Daniel Hackley is a senior graduating in December who is originally from Stockton, California. He is majoring in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. He is also a military veteran who has been active on campus in many capacities, holds a full-time job and is also a parent.
In the New Student Veterans Orientation – Transfer Student Orientation, I welcomed military members, veterans, military dependents and their families, offering resources and a list of military/veteran-specific services that might assist in their transition as well as their time here at NC State.
With the Student Veterans Association, I served as the organization’s financial manager. We raised over $10,000 towards providing disabled veterans with service dogs at no cost to the veteran. I previously served as the organization’s resources and communication officer, advocating for student veterans in higher education, and as a panelist and guest speaker at the 2015 NC Strive Conference, North Carolina’s first statewide conference sharing best practices to better serve our nation’s veterans, service members, and their family members seeking higher education. I have worked toward ensuring military- and veteran-affiliated students receive the resources, services and advocacy needed to succeed in their college career.
As a volunteer coordinator in 2013, and then as race director in 2014 of NC State’s “Run, Walk & Roll” with Veterans 5K, the events successfully raised funds in support of disabled veterans, while providing awareness of physical and invisible wounds many veterans face, and increased community involvement and support towards NC State’s military and veteran population.
As a Military Affairs Commission member representing NC State’s Student Veteran population, I assisted by providing insights into challenges and experienced veterans face at NC State. I also served on the DASA Strategic Plan Implementation Team 3A, focused on establishing military and veteran-related programs, services and resources at NC State.
What advice would you have for other NC State students who are also veterans?
If nothing else, make a connection with the university’s Student Veterans Association. We have an eager and active group that is constantly looking to support one another.
There are so many programs, resources and services our student veterans are unaware of, from financial aid and employment opportunities, to various career networking groups, health benefits, education support programs and social events. Many times, our student veterans don’t find out about these until they are about to graduate. It’s also important that we never shy away from our experiences — be proud of them — it’s what makes us as one the most successful, diverse groups.
Why do you feel a diverse student body is important at NC State?
Diversity is what leads innovation, enhances social development, grows our knowledge base and enhances our self-awareness. For many students, college is their first experience of true diversity. A strong academic culture and environment expand all of our capacities to excel; from the instructor to the student, to the staff, we are constantly learning from one another, enriching not only our own perspectives, but the university’s as a whole.