November 11, 2021
Dear UT Community,
First and foremost, I am proud this week to stand by our veterans and thank them for their service and sacrifice. I’m also proud to announce that according to U.S. News & World Report, UT Austin has been ranked the state’s No. 1 university for veterans. Providing world-class teaching and mentoring resources to service members is a top priority on the Forty Acres, and this recognition underscores our continued commitment to supporting student veterans and their families. In addition to expressing gratitude and celebrating our impact in serving veterans, I am also writing today to let you know about some innovative mentoring programs in this area and how you can get involved and help.
Mentoring is a key aspect of any effective support structure for students. Knowing this, UT has found many ways to provide mentors to veterans and their families. First, Veteran and Military Affiliated Services in the Office of the Dean of Students provides mentoring and other support services to student veterans across campus. Other programs, such as the “Coach UT” program overseen by Texas Lead, are also actively used by student veterans. Furthermore, UT’s Institute for Military and Veteran Family Wellness — a collaboration between Dell Medical School and the Steve Hicks School of Social Work that is led by Dr. Elisa Borah — is launching a new program to support the needs of spouses and partners of veterans. In partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ own ETS Sponsorship Program, it will focus on military families transitioning away from active service. Both programs are currently seeking volunteers for mentorship roles. You can learn more about all these services and how you can engage with them and the entire veteran community on campus by visiting our new military and veterans’ portal.
Finally, I’m proud to announce a new partnership dedicated to helping veterans transition from military service to private sector employment through one-on-one mentorship opportunities. As we commemorate Veterans Day, I ask our staff and faculty, in particular, to consider mentoring a veteran through our new collaboration with American Corporate Partners (ACP), a national nonprofit organization. By volunteering your time with ACP, you can connect a service member with your knowledge, expertise and network. For veterans, such interactions can make the difference between just landing a job and building a long-term career.
The UT System is currently the only public university system in the country participating in ACP’s mentoring program. More than 20,000 veterans have completed successful mentorships, helping them attain professional growth and employment. ACP mentors and enrolled veterans are paired for one year. Each pair is encouraged to visit at least once a month — in person or virtually — to discuss educational opportunities, résumé and interview preparation, networking and other topics. Throughout the year, an ACP staff member will check in regularly to assist and support. You don’t need to be a veteran to be a mentor — in fact, only a fourth of mentors are veterans. You just need to be someone who wants to give back to our service members.
Through this partnership, UT students, staff and faculty can have a meaningful impact on the lives of our veterans. To sign up as a University of Texas/ACP mentor, please visit https://apply.acp-usa.org/#/mentor and use the University of Texas access code UTACP. After you apply, an ACP staff member will be in touch with you regarding next steps. For more information, please contact Meera Shah at email@example.com.
The University of Texas is a world-class partner and destination for our military, veterans and their families. I hope you will consider these opportunities — and ones that are still to come — as we move forward. Mentoring service members is rewarding and engaging. It’s also a powerful way we can serve those who have served us so well.