The Medical Education Campus (MEC) held its annual Veterans Day Reception on November 11 in the Foley Forum. This year, we celebrated Veterans Day by saluting and honoring all the students, faculty and staff who are veterans and service members.
The event was hosted by Senior Veterans Advisor Denise J. Hitzeman, who also served as the mistress of ceremonies. The ceremony started with the national anthem sang by Rachel Palza, a first-year Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program student followed by Provost Anne Loochtan who gave a warm welcome and expressed gratitude to a group of approximately 50 students, faculty, staff, families and surrounding community members in attendance.
The MEC was pleased to be able to share the day with everyone to give thanks and show support for the courage and dedication to the nation. The event included a presentation showcasing pictures of veterans and the family members that served in the armed forces.
Featured keynote remarks presented by Dr. Leon Nicely, retired Coast Guard senior chief petty officer and NOVA adjunct associate professor. Nicely emphasized the importance of three key skills set in life: mission accomplishment, service to others over self, and professional and personal integrity. Other speakers included Allied Health Dean Andy Cornell, Dean of Students Beatrice Veney, Counseling and Support Services Coordinator Kimberly Nicely and Campus Operations Director Marion Devoe.
Rahmad Ishak, NOVA radiography graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, donated three $50 gift cards on behalf of his restaurant Asian Chao, which is based in St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf, Maryland. PTA Program students volunteered in full force with 18 students who willingly supported, honored and helped as they were inspired by the veterans’ presence.
It was a great afternoon to witness camaraderie and a spirit of patriotism. Special thanks to the MEC students, faculty, staff and family members who have served our nation. Their sacrifice is truly appreciated! A distinct thank you to Hitzeman and to Student Life Senior Advisor Patricia Martin-Mattocks for hosting and sponsoring this successful event.