University, state partner for veterans support

Alfie Alvarado-Ramos and Wolf YeighThe University of Washington Bothell and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs have renewed their partnership to support vets.

Chancellor Wolf Yeigh and the director of the department, Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday on campus. It renews an understanding first signed in 2010 and continues UW Bothell’s membership with Partners for Veteran Supportive Campuses, a statewide coalition of colleges.

As a Navy veteran, Yeigh said he understands the need to remove barriers, make veterans feel welcome and support their educational experience. About 280 students currently attending the University of Washington Bothell are eligible for veterans benefits.

The “force” behind UW Bothell Veterans Services in the student affairs division is Rosa Lundborg, program manager, Yeigh said. He said the campus also has a strong chapter of the Student Veterans Association, led by Army veteran Omar Gonzalez.

Alfie Alvarado-RamosThe memorandum increases awareness of veterans programs and ensures access to services and benefits. Veterans also bring benefits to the University, Alvarado-Ramos noted.

“We know the value that veterans bring to campus and the classroom – the focus and maturity,” said Alvarado-Ramos, above.

At the signing ceremony, Yeigh also announced UW Bothell’s Veterans Life Initiative for a more comprehensive program to connect veterans to services on campus or in the community. He said a task force of student veterans, faculty, staff and alumni will recommend steps to be incorporated into UW Bothell’s Diversity Action Plan.

“This will be our battle plan to increase support for veterans on campus and their families,” Yeigh said.

May Azcarraga, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, Wolf YeighThe vice president of the Student Veterans Association, May Azcarraga (business administration ’18) appreciates the help in transitioning from military to academic life.
“We do have that support and people advocating for us,” said Azcarraga, an Air Force veteran. “It’s a bridge.”

Photo: May Azcarraga, left, with Alfie Alvarado-Ramos holding a UW Bothell commemorative coin presented to her by Wolf Yeigh, right. (Marc Studer photos)