Detroit Mercy recognizes student veterans

Student veterans at each of University of Detroit Mercy’s campuses have bravely served and defended our country in many different branches of the military. In recognition of Veterans Day, Detroit Mercy is proud to highlight several student veterans. 

Detroit Mercy is regularly named among the top schools for veterans and most recently was ranked No. 121 in the nation in the Best Schools for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2022 edition.

Student veterans were asked to submit information and a photograph for the University’s observation of the holiday. Their responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

A photo of Jessica Dailey next to a helicopter while serving in the military.Jessica Dailey

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy?

I am currently a 2L at Detroit Mercy School of Law.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

I served in the Air Force Reserve and currently serve in the Michigan Air National Guard.

How many years did you serve?

Nine years, so far.

Where did you serve?

Bagram, Afghanistan, from 2016-2017, and Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2019.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran?

As a student veteran, I feel the staff has been very supportive of my diverse background, and encourages veterans to capitalize on our unique experiences and how they shape and influence our course of study. I am proud to be recognized as both a veteran and a proud student of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

A photo of Mike Norris at a military base. Several aircrafts and equipment are in the background.Mike Norris

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy?

I am a 3L at Detroit Mercy School of Law.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

U.S. Army.

How many years did you serve?

Four years and 17 weeks.

Where did you serve?

I served in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran?

We are blessed to have veterans like Professor of Law and Director of the Kresge Law Library Patrick Meyer on faculty, who understand the experience of being a veteran and a law student. It has also been an honor to work in the Veterans Clinic under Director and Associate Professor of Law Margaret Costello, who is well known in the veterans law community.

How has the University impacted you as a student veteran?

I have practiced 258 pro bono hours as a student in the Veterans Law Clinic. The experience has completely changed the direction of my legal career and I now plan on practicing veterans law and social security law.

A portrait photograph of Daniel Nho during his time in the U.S. Navy.Daniel Nho

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy? 
I am studying graduate endodontics at Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

U.S. Navy.

How many years did you serve?

I served six years.

Where did you serve?

I served one year in NAVSTA Norfolk Branch Health Clinic, located in Virginia, and five years in NMRTU Groton Dental Clinic, located in Connecticut.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran?

Transition from active duty dental officer to full-time resident has been challenging. However, having supportive co-residents and faculty have made my experience at Detroit Mercy great so far.

How has the University impacted you as a student veteran?

The University has given me the opportunity to connect with peers and mentors in my specialty. To be able to learn from faculty who have so much clinical and didactic experiences is a dream come true. I am excited to be part of this institution.

A photo of Alan Mullin, who is wearing a Santa hat, from his time serving in the military.Alan Mullin

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy?

I am pursuing a Master of Intelligence Analysis. My undergrad was in Criminal Justice and Computer Science.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

I started in the U.S. Marine Corps as a small arms repair and switched to the Army National Guard for military police in 2006.

How many years did you serve?

I have served for more than 21 years and counting. I had completed all of my initial entry training – such as basic training – before 9/11. There are not many of us left. 

Where did you serve?

Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., Crimea, Ukraine, San Isidro Air Force Base in the Dominican Republic, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the COVID-19 response for Michigan and in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Kenosha, Wis. for Defense Support of Civil Authority Operations (DSCA). I am currently deployed. We were almost sent to Bagram, Afghanistan, but we got a new mission at the last minute.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran?

My experience as a student veteran has been very positive. There is a lot of crossover between the military stuff and my studies. We have a number of veterans in the program, and several students have gone on to work with agencies, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). I have had no issues with using the GI Bill. I just wish I had a little more time to take advantage of social groups and amenities that the University has to offer, but that is one drawback of being a non-traditional student.

How has the University impacted you as a student veteran?

Being a veteran, I am sure aided in my admission process to graduate school at Detroit Mercy. Lecturer and Director of the Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis Program Erick Barnes has been very receptive to the input of student veterans in my classes. I have been able to use a number of skills taught in the program in my military service. Threat assessment especially was useful in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Kenosha, Wis. Looking at open-source intelligence and source vetting has been handy in both my current mission and in DSCA operations for helping to gather atmospherics. I am looking forward to expanding on my knowledge of military physical security with Intelligence for Private Security: Critical Infrastructure Protection (INT 5110). Critical site security is a core function for military police in the National Guard.

A few of my troops are looking at beginning or continuing their collegiate education, and I hope they take my recommendations and attend Detroit Mercy. Also, a surprising number of things I learned way back at University of Detroit Jesuit stuck, and Detroit Mercy has continued to refine and expand on that.

A photo of Victoria Taylor with actor Rob Riggle underneath the wing of a military aircraft.Victoria Taylor

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy?

Communications.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

U.S. Air Force, as a photojournalist.

How many years did you serve?

Seven years, from 2012-19.

Where did you serve?

Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea and the Pentagon.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran? How has the University impacted you as a student veteran?

My experience here at Detroit Mercy has been nothing short of spectacular. I’ve been introduced to countless mentors and have had nothing but opportunities, including writing for the Varsity News, taking photos of our talented student-athletes and even participating in an off-campus internship that has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and reach to the community of Hamtramck. I can’t say that it’s all because I’m a veteran; I think that this is simply the type of people that Detroit Mercy has: welcoming, positive and always willing to give an extra challenge to really push the curriculum outside of the classroom.

A photo of Chenelle Howell, center in black Navy jacket, and a group of other military personnel.Chenelle Howell

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy?

Nurse Anesthesia.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

U.S. Navy.

How many years did you serve?

Eight years.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran?

I have had great guidance and assistance from the student veteran office. Paperwork is work in the military, but this office makes it easy and simple.

A photo of Renso Sanchez standing on a military ship. In the background, more ships can be seen.Renso Sanchez

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy?

Doctor of Dental Surgery at Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.

What branch of the military did you serve in?

U.S. Navy.

How many years did you serve?

Fourteen years. 

Where did you serve?

Iraq and the Arabian Gulf.

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran?

My experience at Detroit Mercy has been nothing short of outstanding. The staff here is always approachable and my professors are undoubtedly professionals. Having begun classes at the start of the pandemic, I consider myself very fortunate that my school was able to adapt to online classes swiftly.

How has the University impacted you as a student veteran?

Crossing from service member to student is somewhat rocky and that’s why I appreciate all the people and the programs paced to facilitate the transition. People like Associate Vice President and University Registrar Diane Praet, who always have an open door when I have certification questions, the office hours made available by the professors, and the veterans on staff, such as Detroit Mercy Dental’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion Melvin Lunkins, make the journey a smooth and straightforward occasion. As they say in the Navy, “may you have fair winds and following seas,” and that’s precisely what I got at Detroit Mercy. 

A graduation portrait of Sarah Kellogg, who is holding a rolled up "diploma" in her hand.Sarah Kellogg 

What are you studying at Detroit Mercy? 

I am currently in the MHSA program, studying Health Services Administration. 

What branch of the military did you serve in? 

I serve in the U.S. Army. 

How many years did you serve? 

I am in my eighth year serving. I joined in 2013. I was active duty for five years and I am currently a reserve officer.

Where did you serve? 

While on active duty, I was stationed in El Paso, Texas, which is where Fort Bliss Army Base is located. I later deployed to Afghanistan for nine months, then spent a little more time back in Texas. I ended my active-duty contract in South Korea, where I spent one year. I am currently assigned to a unit in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

What has your experience at Detroit Mercy been like as a student veteran? 

I have had such a wonderful experience at Detroit Mercy as a student veteran. The University is so welcoming to me and aids in using my military benefits for college extremely easy. Often times, the hardest part about being a veteran is getting acclimated to civilian life. Transitioning from an active-duty soldier to a college student has been the most pleasant experience at Detroit Mercy. 

How has the University impacted you as a student veteran? 

Another struggle for veterans after military separation is the sense of loneliness after leaving such a big organization. University of Detroit Mercy has impacted me as a student veteran by really giving me another place to belong, making it a place where the staff and instructor really want you to succeed. I am forever grateful for Detroit Mercy, which is one reason I have so much school pride. Belonging to a good university, where I am continuously learning and achieving my goals in the process, has given me a sense of fulfillment I couldn’t explain.