[MUSIC PLAYING] AMANDA MINIKUS: I received my acceptance letter to Cornell while I was forward deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. And I was very excited. I was immediately welcomed into the Cornell family. And it has honestly been very similar to my experience in the military.
Exposure to the leadership and mentorship here at Cornell, in terms of the faculty and just the other students that surround me, who are all future leaders, has really rounded me out I think as a leader. I've been exposed to new and different perspectives and ideas, and I'm really looking forward to taking those back to the fleet.
In the Marines, we have three core values-- honor, courage, and commitment. And I've certainly found all three here at Cornell.
DARCY BRANCHINI: All around me was this expectation that I could succeed. And it almost went beyond an expectation. It was really a belief. It was probably the major takeaway from the military, just a stronger sense of confidence in myself. And a willingness to learn and being resourceful and having a strong work ethic, that's actually what I was able to take with me into my career and into my everyday life.
My military experience sort of stuck out. People recognized it. Whether they were in the military or not, people seem to have a strong respect for it. The person that interviewed me saw it as a positive, and definitely looked at it, wanted to talk a little bit about it, wanted to hear how it influenced who I am today.
SARA DAVIS: I was active duty Marine Corps for 10 years, and then I was a civilian for the Army for another seven. But I was ready to continue my education and looking for a grad school program. I picked Cornell.
So I'm a student in city and regional planning. In conjunction with me getting a good education, since I'm a single mom of two school-aged kids, I wanted to make sure that I found a place that had strong-- had a strong school district. Seems like there are very few places where you have really strong universities that you can also really safely let your kids outside to play.
My son go out and ride his bicycle and just say, come home when the sun sets, and I feel safe doing that. And I was really surprised to find that environment because I wasn't sure how many places you still can sort of safely let your kids outside to play.
SARAH KREPS: We read a lot in the newspapers about international conflict, but I think it's a somewhat unusual circumstance to have a faculty member who actually has been part of that and can shed light on it in both a hands-on kind of way, but also an academic way on what students are reading about in the paper every day. In my nuclear security class, I have someone who's Army ROTC and Navy ROTC, and I was former Air Force. And so we have each of the services represented, and we end up engaging in these kinds of conversations that bring out our individual experiences, but bring them into conversation with each other.
So having worked in the military and now teaching issues related to the military, I think what I can bring to bear are a lot of concrete examples that make kind of abstract ideas about defense issues more concrete.
JADA HAMILTON: One of the benefits I think for Cornell, you know, for me concerning Cornell is pretty good hours as far as, you know set hours. But you can still do what you want to do. And then I think what also attracted me to the position is that in my Navy experience, we did a lot of, in our primary care settings, we did a lot sort of patient-centered sort of medicine, where you kind of, basically, you have one place where the patients go for all their care. And they're kind of working as a team.
And I kind of got that sense also when I was looking to apply for this position that that was a similar sort of feeling, with the nurses and the support staff, everybody sort of working as a team to take care of the patients. And that was also what attracted me to Cornell, in addition to just the welcoming sort of vibe I got from just being a veteran, and they were happy, your experience is important to us, that kind of thing. So that was really, that was very nice.
It felt like this would be the place, if I were to pick some place that I would be for the next 10, 15, 20 years, this would be it. Just looking back at other positions that I could have had, I wasn't so sure those were permanent. They were kind of maybe bridges. And after moving around every three to four years and deploying, I wanted to pick a place that I knew I could be here for awhile.
DAWN SEYMOUR: Cornell was full of opportunities. I was a curious student, and I wanted to learn as much as I could. And Cornell certainly opened those doors for me.
Cornell is dear to my heart. It accepted anyone who wanted to study in any subject. Now this is remarkable. And it has accepted women and has been led by women for many times. In fact, in my senior year, the dean of our college had a one-hour course every Friday afternoon talking about the early women from Seneca Falls. And it was on their shoulders that we have made progress.
So I believe the women just are part of the same continuum, women's advancement and partnership, with men. And I like that idea.
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Women veterans reflect on the strengths of their military experience, and how their training has translated into professional and academic success at Cornell. Produced by the Division of Human Resources.