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TMCC Expands Veterans Resource Center


By Carla O’Day

img_2638The Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Veterans Resource Center, designed to assist student veterans in their transition from military service to academic life, opened a new office on Monday.

Operated by veterans, the resource center is located in the Red Mountain Building, room 241, on TMCC’s main campus, 7000 Dandini Blvd. It’s also there to assist military spouses and dependents and members of the National Guard.

Zack Totans, TMCC veterans coordinator, said many people enter the military after high school. But no matter how smart someone was in high school or great their skills might have been, he said they’re still starting from square one when they return to school after a several year hiatus.

“I felt more uncomfortable at 26 in a college class than I did when in I was in combat in Iraq,” said Totans, an Army veteran who helped open the center 2-1/2 years ago.

After its inception in spring 2014, the resource center quickly outgrew its space and just moved into the former TMCC police department, which is about four times the size. TMCC relocated its police department when it and the University of Nevada, Reno merged law enforcement services.

About 650 veterans currently attend TMCC, up from just over 400 in 2012.

The TMCC Veterans Resource Center offers computer access and social media training for student veterans. Photo: Carla O'Day
The TMCC Veterans Resource Center offers computer access and social media training for student veterans. Photo: Carla O’Day

Veterans Administration educational benefits, assistance retrieving military transcripts, private study areas, computer use, meeting rooms, free coffee and information about external groups are all available at the resource center. Access to representatives of Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership, also known as V.I.T.A.L., and counseling is also available.

A grant from the Nevada Military Support Alliance is providing mentoring and leadership to assistance to veterans. One such example includes how to network and use social media, which can help them obtain jobs once they get a degree.

Jon Gray, Truckee Meadows Veterans Club president, said those utilizing the center get positive peer support.

“But more importantly, you see veterans finding a way to help themselves,” said Gray, a Marine veteran.

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. For more information, visit http://www.tmcc.edu/veterans-benefits/resource-center/ or call 775-337-5612.

TMCC’s Career Center and the Veterans Resource Center have scheduled a Veterans Job and Resource Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the V. James Eardley Student Center. For more information, call 775-674-7649.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.




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