Ja Sweat honored with Student Veterans Service Award
Ja Sweat, right, receives Great Falls College MSU Student Veterans Award from Kevin Lyons, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.
The Military Family Center held a celebration of three staff and faculty members who were finalists for the Student Veterans Service Award on Wednesday afternoon as part of the college’s observation of Veterans Day this week.
Dr. Elfie Neber, Rachael Bruce and Ja Sweat all were nominated for their work with veterans at Great Falls College.
Sweat, the college’s print shop manager, took home the honor.
“Ja is always promptly available when we need supplies or anything else from the print center,” his nomination letter said. “The ability to print PowerPoints or class notes without cost is very helpful to a military family and contributes to our success. Ja is the person primarily responsible for this.”
Kevin Lyons, veterans success coach at Great Falls College, said the honor was well earned in a letter read at the ceremony.
“Through his distinctive accomplishments, Mr. Sweat reflected great credit upon himself, Great Falls College and the state of Montana,” wrote Kevin Lyons, veterans success coach at the college. “For these actions, James A. Sweat has been awarded the eighth annual Great Falls College Montana State University Student Veterans Service Award.
Neber, a behavior science instructor at the college, is “always willing to help you out and incredibly understanding,” her nomination letter said. “When I was going through a rough time, I could always count on her to be there.”
Bruce’s nomination letter stated: “She has gone above and beyond with her assignments to help the students reach their expectations, improvising new teaching strategies and simple ways to make it easier for the majority of us to retain material across numerous classes. She prepares the information she will teach in advance and presents it in class in an easy-to-understand manner. I adore her teaching approach, as well as her enthusiasm for instructing and supporting her students.”
Bruce is an instructor in the dental hygiene program.
The Military Family Center has changed names from the Veterans Center as the new name more accurately reflects its mission to support veterans, their spouses and their dependents.
Lyons has data definitively showing those who use the center have higher grade-point averages, retention rates and graduation rates than those who are eligible to use it and don’t make use of the services the center offers.
The college is closed Friday to observe Veterans Day.
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