Special Veterans Lounge Now Open at SUNY Poly Utica Site

Special Veterans Lounge Now Open at SUNY Poly Utica Site

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 12:24
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For Release:Immediate – September 30, 2015

Contact:       Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations ­

(518) 956-7359 | jgretzinger@sunypoly.edu


Special Veterans Lounge Now Open at SUNY Poly Utica Site

Unique space to provide sanctuary, camaraderie for student veterans and service members

UTICA, NY – SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) today announced a new Veterans lounge is now open to military veterans and active service members pursuing their degrees at SUNY Poly in Utica. Located in Room 1123 of Donovan Hall, the lounge offers students in the armed forces a place to gather, study, exchange information and help each other navigate the transition from military to civilian life.

“SUNY Poly is honored to have members of the armed forces among its student body, and the new Veterans lounge only begins to demonstrate our deep gratitude for the sacrifices they have made on our behalf,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “We hope that that this new space will enhance the campus experience for our student veterans and provide them with new opportunities to connect and communicate with fellow service members.”

“Our veterans give so much of themselves every single day, the least we can do is provide them a space to call their own back here at home,” said Dr. Robert Geer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Spearheaded by our Student Veterans of America Chapter President Lance Tlustos Jr, this is a fine example of the driven, determined individual that is drawn and nurtured here at SUNY Poly. Lance and his organization saw a need on campus and worked tirelessly to fill that need. We are incredibly proud to have him and all our veteran students call SUNY Poly home.”

Being a veteran himself, Tlustos knows first-hand how challenging the transition from military life to civilian and campus life can be. That’s why he founded the Student Veterans Club. After speaking with other veterans on campus, he realized how beneficial it would be for veterans to have a place to gather and share important information pertaining to the G.I. bill, financial aid hurdles, and other veteran’s services in the Utica area.

"We were pleased to identify space that our veteran students, of which we have many, could use to study, collaborate, and relax as they discuss and tackle the unique issues that come with the transition from military service to civilian and college life," said Dr. William Durgin, SUNY Poly provost.  "This is a terrific addition that supports the success of our veteran students."

“The lounge is a meeting place for veterans to exchange information and give advice on how they obtained their benefits,” Tlustos said. “In addition, it provides a space for us to enjoy the camaraderie we shared while in the service.”

Tlustos says this is the first step in a larger commitment to veterans at the SUNY Poly Utica site, noting that he and the Veterans Club are working to obtain a card reader that will provide lounge access to all student veterans. The group is also working with SUNY Poly administration to find innovative and effective ways to expand services to and increase retention and recruitment of student veterans.

The mission of the SUNY Poly Student Veterans Club is to provide assistance to military student veterans, their dependents and members of the Student Veterans of America SUNY Polytechnic Institute chapter in navigating admission enrollment and financial aid processes. The group is committed to ensuring that student veterans successfully make the transition from the military environment to campus life, and are assisted in their progress toward completing their academic degree and beyond to the workforce. The Veterans’ Club also provides opportunities for peer-to-peer support, mentoring and social networking.


SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 4,000 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, and the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester where SUNY Poly also leads the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) at its Utica location and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit www.sunycnse.com and www.sunypoly.edu.