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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New VETS Center opens across Speedway

Rebecca Noble
Rebecca Noble/The Daily Wildcat Ben McIntosh, a senior in physiology, studies at the Arizona Health Sciences Library’s new VETS Center on Wednesday, April 9th. The grand opening is from 4-5 PM on Thursday, April 10th.

A center serving student veterans at the UA has expanded to include a location across Speedway Boulevard focusing on student veterans studying health sciences.

The Veterans Education and Transition Services Center will hold its grand opening today at 4 p.m. inside the Arizona Health Sciences Library, where the new center is now housed. The VETS Center’s main location is in the Student Union Memorial Center.

The VETS Center expansion to the area of the health sciences colleges — the College of Medicine, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Public Health and the College of Nursing — came after requests from students and faculty who are veterans, according to Cody Nicholls, assistant dean of the VETS Center.

“When any of our students end up in those AHSC colleges, they very seldom come back to this side of campus,” Nicholls said.

The VETS Center aims to engage and work with student veterans during their time at the UA, Nicholls said. The center works with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Counseling and Psych Services to provide resources to student veterans.

The AHSC location opened after Veterans Day, and the grand opening ceremony will serve to make sure student veterans on the other side of Speedway Boulevard are aware that the VETS Center is open there, according to Adam Ratesic, a first-year medical student.

Ratesic enlisted in the Air Force after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and served for four-and-a-half years. As a UA student, he is now co-chair of MedVets, a club for student veterans in the College of Medicine. Since the VETS Center opened in the medical library a few months ago, Ratesic said he has been using the center as a meeting location for MedVets.

Ratesic said he is a huge fan of the new VETS Center location closer to where he takes his classes in the College of Medicine.

“I know it’s still the University of Arizona campus, but you wouldn’t believe the distance one street, Speedway, could put between campuses,” Ratesic said. “Having this VETS Center right here is a big help.”

In addition to utilizing the conference rooms in the center, Ratesic said he uses the computers, printers and other resources at the AHSC VETS Center. He also volunteers every Friday to help out at the center.

The hope is to connect student veterans in the colleges north of Speedway Boulevard, according to Ratesic.

“It’s a pivotal location for us,” Ratesic added.

The center’s location amongst the health sciences colleges will also mean the services provided there will be targeted at students in those fields, according to Nicholls.

“We want to bring a lot of the services we provide at the main campus to AHSC VETS Center,” Nicholls said, “but also with a focus … on working and engaging with our student veterans who are going into careers in health-related fields.”

Nicholls said the VETS Center will continue looking for more opportunities to aid student veterans at the UA campus.

“The big thing that we do here is we listen to our student vets and work with them to identify whatever their needs might be,” Nicholls said.

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