MVEI program helping veterans succeed in college
A partnership between MVAA and the Michigan College Access Network places veteran resource representatives on college campuses throughout the state to help student veterans succeed as they pursue an education.
Through the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative, VRRs provide outreach and assistance during the transition from the military to college life. VRRs are assigned to 15 campuses across the state. These individuals are trained to provide support and answer questions from veterans, faculty and staff about admissions, financial aid and other topics.
Participating schools include: Baker College-Flint, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Jackson College, Lansing Community College, MIAT College of Technology, Michigan State University, Mid-Michigan Community College, North Central Michigan College and Northern Michigan University.
Following is information about the VRRs, the college or colleges they are assigned to and contact information:
Eric Wuestenberg -Baker College, Flint
During his 13 years with the U.S. Air Force, Eric Wuestenberg supported a multitude of operations including Desert Fox, Kosovo, Operation North and Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. After medically retiring, he majored in business management at the University of North Texas. He is currently pursuing a Project Management Professional Certification, the most industry-recognized certification for project managers.
Mark Baker - Eastern Michigan University
After serving six years in the Navy aboard the submarines USS Silversides and USS Flying Fish as a sonar technician, Mark Baker attended Nazarene Bible College and earned a bachelor's degree in counseling. He has more than 12 years of experience in career services and five years in higher education. He currently serves as the President-Elect for the Jackson Breakfast Rotary.
Jacob Schrot - Ferris State University
Formerly in the Marine Corps and currently an active member of the Michigan Army National Guard, Jacob Schrot has more than 11 years of military service. He holds a bachelor's degree in organizational management from Ashford University.
Morgan Barone - Grand Rapids Community College
An active member of the Army Reserves for the past six years, Morgan Barone serves as a motor transport operator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University, where she assisted at the on-campus Veteran’s Resource Center for nearly two years.
Randall Locke - Jackson College
After earning his commission in 1983, Randall Locke served nearly 15 years in the Marine Corps. He is a veteran of multiple deployments, including a combat tour during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He has seven years of experience as a military certified academic counselor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in military psychology from Adler University.
Michael Welch -Lansing Community College
A military police officer in the U.S. Army, Michael Welch held top secret clearance, participated in peace-keeping missions and was a Special Reaction Team member. After leaving the military, he was a government contractor who traveled the south East Asia region, and was later a certified locksmith. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in organizational development at Spring Arbor University.
Jeremi Redmond - MIAT College of Technology
After serving four years active duty and two years reserve in the Army as a chemical specialist, Jeremi Redmond earned his bachelor's degree in health care administration from the University of Michigan-Flint. He plans to pursue a master's degree in health care education.
Sarah Mellon -Michigan State University
Working with service members, veterans and their spouses and dependents for more than six years, Sarah Mellons experience has spanned from outreach and admissions to career exploration and development. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Siena Heights University, a master's degree in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Toledo and a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling at Michigan State University.
Christopher Stanton - Mid Michigan Community College
989-773-6622, ext 147
During his six years in the Army National Guard, Chris Stanton served one tour to Afghanistan. After leaving the service, he earned a bachelors degree in public relations from Central Michigan University, where he served as the community outreach coordinator of the Central Michigan University Student Veterans of America.
Melissa Colby - North Central Michigan College
Melissa Colby has been helping student veterans at North Central Michigan College for the past four years in the financial aid office as the Veteran Affairs School Certifying Official. She comes from a military family, and has a brother serving active-duty in the U.S. Navy. She holds a master's degree from Davenport University in business administration, with a focus on strategic management.
Michael Rutledge - Northern Michigan University
After serving in the U.S. Army for 22 years as a field artilleryman, Michael Rutledge began a teaching career in 2004. He taught high school social studies as well as numerous history and humanities courses as an adjunct professor with Northwestern Michigan College. He holds bachelor's degrees in military history from Cameron University and history with teaching from Eastern Michigan University and a master's degree in humanities from Central Michigan University.
Jeffrey Schuett - Oakland University
During his 10 years in the Navy, Jeffrey Schuette deployed five times including tours to Afghanistan, throughout Southeast Asia and Central and South America and East Africa. He enrolled at Oakland University, and began working at OU's Veterans Support Services office. He was awarded the DELPHI Foundation Undergraduate Student Veteran Award in 2014. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Oakland University and is pursuing a master's in public administration.
Michael Lee - Michigan Veteran Education Initiative program director
After enlisting in the Michigan Army National Guard in 1983 as a construction materials analyst, Michael Lee earned his commission from Northern Michigan University in 1988. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and served as Chief of Staff for the 46th Military Police Command in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was promoted to colonel in 2009, and retired from the National Guard in 2016. He holds master’s degrees in public administration from Northern Michigan University and strategic studies from the US Army War College.