News

Syracuse ROTC Cadets Get First Opportunity to Attend Special Operations Civil Affairs Branch Assessment and Selection Course

Cadets in Syracuse University’s Army Reserve Officer Training Program became the first to ever attend and successfully complete the US Army Special Operations Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection Course (CAAS) in December 2020. Cadets Madeleine Gordon and Patrick Little have acted as a proof-of-concept and going forward the US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School will now expand the opportunity to all ROTC programs starting in the summer.

Air Force Airman, Shaei Rodriguez, Finds Success in Taking Risks

Some people graduate from high school knowing exactly what they want to study in college. Others go straight into the workforce. For Shaei Rodriguez ’22, the path wasn’t so clear. He joined the United States Air Force after high school as a way to gain some wisdom and experience, and to help with the financial aspects of higher education.

School of Architecture Student, Aaron Cass, Talks Possibilities

As a mortarman with the U.S. Army, Aaron Cass ’21 knows a thing or two about camaraderie, which is why he was pleasantly surprised by the sense of teamwork he discovered while pursuing his degree in Syracuse University’s School of Architecture.

Applications Now Open for 2021 Tillman Scholars

The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) has opened the application process for the Tillman Scholar program. The program supports eligible military service members, veterans and spouses with academic scholarships, leadership development opportunities and a national network so they are empowered to make an impact in the fields of health care, public service, business, STEM, law, the humanities and education. The application to join the 2021 class of Tillman Scholars will remain open until Feb. 28.

Featured SU Alumni: Mary Spio

Mary Spio ‘98 was born and raised in Ghana. She moved to Syracuse when she was 16 years old. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1998. Spio pursued a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from Georgia Tech.

Announcing Student Veteran Undergraduate Internship Award

The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) Student Veteran Undergraduate Internship Award provides financial assistance to undergraduate student veterans at Syracuse University during the summer semester.

OVMA established the Internship Award to eliminate the financial barriers that impede student veterans from participating in internships.

Alumnus, John Gibson’s, Journey into a Combat Engineer’s Traumatic Memories Featured in Wordgathering

As a Marine combat engineer with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, John Gibson’s job was to identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines, place and clear obstacles, lay out concertina wire and build bunkers. This essential, physical and tactile combat zone work not only requires close attention to detail but also an understanding of how the lives of fellow servicemembers rely on your skill. The sights, sounds and intense memories of combat left a deep impression on Gibson ’20, one that he invites others to experience through his immersive art exhibition, “A Sapper’s Abyss.”

You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs of Don Waful, a World War II POW

Lieutenant Donald R Waful ’37, G’39 kept a journal during part of the “3 Christmases and 3 birthdays” he spent behind enemy lines. Captured by the German army and held captive from 1942-44, Waful recorded details of daily life, diversions the prisoners employed to pass the time, and his burgeoning love for Cassie, the enlisted nurse he’d become engaged to weeks before his capture.Lieutenant Donald R Waful ’37, G’39 kept a journal during part of the “3 Christmases and 3 birthdays” he spent behind enemy lines. Captured by the German army and held captive from 1942-44, Waful recorded details of daily life, diversions the prisoners employed to pass the time, and his burgeoning love for Cassie, the enlisted nurse he’d become engaged to weeks before his capture.

OVMA Staff Member and Military-Connected Alumni Reflects on Her Visit to Pearl Harbor

Growing up in a family where many have served in the Air Force, Army, and Navy, military history is something that intrigues me. Last year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic arriving in the United States, my husband Ryan (who serves in the Army National Guard) and I visited the islands of Kauai and Oahu in Hawaii. My brother-in-law currently serves active-duty in the Army and was stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at the time, so he brought us around the base to show us all the history – including the USS Arizona Memorial. I visited the USS Arizona Memorial back in 2001 (prior to 9/11) when my parents, both retired U.S. Air Force veterans, brought me there and I remember how moving it was; however, seeing it 18 years later had a whole new meaning for me.