Center for Women Veterans Opening Ceremony Friday, April 22, Rockville Campus

Montgomery College will dedicate a new study space for women veterans—the first of its kind on a college campus—on Friday, April 22 at 3 p.m. in the Campus Center Building on the Rockville Campus. The Honorable George Owings III, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, is scheduled to give remarks.

“The center was designed to specifically meet the needs of women veterans studying on our campuses,” said Joanna Starling, interim veteran programs manager at Montgomery College. “It will provide a private space for doing homework, socializing or just getting a few minutes of quiet time away from the normally busy campus.”

The Center for Women Veterans is the newest component of Montgomery College’s award-winning Combat2College program, now in its eighth year. The program was designed to meet the needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Combat2College provides comprehensive academic and support services specifically for veterans by specially trained counselors and staff members, as well as opportunities for recreation and socializing with other veterans.

Erica Smith, an environmental science and policy major, served in the Navy for 10 years. “People don’t picture women when they think about veterans,” she said. “We are underrepresented in the media and even in veteran’s organizations. I look forward to a day when we are so well integrated into the conversation that we don’t need a reminder that there are women veterans. Until then, I appreciate the effort Montgomery College has made to recognize our unique contribution and provide a space where we can not only be present, but feel welcomed.”

The new center will serve the women veterans at the College by providing a space equipped with computers, desks, a refrigerator, microwave and other amenities.

Approximately 80 women currently enrolled at the College are military veterans.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 130 areas of study.

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