Recent Oklahoma State University graduate Regina Campbell spent four influential days
this summer learning alongside fellow female student veterans during the 2019 Focus
Forward Fellowship in Indiana.
The fellowship, a program offered by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, helps female veterans with personal and professional development while working to improve their leadership skills and foster a community of support.
“It definitely was an eye-opening experience,” Campbell said. “I learned a lot of things about me and a lot about why people are the way they are.”
Participants met with numerous mentors from major corporations, learned how to maximize their strengths and developed skills to help in their academic and professional careers.
Campbell, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in natural resource ecology and management (wildlife biology) in May and is now applying for graduate school, served in the Army for more than a year before she was medically discharged due to an injury.
“Your military experience is not something that needs to be brushed aside, covered up and hidden,” Campbell said. “You bring so many valuable insights … even in the academic realm.”
She and 19 other fellows were selected from 129 candidates across the country for the all-expenses-paid fellowship.
“The camaraderie was absolutely unbelievable because all of us had gone through very similar experiences in the military,” said the resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma. “I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world.”
Rick Hansen, a retired Marine Corps captain and coordinator of OSU’s Office of Student Veteran Success, said he believes Campbell was the first OSU student to win the fellowship. She had seen a flyer in the student veterans office and applied multiple times.
“Regina faced a number of difficult situations during her studies at OSU but was able to overcome them all and graduate,” Hansen said. “I know she will do well in her future pursuits.”
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