Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
Sylvania to offer presentations focused on veterans
Photos and Story by Kate Chester
In light of the increase in the number of veterans Portland Community College is serving, the Sylvania Campus is hosting two upcoming presentations to assist faculty and staff.
The first session, “Serving Student Veterans: Understanding Military Culture, Trauma and Readjustment,” will be held on Wednesday, May 16 in the Fir/Oak/Elm rooms in Sylvania’s College Center (CC) Building. The presentation will be led by Scott Swaim, director of Veterans Services at Valley Cities Counseling; it will be offered twice that day – from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“Scott’s presentation focuses on improving cultural competence, understanding trauma, and utilizing best practices for serving student veterans in the classroom and on campus,” said Roger Frank, a counselor based at the Sylvania Campus who has helped to coordinate the event.
“Staff and faculty able to attend will gain a greater understanding of military culture, the nature of combat tours, and the overall veteran experience,” Frank said.
All faculty and staff with an interest in the topic, from throughout the college, are encouraged to attend; those coming to the first session are welcome to bring their lunch.
Swaim – a licensed mental health counselor and United States Air Force and Gulf War veteran – has more than 20 years of clinical experience working in community mental health and with governmental and private agencies. He has conducted nearly 200 trainings for educators, first responders, justice systems, mental health and substance abuse providers, Native American gatherings, law enforcement agencies, and military families.
“Our hope is that attendees at ‘Serving Student Veterans’ will leave with a better awareness of the challenges and stigmas veterans face, as well as strategies for establishing trust, support, communication and engagement,” said Frank.
That aspect of communication naturally dovetails with a second presentation at Sylvania, also oriented toward veterans.
“Communicating Effectively with Your Student Veterans” will be led by communication studies instructor Holly King, and is set for Thursday, May 24, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Sylvania Teaching and Learning Center.
In this interactive session, King and attendees will share their experiences in the classroom and together explore strategies to improve classroom management and ensure student success.
For questions related to either presentation, contact Frank at (971) 722-4545.