The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Soldiers to Students

Photo by Courtesy
Warrior Scholar Project

On Sunday afternoon, 19 student veterans checked in to Rudder Auditorium for a week that will help give them the tools to succeed as students through the Warrior Scholar Project.

The program is hosted at 15 campuses around the nation, but is new to A&M this year. It began on Aug. 6 and will run until Aug. 11.

Jarrod Romine, campus program coordinator for the Warrior Scholar Project at Texas A&M, was integral to bringing the program to A&M. A Marine Corps veteran with over eight years of service and a political science junior, Romine said he started planning the implementation of the Warrior Scholar Program at A&M in 2015 after transferring from the University of North Carolina. 

Romine said that the program plays an important role in building the character and confidence of new student veterans.

“There has been, in my mind, a misconception about veterans leaving active duty and going to school on the GI bill,” Romine said. “A lot of what we hear about is for-profit institutions and trade schools. I don’t want to sound disparaging, but, it seems to kind of box in, or paint a picture of a veteran who is not in Harvard, or at a top tier university pursuing astrophysics or education or anything we think of as higher level academia.”

Romine said he would describe the program as a fast-paced intro into the world of academia. 

“The days follow a somewhat even template. The students will have gone through a set of assigned readings, just like in a normal university class, and they will then come into a morning recap talking about what has been going on, and then head to a two hour lecture by one of the faculty members,” Romine said. “After the lecture, we spend about an hour each day before lunch, we look into what we call tactical study skills. After lunch, the students meet with the executive director and director of the University Writing Center for a lesson in academic writing.” 

Romine said that he and his staff are grateful for the chance A&M has given them to create a better environment for student veterans on campus. 

“As a participant, all you have to do is show up,” Romine said. “It’s paid through the Veteran Resource and Support Center here on campus, as well as donations. That allows for meals, room and all of the expenses they could want for the week. Another huge thanks we have to give is to the faculty and lecturers who actually teach a good portion of the material, they donate their time. We have four amazing professors and one highly qualified librarian who have given their time in the summer to come in because they feel passionately about supporting the student veteran community.”

History professor Bill Collopy, a retired Marine Corps colonel himself, is one of the professors teaching a course for the program.

Collopy said that he hopes students will gain a perspective this week of what the school wants them to accomplish.

“I want to demonstrate that they have many in the educational field who are committed to supporting their efforts,” Collopy said. “I hope to be a resource of any wisdom I may have acquired in 71 years of life, 28 of them serving in active and reserve service.”

Collopy said that this program is important for student veterans because it challenges them and prepares them for a life of learning.

“Humans grow by facing and conquering challenges. This program will challenge these students,” Collopy said. “Learning is a lifelong process. Knowledge opens opportunities. Getting a bachelor’s degree qualified me to enter Officer Candidate School. Getting a PhD. opened the door of academia and let me teach young people about American history.”

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