John Jay is Named Best College for Veterans by College Choice

John Jay is Named Best College for Veterans by College Choice

John Jay is Named Best College for Veterans by College Choice

John Jay was ranked in time for Veterans Day as #12 on College Choice’s Best Colleges for Veterans for 2017 national list, where it is lauded for a curriculum “that focuses specifically on the interests and needs of student veterans and military students.” In recognition of its programming, services, and career opportunities to prepare its student veterans for life after the military, the College is also a Best for Vets and Veteran Friendly higher education institution.

For Veterans Day, John Jay College is honoring its 530 enrolled veterans who have served in various military branches and have made tremendous sacrifices for the nation and the greater good. On November 9, the Office of Military and Veterans Services and the Veterans Association hosted a Veterans Day observance and Marine Birthday celebration where community members were invited to contribute hygiene items to a month-long collection drive for homeless veterans. On November 28th, a ceremony and banquet featuring keynote speaker Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin will be held for new inductees into the John Jay chapter of the SALUTE National Veterans Honor Society, which was initiated on campus last year.

At Mayor de Blasio’s Veterans Day Breakfast on November 11, the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services launched a citywide Veterans Mentoring Initiative with the partnership of John Jay as well as several other organizations. Student veterans are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to receive mentorship. Additionally, John Jay’s unique aquatic-based holistic wellness program W.E.T.S for Vets, was recently featured on the SportsNet New York (SNY)

For Veterans Day, John Jay College is honoring its 530 enrolled veterans
Veterans Day observance on November 9

Richard Pusateri, Manager of the Military and Veteran's Services Office, says that with an 80% graduation rate and with an average GPA last year of 3.3, veteran students are characteristically successful at John Jay.

One of those exceptional students is Sade Thomas, who sang the National Anthem at the Mayor’s Veterans Day Breakfast on November 11, with Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and other prominent city leaders in attendance. 

Sade Thomas
Sade Thomas

Thomas served as an administrative specialist in the US Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, CA from 2006-2010, where she achieved the rank of Corporal. A native of Brooklyn, she graduated with a Criminal Justice BS from John Jay in 2014, and is currently enrolled in the MPA Oversight and Inspection program from which she will graduate in May. As the President of the student-led John Jay Veterans Association, a peer mentorship group for veteran students, Thomas is committed to fostering community among veterans on campus.

“I’ve been a member of the Veterans Association since 2014, so I know the people well here and I love being around them,” she said. “I make sure student veterans get the best academic experience they can.”

Another veteran student John Jay is proud to recognize is Kyle Grant. When Grant retired from the military in 2014, he was more motivated than ever to complete his education. He immediately started taking classes at Kingsborough College, where he completed his Associate Degree, and then transferred to John Jay for his Bachelor’s in Security Management. Only a few months after earning his BS in the spring, he is now pursuing a dual-degree in Protection Management and Public Administration and plans to graduate this December.

During the day, Kyle works a full-time job as a Security Manager at First Data, one of the nation’s leading credit card processing companies. At night, Kyle returns to campus, where he is currently enrolled in five courses. “What I’m doing is not for everybody,” he said. “But it’s because of my dedication that I’m finding a way to get it done.”

Former Marine and Forensic Psychology major Eugene Marmontov shares a similar commitment to his education. Throughout his eight years on active duty as a Marine – in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Europe – he envisioned coming home one day and going to college, and specifically, to John Jay.

“I always wanted to go into public service in the justice field,” he said, “and I knew that was the place I wanted to be.”

Marmontov, 35, was born in Moscow and emigrated to Brooklyn with his mother when he was 18. After enlisting in the Marines at 24, he ended his active duty career in 2015, and enrolled at John Jay. Marmontov now has a 3.95 GPA and will graduate in December with hopes to begin his career in law enforcement either with a federal agency such as the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency or Secret Service, or with the NYPD.

“John Jay is committed to honoring its veteran students,” said Pusateri. “For veterans, that acceptance in this community means a lot.”