Heidi Burgus | hburgus@uwsuper.edu

At the University of Wisconsin-Superior the Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center (VNSC) students can make the transition as smooth as possible for those out of school for a long time.

Brendan Pillsbury, Veteran and Nontraditional Student Programs coordinator, knows what it is like. Pillsbury was a United States Army Reserve veteran and nontraditional student himself.

Speaking from his own experiences about the challenges of adjusting, to going back to school, and maintaining the responsibilities of work and home Pillsbury expressed the importance of attending the nontraditional student orientation, “It is chock full of important information and resources for new students.” The orientation is available to both on campus and distance learning students.

The VNSC offers resources to students, their spouses, and dependents, that consists of workshops on subjects such as budgeting and suicide prevention. The VNSC also gives access to scholarships, daycare subsidies, financial assistance for parking and textbooks, and includes an emergency fund.

The VNSC also hosts a variety of stuff like game nights, student socials, and cookouts. For those students looking for a quiet space to study, the VNSC has established a comfortable space with couches, free coffee, snacks, and drinks, plus computers and a textbook library open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in Old Main 118.

Another great resource at the VNSC is Lynn Karna, University Services program assistant. Being a veteran student, she can be very helpful when it comes to navigating the many educational benefits available and assisting with the many forms required to obtain these benefits. She will go as far as to call the VA to check on the status of a veteran student’s file, enrollment, and their education benefits.

Inside look of the VNSC. From left to right: Brendan Pillsbury and T Leeper. Photo by Drew Kerner

Karna will ensure that the benefits, such as the GI Bill, is being processed and that the money is being distributed appropriately. Karna is very proactive and responsive to all questions a student may have when it comes to their veteran educational benefits.

“ASK QUESTIONS!! We love helping and we want to reach as many students as possible!” Pillsbury wants to remind us.

Both Brendan Pillsbury and Lynn Klarna can be contacted through the VNSC directory via phone or email, or a student can stop into the office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with Karna’s hours being 8 a.m. to noon.