Student Veteran 1 of 6 Maxwell Students Chosen as 2015 Presidential Management Fellows

Jesse Campion ’15 MPA/JD has been selected as a Presidential Management Fellow. The PMF is the nation’s elite two-year federal management training program.

“Being selected as a PMF finalist is an incredible honor for me,” says Campion, an Army veteran.  “The selection tells me that my government recognizes and affirms my continuous commitment to public service.  Now as a PMF Fellow, I am excited to once again pursue an exciting career in public service, develop as a leader within the federal government and uphold that commitment for the benefit of my country.” | Read more

Syracuse University is excited to have this many students selected for the 2015 PMF. The five other Maxwellians receiving the appointments are Maria Carlson ’15 MPA, Sean Comber ’15 MPA/IR, Anna Nicol ’15 MPA/IR, Stacy Lemery ’13 MAIR, and Neil Wakeman ’14 MPA.

The top-ranked Maxwell School offers the #1 MPA in the country as well as the Master of Social Science distance learning program, a great fit for active duty service members and veterans unable to relocate to continue their education. Read why Pilot Dave Gaulin calls it the most military friendly distance learning program.


Notable Veteran Alumni: Richard M. Jones

Richard M. JonesRichard M. Jones 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.

Influenced by the passion for service instilled in his family lineage, Jones enlisted in the United States Army after high school, in part as a promise to his ailing father to support the family. Jones had grown up in a military family and hoped to make the Army his career. He joined as an infantryman and achieved his ultimate goal of becoming an Airborne Ranger. Jones considers graduating from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School his high point, a testament to his perseverance and hard work since an injury near the end forced him to be recycled back to the beginning of the 61-day course. For four years, he served with both the 75th Ranger Regiment and 10th Mountain Division as a squad leader. Unfortunately, a parachute malfunction during an airborne assault training exercise drastically altered his career plans.

After taking an occupational test while convalescing from severe fractures to his legs and back, the potential of becoming an accountant renewed Jones’ sense of drive. With the mentorship of Professor Horace Landry, head of the accounting program and a WWII Navy veteran, Jones was accepted to Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. He graduated in 1992 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. But Ranger Jones wasn’t finished. He drove on, earning his law degree and master’s in accounting from Syracuse University in 1995 as well as a Master of Laws from Boston University. Jones was admitted to the Order of the Barristers, a U.S. National Honor Society through law school oral advocacy programs, for excelling in his academia, advocacy, and service to Syracuse.

By 2005, Jones had spent over 10 years as a certified public account and tax lawyer with Ernst & Young, working in its department of media and entertainment transaction advisory services. In addition, Jones served as a law clerk for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, in the chambers of the Honorable Judge John P. Balio. 2005 was marked by several important positions for Jones served as vice president, senior tax counsel, and assistant treasurer for General Electric (NBC Universal), where his responsibilities included all domestic and international tax planning, structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and operations. As a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the NY Society of CPAs, Jones has served, and continues to, on the Corporate and Partnership Taxation Committees. He is a member of the American Bar Association, NY State Bar Association, and the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants. A frequent and noted lecturer, Jones has become a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute.

Richard M. Jones 2Currently, Richard M. Jones serves as the Executive Vice President, general tax counsel, and chief veteran officer for CBS Corporation, responsible for oversight on global tax planning, strategy, operations, litigation and legislative matters—in addition to CBS’s veteran-related initiatives. Jones tries to ensure the sacrifices of veterans and their families are never left unnoticed and recognized by promoting wellbeing through these programs and benefits. Jones works closely with several veteran organizations and is a life member of both the American Legion and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). He also serves on the congressionally mandated federal Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO) for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Jones’ devotion to our nation’s veterans is beyond reproach. He sits on boards for the Wounded Warrior Project, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the Uniformed Services Justice and Advocacy Group, the Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services, the Aaron Grider Foundation, the Warrior Family Foundation, and Honor Vet, among others. Jones is clearly an important voice and advocate of our transitioning veterans, as he said, “Each one of us has the power to make a huge difference. At the end of the day, it is the small cadre of committed veteran advocates who have, and always will, make the greatest impact in the lives of our transitioning service members and their families.”

Notably, Richard M. Jones was Syracuse University’s 2014 Arents Award recipient for his excellence in financial law and avocational pursuits in veterans affairs.

Richard M. Jones is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


The Most Military Friendly Distance Learning Program: Pilot Dave Gaulin Reflects on the MSSc

Written by Dave Gaulin

I enrolled in the Master of Social Science program in 2004. As a young C-17 Globemaster III pilot, I was looking for a program that was challenging yet flexible.  My schedule was extremely unpredictable—it was not uncommon for me to travel overseas for two-to-three weeks at a time with only a day’s notice.  This did not lend itself to advanced degree programs that required scheduled online classes, hard deadlines, or frequent postings to online discussion groups—things that make up the core of many online and distance learning programs.  Whether I was on the ground in Afghanistan, flying at 35,000 feet between Japan and Hawaii, or anywhere in between, I was able to learn and complete coursework.

This is not to say there is no interaction with the MSSc.  The required residencies provide time to dive deep into issues and focus on learning alongside students from a variety of professions.  As someone who spent a large amount of time flying in Iraq, Afghanistan, and several other places around the world, it was refreshing to spend two weeks with high school teachers, elected officials, journalists, bankers, and engineers. No matter what your career or profession is, those two weeks are a fantastic academic break.

The faculty are devoted to teaching and supporting students. Each professor has been with the program for several years; many are founding members of the MSSc and are now in their fourth decade with the program. They interact with students not only during the residency but throughout the year.  Whether one has multiple graduate degrees or has not written a research paper in several decades, they can all expect to be critiqued, challenged, and made to be better writers and thinkers.

As an officer who spend the vast majority of their career rapidly moving around the world, I benefited from the global perspective that the MSSc provided.  Profs Bennett and Webb’s War and Society courses and Prof Barkun’s International Law course both complimented and challenged my knowledge and experience. Prof Pellow’s Africa course and her insightful lectures were in my mind a few years ago when I found myself in the middle of Africa, working with Chadian and French troops.  With the mentorship and guidance of Prof Bennett, I was able to explore the influence of political partisanship on civil-military relations, an issue as old as the republic yet continues to challenge our elected leadership, senior officers, and society as a whole.   

The MSSc is the most military friendly distance learning, limited residency program I have ever known.  It is designed with flexibility in mind and the understanding that coursework may need to take a back seat to real world issues now and then.  Unlike some of my peers, I never had to worry about failing a course due to a missed deadline (which can happen with last minute deployments) and did not need to fight a bureaucracy of administrators, registrars, and bursars (especially when tuition assistance or VA payments were held up).  I knew my professors and they knew me, they cared about my learning, and were genuinely concerned about my progression and success.


Dave GaulinDave Gaulin (A&S 2002, MSSc, 2007) served on active duty for 13 years, flying the C-17 Globemaster III. He is now a Major and pilot in the Air National Guard and works in the telecommunications industry.  Follow him @davegaulin 


Ret. Col. Steve Medeiros: My Master of Social Science Story

Written by Steve Medeiros

Anchored by program flexibility, intellectual exploration and academic excellence, the Master of Social Science Program (MSSc) has been instrumental in my development to think critically within established social science fields and current societal challenges. As an officer of the Marines for twenty-eight years (retiring as a Colonel), my degree has afforded me an opportunity to frame, analyze and solve problem sets outside of a non-traditional framework. This is especially poignant in regions where I have served, the Pacific Rim and Central and South America.

The program’s flexibility is especially relevant to service members where duty station assignments are both various (CONUS and OCONUS) and multi-durational. I hold the academic leadership of the Maxwell School in high regard as they are the best in their field and inspire rigorous intellectual exploration in their students to achieve academic excellence. To this day, thirteen years after graduation, I still find myself recalling their teaching and counsel.

Steve MedeirosSteve Medeiros is a 2002 Graduate of the MSSc Program and served 28 years in the United States Marine Corps, retiring as a Colonel in 2013. Steve served in a variety of operational and staff assignments and his final assignment was the Commander, Marine Depot Maintenance Command (Albany, GA/Barstow, CA). He is currently the Lead Logistics Engineer for Wyle Laboratories in Stafford, VA.


4 Pieces of Advice from Top Employers Every Student Veteran Should Hear


Written by Meghavaty Suresh

‘Transition’ is an important term for every veteran and military connected individual. Transition is also applicable when a veteran in school takes that next big step – civilian employment. During the career networking luncheon for student veterans sponsored by EY, Macy’s, IBM and GE held on campus at Syracuse University, executives from prestigious multi-national firms, many of whom veterans themselves, spoke to the military and veteran community here at Syracuse about the nuts and bolts of making that transition from education to employment.

Here are four pieces of advice that every student veteran looking at entering careers outside of military service should hear:


Know Your Value

Larry Iwanski“Veterans bring a distinct character and a set of experiences and credentials that they need to know that they bring because it’s a difficult transition from the military to civilian life. So, if they are able to say that here’s the characteristics, values, experiences, and leadership that I bring to the organization then there’s value no matter what.” – Larry Iwanski, Executive Director, EY.

EY has a dedicated careers resource page for military and veterans.


Don’t Undersell Yourself

“If you want to work for a financial firm, you don’t have to have majored in finance. What you have to do is know a little about the industry and do your research about the firm and what is happening in the market before your interview. Don’t undersell yourself. You don’t have to blend in, you want to stand out. Every company looks for the same things – are you curious, personable, and intellectual and are you ambitious?” – Derek Meitzer, Sales and Analytics, Bloomberg.

Bloomberg places emphasis on military and veteran hiring and it is an integral part of the Bloomberg culture. Here’s their dedicated military and veteran page.


Remember Your Unique Advantage

Vet talking to employer“The value veterans bring to a job in a non-military organization is based on skills and experiences that aren’t taught anywhere else. It’s absorbed during their time in the military. That should always be remembered.” – James Noonan, Program Manager, IBM.

IBM constantly partners with the military and has a wide number of opportunities within their global eco-system for veterans.


Leverage Your Relationships

“It’s about figuring out what your abilities are and aligning your skillsets to the job and career path that you’re looking to head in. Leverage your relationships when you’re trying to get your foot into the door. That’s always an advantage.” – Tricia Moody, Director Talent Acquisition, First Data.

First Data actively hires veterans and military connected individuals including military spouses and are looking to double their veteran recruiting efforts this year.


Meghavaty Suresh is a Graduate Assistant at IVMF currently pursuing a Master of Science in New Media Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She holds a Master’s in Management and Bachelor’s in Commerce from Mumbai University.


Notable Veteran Alumni: Jack Milton

Jack MiltonJack Milton 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.

Jack Milton was born in Bloomington, Illinois in 1928. His father worked for Caterpillar as a salesman and regional manager, so he lived in multiple cities throughout his childhood. Once Milton reached high school, his father left the company to become a partner in International Harvester, an agricultural and construction equipment dealer, which grounded the family in Central and Eastern New York.

After high school, Milton attended Syracuse University for a bachelor’s degree in business administration. On his first day, he experienced true love at first sight as he met his future wife, Laura Hanhausen. He accredits his success in school to his wife and father, who kept him focused on his studies and not just staying at the harvester dealership.

Milton graduated from Syracuse University in 1951 and joined the Army. His security clearance took some time, however, due to his family’s excessive relocation. Once his clearance went through, the Army utilized Milton’s prior knowledge of heavy machinery and assigned him to the procurement department, based out of Washington D.C., where he focused on acquiring goods in support of the Korean War.

Once Milton completed his military service, he joined the Perkins-Milton Caterpillar Dealership, where his father was a part owner before passing away at the early age of 51. Milton’s family later sold their share of the dealership and he pursued an opportunity to have a stake in his own CAT Dealership, Jordan Milton Machinery, with his stake partner Bill Jordan. With the state highway project fueling early growth, their company quickly gained a foothold with monthly rentals. In addition, Milton’s management philosophy earned his both employees’ respect and admiration and his customers’ satisfaction. His approach was one of empowerment as would “clearly communicate his vision, give employees the freedom and tools to make decisions and their job, and then stay out of the way.”

Jack Milton 2Under Milton’s leadership, his business experienced incredible growth and expansion. In 1982, he purchased the Maine Caterpillar Dealership, and later merged with the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Eastern New York Caterpillar territories in 1991. The company was renamed Milton CAT in 2004 with the procurement of the upstate New York Dealership, Syracuse Supply Company. By this time, Milton CAT stretched across the northeast, spanning from logging camps in Maine to underground salt mines and solid waste landfills in NY. Milton CAT also contributes to powering the region’s hospitals, backing up data centers, propelling workboats, and powering school buses and highway trucks. Today, Milton’s company covers six states, 15 locations, and is one of the top performing dealerships worldwide.

Jack Milton is a shining example of focusing hard on the small to grow big. Milton’s principles proved that if your vision in life does not have to be grandiose, but should be resolute, uncluttered, straightforward, and connected to what matters most. Milton CAT’s success was due to Milton’s ability to analyze, improve, and appreciate the impact his company has had on the economy and life within the region.

Though Jack Milton recently passed away in early 2015, his life accomplishments were vast and included wartime military service, 65 years of marriage, 55 years of success with Milton CAT, and significant philanthropic contributions to Syracuse University. Made possible through a generous gift to the Life Sciences Complex on the University’s Main Campus, The Milton Atrium is an outward representation of his legacy and the appreciation that he and his wife Laura had for the opportunity of higher education. The atrium is a public space that allows others to “learn, teach, and discover” as Jack Milton’s life has so clearly demonstrated.

Jack Milton is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Secretary Carter’s Unwavering View – “It’s the People who Matter”

Written by Meghavaty Suresh

In a political environment where there are different forces to contend with and hard decisions to make, the 25th Secretary of Defense of the United States, the Honorable Ashton B. Carter, gave clarity on his goals for the most important stakeholders during a talk at Syracuse University – the people.

SecDefOn his first domestic trip since taking office, Secretary Carter visited Syracuse University and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families where he gave voice to his belief that it is not just technology that makes the United States Military the finest fighting force in the world but the people who make up the military forces and shoulder immense responsibilities far greater than age and experience. They carry the burden of astonishing levels of responsibility and make great sacrifices. Secretary Carter acknowledged that when it comes to serving them, it needs to be understood that transition is for the entire duration of service. The obligation to the military and veteran community and the country as a whole is to ensure the best possible choices are placed before them. He pointed out that people want to think about the future and they want choices. There will always be conflict and solutions to solve conflict, however public service has to be given importance.

Some immediate measures that are being rolled out include an improved transition program where the Department of Defense works with different levels of government and the private sector with strong emphasis on research. Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Defense, the IVMF at Syracuse University, and the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF) announced ‘Onward to Opportunity’, a program at the national level that will deliver tailored, industry-specific training and certifications to service members and spouses on U.S. military bases prior to transition. It equips members of the military with skill sets to immediately qualify them to work for leading U.S. companies, creating a more seamless transition from military careers to civilian employment.

Secretary Carter also emphasized the importance of the next generation and the task the DoD has when it comes to reaching out, recruiting, and connecting with changing expectations. He called out to everyone to think big and broadly. It is a wider circle today and it is important that everyone belongs to something that is bigger than themselves. For their part the DoD will ensure that generations to come will have a place to grow and develop. He also praised the work Syracuse University and the IVMF have been doing, stating that it is not replicated anywhere else in the country and needs to be. The legacy of service and history that Syracuse University has with respect to serving the members of the military and veterans is remarkable and the level of competence and sophistication is exemplary. Its thoughtful, intellectual work to understand opportunities to better institutions that will make a difference and Secretary Carter is standing tall behind the people of the country.


Meghavaty Suresh is a Graduate Assistant at IVMF currently pursuing a Master of Science in New Media Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She holds a Master’s in Management and Bachelor’s in Commerce from Mumbai University.


Colonel Erik K. Rundquist Endorses the Master of Social Science Program

Written by Colonel Erik K. Rundquist

As a proud alumnus of the Syracuse University Maxwell School’s Master of Social Science (MSSc) program, I had the pleasure of studying under a faculty that was highly engaged, diverse in thought, and extremely responsive to my needs. While these are characteristics that exemplify most academic programs, I am no ordinary student. Syracuse University professors have stayed joined at my hip while on combat deployments throughout the world. I was deployed several times to the Balkans and Iraq as a squadron commander (leading 300 people) and to Afghanistan as a Group Commander (leading 2,500 people). In all environments, I had extremely narrow windows of opportunity where I could access my computer, engage with a Syracuse instructor or staff member, and then proceed with my paper-writing and research. In fact, Professor Stephen Webb and Ms. Lydia Wasylenko were literally helping me conduct academic research as my base in Afghanistan was getting rocketed by insurgents! The responsiveness and flexibility of the staff is absolutely second to none.


The Maxwell School has both personally and professionally prepared me to operate in extremely high levels of government service. For instance, I was on the Secretary of Defense staff as a senior military antiterrorism officer where I regularly engaged with the Department of State, ambassador staffs, Congressional liaisons, and senior officers. In addition, I was selected as a National Defense Fellow to Boston University where I researched and published articles on the Russian military, plus I was recently published a chapter in a book centered on defending airfields in a counterinsurgency environment. In all cases, I directly attribute the positive academic feedback I received from Professors Deborah Pellow and David Bennett on how to structure arguments, conduct effective research, and present information at the postgraduate level to my success.


Finally, when one examines Maxwell’s MSSc program – it truly attracts members of the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, not to mention a wide array of international students, non-governmental employees, educators, and businessmen. These were my colleagues and fellow students and we all shared a bond of being fully engaged in socially vital areas, while learning together through Maxwell’s program. I am absolutely convinced this program has been critical to my personal success, and the dedication and example set by both Syracuse University and its instructors have instilled a desire for me to teach after my active military service has come to an end. I am proud to be associated with this important academic program!


The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Government, the Department of Defense, or the Department of the Air Force.


RundquistColonel Erik K. Rundquist is Chief of Security Forces, Headquarters, Air Combat Command. In this position, he is responsible for security, law enforcement, antiterrorism, force protection and integrated defense across the Major Command. Colonel Rundquist was born at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri and received a regular commission upon graduation from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1991. He has served in various duty positions to include group commander, squadron commander, MAJCOM division chief, joint staff officer, operations officer, and ground combat instructor. He has deployed on several contingencies to include supporting the United Nations Protection Force in the Balkans, Operations ALLIED FORCE and SHINING HOPE in Albania and Kosovo, DETERMINED RESPONSE (USS Cole) in Yemen, ENDURING FREEDOM in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, and IRAQI FREEDOM where he conducted an operational combat jump into Bashur, Iraq with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He commanded security forces at Tallil, Iraq, was the J7 for the Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component Command at Balad, Iraq, and commanded the 455th Expeditionary Mission Support Group and Joint Task Force 1/455 at Bagram and Parwan Province, Afghanistan.


April 17-18: Moral Injury in the Lives of Military Veterans

Moral Injury Logo

On April 17-18, 2015, the Moral Injury Project of Hendricks Chapel will hold a two-day conference entitled “What Did You Fight For, What did you Bring Home: Moral Injury in the Lives of Military Veterans” in 500 Hall of Languages (more about the conference).


This two-day conference will bring local, regional, and national scholars, clinical practitioners, writers, and artists to address the psychological, spiritual, and artistic dimensions of Moral Injury among veterans.  Moral Injury is the damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass when one perpetrates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts that transgress one’s own moral and ethical values/codes of conduct/understanding.


In addition to specific panels, the conference will include an art exhibit by veterans at 914 Works Gallery on 914 E. Genesee Street and a literary reading by members of the Syracuse Veterans’ Writing Group as well as other guest writers.


The conference schedule can be found at:


Panel topics and speaker biographies can be found at:


Press and queries about the conference should be directed to:


To register for the conference use this link:


Download Moral Injury Conference Flyer


Social Work and Veterans: Responding to a Critical Need for Care


Written by Ryan Rabac

In recent years the Department of Veterans Affairs has seen dramatic growth in the need for social workers to care for returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Complex issues like traumatic brain injuries, physical disabilities, and Post-Traumatic Stress make for meaningful careers for social workers specializing in care for veterans.

The Bachelor of Science in Social Work and the Master of Social Work program at the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics train students to respond to medical crises, substance abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, and many other areas of the human experience that trouble our nation’s veterans. The school’s proximity to a VA Medical Center consistently top-five in patient satisfaction and to Fort Drum, Northern New York’s largest employer, make it easy for the Falk College to integrate its program with veteran and military care.

The Syracuse VA Medical Center employs 70 social workers and many of them are Syracuse University alumni. This connecting between the campus and the VA allows for several internship placements every year for those interested in serving those who have served.

Military families face challenges as well when loved ones are away on deployments, or when they return home and must readjust to civilian life. The field of social work allows for the provision of care for a multitude of the physical and behavioral struggles of human life.

Veterans are not just found at the VA. A social work education that has a component of understanding the military experience is likely to help a social worker prepare for many career paths.

The Bachelor of Science program combines social work studies with liberal arts and social, behavioral, and natural sciences. The Master of Social Work program is two-years and 60 credits, but students who hold a Bachelors degree in Social Work can enroll in an accelerated curriculum. There is also a three-year combined program to earn both a Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. Learn more about admissions at the Falk College here.

Veterans looking to continue their education should consider all of the undergraduate and graduate programs offered by a school committed for over 70 years to serve those who have served. To learn more about what makes Syracuse University is the best college for veterans, visit


Ryan Rabac is an Executive Assistant at the Syracuse University Office of Veterans and Military Affairs currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at the Maxwell School. He holds a B.S. in Political Science and Social Science (May 2014) from Florida State University.