American flags planted in the grass

Faculty and staff recognized for positive impact on student veterans

Members of the College of Medicine and College of Nursing honored for their positive role with students who served our nation
May 25, 2018

The Veteran Resource and Support Center recognized three members of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center for their influence on student veterans. Ryan Rister, DO, resident at the Texas A&M College of Medicine; Nicola Contreras, MSN, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Nursing; and Martin Mufich, MSN, RN, clinical assistant professor at the College of Nursing, were acknowledged for their mentorship, inspiration and overall positive impact on student veterans.

“Over the past five years, one comment we repeatedly heard from our student veterans is that they are extremely grateful for the support they receive from our faculty, staff and advisors,” said Col. Gerald L. Smith ’82, director of the Veteran Resource and Support Center at Texas A&M University. “These dedicated and caring faculty and staff have been an inspiration, mentor, confidant and a positive influence. It is because of their dedicated professionalism that we are now recognized as ‘distinction of choice’ for student veteran success.”

The Texas A&M Health Science Center has a long relationship with veterans and military health. Through the recruitment of veteran students for the health care profession, increasing military educational opportunities and research advancements in health that directly affect military members and their families—Texas A&M Health Science Center has made the improvement of military health a priority.

In the last year, the Health Science Center has announced health care education partnerships with the United States Air Force’s 59th Medical Wing and an expanded medical education relationship with Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

The Health Science Center has 78 actively enrolled veterans across all colleges and has been home to Tillman Scholars for three consecutive years.

Research across the Health Science Center has worked to improve lives through discovery and innovation in numerous areas of military health—from studying the causes of Gulf War Illness, to Public Health research devising ways to purify water for military service members in the field.

“We are extremely proud and thankful for our faculty and staff and the positive influence they have on student veterans across the Health Science Center,” said Carrie Byington, MD, vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, senior vice president of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “We encourage an understanding of the special health needs of military members, veterans and their families, and we celebrate military service as the epitome of Texas A&M’s core value of selfless services.”

— Dominic Hernandez

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