Uniforms to Mortarboards

TAMPA, Fla.  (Nov. 2, 2009) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and Gov. Charlie Crist will join more than 250 participants from colleges and universities throughout the state of Florida on Friday, Nov. 6, to plan strategies and share best practices in serving a new generation of veterans seeking their undergraduate and advanced degrees.


Gov. Crist will speak at noon and Secretary Shinseki will deliver the luncheon keynote address at 12:30 p.m. as part of the day-long Uniforms to Mortarboards conference at the Marshall Student Center.


Participants also will hear from Ron Scoggins, senior education representative for the VA’s Atlanta office and John Schupp director of SERV, a nationally acclaimed program for veterans at Cleveland State University. A detailed program can be found here.


This year, USF became the first university in the nation to enter into an accord with the Department of Veterans Affairs to have specialized one-stop guidance and services for veterans taking advantages of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Bill. The new G.I. Bill covers tuition and fees, books and supplies and a housing stipend for those who served in the armed forces after the 9/11 attacks.


“We are only beginning to appreciate the challenges of reintegration for our nation’s veterans and it is only through cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of best practices that we as institutions can be sure we are meeting our obligation to them,” said USF President Judy Genshaft.


The Uniforms to Mortarboards conference is being sponsored by BayCare Behavioral Health, Lockheed Martin, the Florida Board of Governors, the Florida College System, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida and the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities.


 The University of South Florida System is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The system offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. It has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.