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Jay Breneman appointed coordinator of Edinboro University’s Veterans Success Center

07/30/2013

As part of Edinboro University’s long-standing commitment to veterans, the University founded its Veterans Success Center late in 2012 to better serve returning soldiers as they transition to civilian life and seek out a higher education. In an effort to continue providing the best possible service to student veterans, the University has appointed Jay Breneman as the Center’s new coordinator.

Breneman comes to Edinboro from his previous position as the Veterans Outreach and Admissions Coordinator for Mercyhurst University. “I am truly excited for the opportunity to serve as the new coordinator for Edinboro University's Veterans Success Center,” Breneman said of his new position. “It is such a rich and rewarding experience to work with other veterans, and I am eager to hit the ground running.”

In his position, Breneman will work to ensure the academic engagement and success of Edinboro’s student veterans as well as providing them access to community and veteran resources. He also will work on their behalf with the broader campus community to increase recognition of student veterans with faculty, staff and their fellow students.

A U.S. Army veteran whose six years of service included two combat tours in Iraq as well as a tour near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in South Korea, Breneman knows firsthand just how difficult the transition to civilian life can be. He said he is looking forward to helping his fellow servicemen advance their educations at Edinboro.

“Pursuing an academic career is an important and life-changing experience for so many, particularly for our men and women in uniform and those returning home from service,” said Breneman. “It is evident that Edinboro University recognizes our student veterans as true assets for our classrooms and our community. The Veterans Success Center will be that bridge to enhance our relationship with our student veterans, to learn from them, and to provide the kind of supportive environment reflective of a tight-knit military unit.”

Immediately following his Honorable Discharge in early 2009 at the rank of Staff Sergeant, Breneman enrolled at Mercyhurst University, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in just two years. One year later, he earned a Master of Science in Social Administration specializing in Community and Social Development from Case Western Reserve University.

Breneman, his wife, Jamie, and their 1-year-old son, Elijah, live in Erie. Active in his community and dedicated to the call to service he felt as a soldier, Breneman is the Democratic nominee for Erie County Council’s 4th District, which comprises the city of Erie’s southeast side, Millcreek Township's Belle Valley and Wesleyville Borough west. He is very active as a volunteer for multiple local veterans groups.

“Edinboro University is excited to have an accomplished Veterans Success Coordinator join the Student Affairs team,” said Dr. Kahan Sablo, Vice President for Student Affairs. “Mr. Breneman's experience as a veteran, licensed social worker and seasoned veterans benefits administrator will allow him to provide exemplary, comprehensive support and assistance to our students who have bravely served our country through military service. Mr. Breneman's leadership will play a critical role in the University's strategic goal to increase the number of veterans pursuing degrees at Edinboro, enhance veteran services and provide them an excellent education.”

The mission of Edinboro’s Veterans Success Center, which is located in the Crawford Center, is to provide military veterans, current service members and their dependents with access to an affordable, high-quality education and comprehensive support services to meet the individualized and diverse needs of student veterans.