Syracuse University, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families Discuss Veterans Issues at Stand-To Event


Syracuse University and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) were among the participants at the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-To summit. The summit, which focused on veteran transition, convened key leaders from government, higher education and the private and philanthropic sectors to outline key priorities and a cohesive action plan to help more veterans and their families thrive.

Chancellor Kent Syverud and J. Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and IVMF executive director, participated in the event, which included the nation’s foremost experts participating in the summit.

Chancellor Syverud appeared on a panel consisting of high-profile leaders in higher education, including Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education and president of the University of North Carolina system; and Admiral (ret.) William McRaven, Chancellor of the University of Texas System. The panelists discussed some of the most pressing issues facing veterans and their families as identified by a working group led by Vice Chancellor Haynie. Health and well-being; education; and employment were just a handful of the topics discussed.

Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush delivered remarks, and U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin participated in a conversation moderated by POLITICO. The event will also feature a congressional panel on issues faced by transitioning veterans.


Syracuse University: Gateway for America’s Veterans (Video)

Syracuse University: Gateway for America’s Veterans highlights Syracuse University‘s commitment to the military and our nations veterans– both past and present. Today, student veterans and military-connected students, receive support from dedicated staff from the moment they consider applying to long after they have left the University. Watch the following video to learn more about our story of supporting those who have served our nation!



Simulations Guide Veterans Facing Challenges in Higher Education

Syracuse University researchers from The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), the Office of Military Affairs (OVMA) and the School of Education (SOE) collaborate to develop simulated interaction models (SIMs) for veterans transitioning into and currently enrolled in higher education.


March 1, 2017. From feelings of loneliness to anxiety, veterans may face many challenges transitioning into or acclimating to campus life. In an effort to help those with such difficulties, researchers from the IVMF, OVMA and the School of Education at Syracuse University will begin the process of developing simulated interaction models, better known as SIMs, for veterans in higher education. According to Nick Armstrong, Ph.D., Senior Director for Research and Policy, for IVMF, such challenges exist and are ones that he knows all too well. “Unfortunately, research shows that many veterans express more angst over fitting in on a college campus than going back overseas on their n’th combat tour. And, I lived this in my own experience here at Syracuse a decade ago,” says Armstrong.


Benjamin Dotger, professor of Teaching and Leadership at the School of Education, (SOE), has been using SIMs for over a decade to prepare pre-service teachers and educational leaders.  Dotger’s SIMs builds from medical education’s use of simulations, where future physicians engage with standardized patients. Dotger and colleagues use SIMs to study how future teachers and leaders engage in direct, face-to-face interactions with carefully trained actors who serve as standardized parents, students, or colleagues.  Situated in a simulation room at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Clinical Skills Center, a future educator faces the questions, statements, and issues that a standardized individual presents, working to synthesize the content knowledge, instructional practices, and professional dispositions taught within the School of Education. Simulations are then video recorded, allowing for structured, systematic, data-informed reflection by those who participate.


The clinical simulations, specific to veterans and ROTC members, will be designed using data gathered from Syracuse University student veterans getting ready to transition on campus and those currently enrolled at SU, along with those who have graduated. The simulations will be structured to model situations that veterans may face when they come to campus in order to help them better transition to campus life. According to Dotger, while currently in the initial stages, this project has the potential to be ground breaking. “This project presents a potential game-changing opportunity for higher education to, on the one hand, develop better tools that would support veterans’ transition to campuses across the country and, on the other hand, prepare the future professoriate and student affairs cadre on leading practices supporting student veteran success.”


Additionally, says Dotger, “it is critical that we both recognize and support our veterans as they – and their families – transition from military service to collegiate study.” Clinical simulations are opportunities to practice engaging in specific situations.  “Our hope, he says, is that SIMs will help veterans’ practice the transitions – the tough situations and unforeseen challenges – in an environment that is supportive–we expect the project to build community among cohorts of veterans as they transition to SU, and we expect the project to offer support to veterans as they join the broader SU community.”


The SIMs for veterans in higher education project is set to begin next month. For more information, visit the IVMF, OVMF or SOE websites at,, or


About the Syracuse University School of Education (SOE)

The mission of the Syracuse University School of Education is to prepare thoughtful and socially just leaders who bridge scholarship and practice. Through collaborative partnerships and multifaceted inclusive approaches, we enhance student learning and success, physical activity and health, and mental health and wellbeing across communities. For more information about the School of Education, visit,


About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education, and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. Through its professional staff and experts, the IVMF delivers leading programs in career, vocational, and entrepreneurship education and training, while also conducting actionable research, policy analysis, and program evaluations. The IVMF also supports communities through collective impact efforts that enhance delivery and access to services and care. The Institute, supported by a distinguished advisory board, along with public and private partners, is committed to advancing the lives of those who have served in America’s armed forces and their families. For more information, visit and follow the IVMF on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


LT C.W. Harold Douglass- You Should Know His Story

LT C.W. Harold Douglass is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story – one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

In 1916, Douglass graduated from New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University, where he was heavily involved in his academia and extra-curricular activities. He was the editor of the Daily Orange and of the Empire Forester, the official publication of the College of Forestry, and served as an associate staff of the Onondagan. Douglass was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon, Pi Delta Upsilon, Tau Theta Upsilon and Alpha Xi Sigma fraternities. He was also a member of the senior council.

Upon graduation, he was hired by H. H. Franklin Company as an Assistant Advertising Manager. After a year, he moved to Washington in pursuit of a position as assistant editor of American Forestry. Soon after his move to Washington, the United States entered into World War I, and Douglass enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Assigned to an American aviation section in France, LT Douglass became part of the elite Royal Flying Corps (RFC) with the task of directing and observing artillery fire and undertaking photographic reconnaissance.

On June 11, 1918, Lieutenant Douglass was killed in action when his plane fell behind German lines. He left his base on a scouting trip over “No man’s land”, where he flew over German lines and never returned. The specifics of Lieutenant Douglass fate are still unknown. The RFC was still new at the time of LT Douglass death. Having been established six years earlier, it was still in its experimental stage of arming aircraft, and the rate of fatal accidents was still very high. Because of his bravery during his time of service, Lieutenant Douglass won the admiration of his British and French comrades, as a Royal Flying Corps member.

The Douglass Memorial, designed by fellow classmate Hollis J. Howe and erected by his graduating class of 1916, is a tablet placed in the rotunda at the New York State College of Environmental Science and Forestry, honoring his life, career, and service to the nation.

C.W. Harold Douglass is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Robert B. Murrett- You Should Know His Story


murrettVice Admiral Robert B. Murrett is a faculty member at Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story—one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

Murrett is an excellent example of our Hometown Heroes, growing up in Buffalo, NY and attending the University of Buffalo, where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts in History in 1975. Murrett’s initial tours of duty with the US Navy after commissioning included deployments to the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, and West Pacific as an afloat intelligence officer aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, USS America, and USS Independence.

Soon after his return to the US following his deployments, Murrett was assigned to the Defense Intelligence College, where he received a Master’s of Science in Strategic Intelligence. With his refined skills in data and national intelligence, Murrett was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence as a briefing officer. This experience was particularly valuable as Murrett soon after was assigned as an Assistant Intelligence Officer for the Commander of the US Second Navy Fleet, where he served from 1983-1985 upon the USS Mount Whitney and the USS Nassau. Following the two years at sea, Murrett served for three years on dry ground as the Assistant Naval Attaché at the US Embassy in Oslo, Norway.

After Murrett’s service in Oslo, he went back to the sea, serving first as the Operational Intelligence Officer for the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet in 1989 and then as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence for Commander, Carrier Group Eight aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt from 1992-1995. Murrett continued to climb the ranks of Naval intelligence, serving as the Assistant Chief of Staff , Intelligence for Commander, Second US Naval Fleet from 1995-1997 and then as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence from 1997-1998.

From 1998-2000, Murrett served in elite intelligence posts for the Navy, including serving as Director of the Intelligence Directorate in the Office of Naval Intelligence from 1998-1999 and as Commander of the Atlantic Intelligence Command (AIC) in 1999. While in this post, Murrett oversaw the transition of AIC to Joint Forces Intelligence Command, which was very successful under his leadership.

Murrett later served as Director for Intelligence at the US Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA for two years before becoming the Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, a post he held from 2005-2006. From here, as was typical for Murrett, he could only move upwards. He was appointed in 2006 as the 4th Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Since his retirement in 2010, Murrett has been a Professor of Practice at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship of Public Affairs, the Deputy Director of SU’s Institute on National Security and Counter terrorism, and a member of the SU Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ Board of Directors.


Major General Bernard L. Weiss- You Should Know His Story

Bernard L. Weiss


Major General Bernard L. Weiss is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story—one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Weiss was a hometown hero, dedicated from an early age to serving his country in uniform. He attended New York University, where he was a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Government and education, cum laude, in 1955. Soon after graduating from NYU, Weiss entered the US Air Force as a commissioned officer in 1956, first serving at the New York Air Procurement District in New York City as an administrative contracting officer. Weiss continued to work in Air Force procurement, being transferred in 1958 to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Royal Air Force Station in Wethersfield, England, where he served as a base procurement officer. Weiss served in England for two years before returning to the United States, where he was Chief of the Systems Management Division at the Air Defense Command Headquarters in Colorado. While at the Systems Management Division, Weiss was responsible for the procurement and administration of operations contacts supporting the Distant Early Warning line, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, and the Spacetrack stations, working closely with Dutch and Canadian officials in these areas.

Weiss’ time in Colorado allowed him to develop his managerial and leadership skills, which would become important for his time at Syracuse University. While at SU, Weiss received a Master’s in Business Administration with honors in 1966 from the SU School of Management through the Air Force Institute of Technology. Having traveled to the East Coast to attend SU, Weiss was transferred back to the West Coast, where he served at the Defense Contract Administration Services Division in Los Angeles, California as a manufacturing officer and plant office chief at Garrett Air Research Corporation. He would later serve as Chief of the Contract Administration Directorate for the region before returning to the East Coast to serve in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Systems and Logistics at the Pentagon. While in Washington DC, he became a procurement staff officer and was responsible for contract policy formulation and implementation for major weapons systems such as the A-10 and F-15. His successes in the office at the Pentagon were incredibly valuable for the Air Force, who decided to transfer him back “into the field” and send him to many Air Force Bases around the country, including Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. While at Andrews and Wright-Patterson, Weiss was in charge of major systems procurement and acquisition programs.

Weiss’ track record of success in systems acquisition for the Air Force definitely helped Weiss move up the chain of command to his second-to-last post at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition. While here, he served as the Director of contracting and manufacturing policy from 1983-1985, where he was responsible for developing contract and manufacturing policy related to all major military systems acquisition. Weiss’ last post was at the Air Force Systems Command at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, where he served as Commander of the Air Force Contract Management Division. He was responsible in this post for the administration of major weapons systems acquisition contracts within the United States. He remained in New Mexico from 1985 until his retirement from the Air Force in 1988.

Weiss has received many commendations from the Air Force, from the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with two oak clusters to the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Meritorious Service Award. He is also a Fellow of the National Contract Manager Association, where he served on the Board of Directors.

Major General Bernard L. Weiss is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.