program will be available every Tuesday at 4 p.m. central time by calling 1.888.244.6260 and entering the passcode 536435. According to Cierzan, this mindfulness group is designed exclusively for veterans to be “interactional, instructional and experiential.” At the end of the group session, if a participant would like to talk further with a coach, a direct number will be provided.

To read more about how Cigna is supporting the veteran community, go to

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.

Citations and URL Image Retrieval

Hand Shake Image. Retrieved from:

Bajza, S. (n.d.). 3 Reasons Veterans Hate Networking. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from

Networking Image. Retrieved from:

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 bringing her education, social work background and personal experience, both in the military and in the classroom together to provide resources, community events, and pathways for students to connect outside of the classroom.