[Local Spotlight]

The University of California, Riverside celebrated their grand opening of its first official Veterans Resource Center on November 15. This new location gives Veterans a central location where they have access to all the resources provided by the school. As Veterans know, the transition from service to civilian life is a big adjustment. Veterans come from having everything they need in one central location at the base. UC Riverside is aiming to create a very similar experience with their Veterans Resource Center.

Veterans Resource Center Brings Familiarity

Within the center, Veterans, active duty, and ROTC members can find a computer lab, lounge, and direct access to a coordinator and financial aid advisor for guidance. These resources are there just for their needs and specific situation. Along with access to the Veterans Resource Center, military members can take advantage of priority enrollment, scholarships, special payment plans, and access to UCR’s Operation VETS (Veteran, employment, Transition, Success). For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

 *Photos provided by UC Riverside   

Veterans Looking for Higher Education

According to Tamara Thacker (Veteran Services Coordinator), The UCR campus is assisting 84 Veterans, 38 Reservists, 37 ROTC, and 11 Active Duty military members. And they are not looking to slow down. Tamara says they want to continue to build on this model. In 5 years or less,they are anticipating on growing out of their current space.  This growth is mostly because of the Operation Vets program. Tamara says it is an outstanding program.

“Operation Vets has been an outstanding program for our student veterans. Our counselors in the program have dedicated themselves to the program and to our veterans by focusing on a curriculum that educates veterans on successful transition from military to civilian work environments. They assist with proper resume writing, interview preparation, and networking skills. Many of our veterans that have gone through the program have learned vital information about all sectors of work. Two of our recent graduates have gone on to both government and private sector careers that they attribute to the skills and knowledge gained from Operation Vets. ” – Reymundo Ruiz, the Student Veteran Organization President

Special Dedication

Veteran Resource Center

Photo courtesy of UC Riverside

The Veterans Resource Center has been dedicated to U.S Army Spc Jesus Duran. Duran is an inspirational member of the community and was chosen by the student veteran organization

“Sgt. Jesus Duran was chosen by our student veteran organization as a veteran that displayed honor, courage, and commitment in and out of military service and serves as an example that all veterans can aspire to be. The importance to the community and why the center chose Sgt. Duran are 1: Proudly served his country by joining the Army during Vietnam war, 2: After courageously serving his country, he returned home and served his community pursuing a career as a youth corrections officer dedicating personal time to mentor said youth on educational trips, 3: He is a recipient of the MEDAL OF HONOR the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the armed services of the United States of America.” – Reymundo Ruiz, the Student Veteran Organization President

Veterans Interested in Higher Education

Veterans looking for an opportunity in higher education will find great resources on the UCR campus. This Veteran Resource Center aims to assist the Veteran well past the time of enrollment. Their priority is to assist Veterans during their time on campus, and place them in a rewarding career that is hopefully secured before graduation.  They not only give you access to veteran-friendly job resources, but they help prepare for  interviews, resume assistance, graduate school applications,  and mentoring relationships with employees and professionals in the local community. The Riverside community does a really good job of supporting Veterans in all aspects, this type of program from UCR gives yet another resource to Veterans looking to make a home in Riverside.

Contacts for the Veterans Resource Center

  • Veterans Resource Center: 951-827-2099, Bannockburn Village H-108
  • Tami Thacker, Veterans Services coordinator: 951-827-2099; tamarat@ucr.edu
  • Patrick Napier, school certifying official/financial aid: 951-827-6162; vasco@ucr.edu