NYU has embarked on a university-wide effort to make the often-complicated transition from military to civilian life as seamless as possible. Explore how NYU (including NYU CUSP) is empowering our Veterans to become students and exceptional graduates. Featured by New York University.

What do you do after you’ve served your country, saved the lives of fellow soldiers, and performed humanitarian work abroad? For Mary Nadolny (CGPH ’18), it was time to plan her civilian life, which meant “going through a graduate program for the pure joy of education,” she says. Having spent 29 years as a naval officer and nurse anesthetist in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other places, Nadolny is now pursuing a double master’s in public administration and public health at the College of Global Public Health.

Mitchell Day (LAW ’18), a law student and former field artillery officer, was inspired to continue his education during his tour of duty overseas. “While in Afghanistan, I began to understand some of the implications of the law and its implementation through the use of force,” he says. “I realized how important the rule of law is. Law school was a natural progression after that.”

For others, completing their time in the military is an opportunity to undertake the undergraduate study they postponed. But they may face obstacles. “A veteran is older than your typical freshman, so it sets them apart,” says Nadolny, who is also president of the NYU Military Alliance, which connects and supports students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are former or current military personnel, as well as their dependents. Their otherness isn’t measured merely in years. “They have had life challenges,” Nadolny says. “Some have been deployed in combat or out to sea on a submarine or on an aircraft in a no-fly zone. They’re different human beings than [most] freshmen.”