Pioneer Spotlight - John Mingo
John Mingo is the veteran certifying official on campus. His first day on the job was Nov. 25, 2013.
Mingo is a Vermont native, having joined the United States Army in 1990. He also served in the Vermont Army National Guard. His military career took him throughout the country before retiring in 2013. He and his wife, Tracey Mingo, subsequently moved to Platteville, Wis. after she was named the financial aid director at UW-Platteville.
There are 210 resident students using veteran benefits, according to Mingo. Additionally, there are 131 students enrolled in the distance education program who are using veteran benefits.
Mingo’s office is located in the Robert and James Wright Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students, 322 Royce Hall. The center is located on the third floor of Royce Hall and is open from 7:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.
As the veteran certifying official, what are your responsibilities?
To help veterans and dependents navigate through the VA military benefits and ensure that they get the benefits they are entitled to.
Is it a complicated system to navigate?
Yes, it can be slightly intimidating when students begin trying to figure out what benefits they are eligible for, and with what agency. The benefit used will depend on what the student has done or is doing at that point in time.
What does it feel like when a veteran student comes in and he or she has a problem and you are able to find the answers?
It is rewarding to not only help the veterans, but to also help their family members find the answers to any questions they may have.
What advice would you have for a new veteran student on campus?
I would tell them to join the vets club, to link up with their peers. If they’re family members and dependents they are most likely in the non-traditional student arena and Sandie (Brick-Margelofsky) can link them up with some other non-traditional students. They are free to come over here and relax. We have two brand new laptops that they can get on. If they are currently in the service they are compatible with their smart cards.
How have students responded to the new Robert and James Wright Center for Non-Traditional and Veteran Students?
So far, everyone who comes up is pleased with how it looks, the layout, the comfort of it and the amenities that we have.
Interview conducted by: Dan Wackershauser, University Information and Communications.
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