Elijah Gartin has found a place where he can serve, learn and work
|Army Spc. Elijah Gartin|
Among the nearly 23,000 students at Metropolitan State University of Denver are roughly 1,000 who share a common experience: Their service to the country as members of the armed forces.
Army Spc. Elijah Gartin is one of those thriving in MSU Denver’s diverse and welcoming environment, balancing Army Reserves service, taking classes for a Computer Information Systems degree and launching his own IT solutions company. He even manages to toss in a little club baseball.
Gartin — who serves as an intelligence analyst in the 1st Space Brigade at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. — joined the Army Reserves a year out of high school. He enrolled at MSU Denver in 2009 on the GI Bill and says MSU Denver has helped him balance his military service and classroom commitments.
Internships, which Gartin found through MSU Denver, have helped him gain leadership experience as well as help him start his IT business: Thunder Rock.
“The biggest thing that’s helped in me in school is building a network,” says Gartin. “This past summer, I did three internships, and that’s what sparked me to register my business and get going. I realized how much market share there was to go and grab.”
MSU Denver also allowed Gartin, a native of Parker, Colo., to transfer credits from his Army intelligence classes, meaning he’ll graduate with an associate’s degree in intelligence operations.
Military Times ranks Metropolitan State University of Denver 52nd out of more than 4,000 colleges and universities for its programs, policies and resources for veterans, and Military Advanced Education put the University on its list of “Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities.”
MSU Denver resources for vets include an active student veterans group and a Veterans Upward Bound program that provides fresher training through a core curriculum of subjects that prepare service members for college.
Last summer, the University piloted a veteran-specific orientation program for incoming students and intends to make it permanent, and the University is interviewing now for a veteran and military student-support specialist, a temporary position lasting at least a year.
Recognizing the contributions of veterans and offering them support, “is the right thing do to,” says Braelin Pantel, associate dean for student engagement and wellness. “As with all students we want to help them be successful and graduate.”