Queensborough’s Student Veterans Receive Friends Of Veterans New York Awards

Published: April 25, 2016


Four Queensborough student veterans, Ann Zarate, Derek Floyd, Lianghua Jiang and Hooman Arya, were honored by Friends of Veterans, Inc. for their outstanding academic accomplishments.

“We are extremely proud that many of our students, faculty and staff have served our country as Veterans. Their presence and contribution to the character of our institution is significant. We all recognize the sacrifices they’ve made,” said Dr. Diane B. Call, President of Queensborough Community College.

Ana Zarate, who served in the United States Army, will graduate this spring with an Associate degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Despite her busy schedule as a full-time student and single mom, she has managed to maintain a 3.86 G.P.A. Ana spoke very highly of the personnel at the Office of Military and Veterans Services, particularly with regard to their desire in making student veterans feel a part of the broader campus community: “When I first enrolled at Queensborough my goal was just to graduate, but Mr. Gonzalez made me feel at home and inspired me to connect with other students as well as to challenge myself academically.”  Ana will continue her studies at Queens College and plans to pursue working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Central Intelligence Agency.

Edwin Gonzalez, Queensborough’s Student Life Specialist in the Office of Military and Veterans Services, focused on student veterans as vital resources due to the skills they learned while in the military and the mutual benefits of successful reintegration into the college and local communities: “The diversity of branches of the military as well as successful reintegration can be models to other public institutions as well as local businesses. Providing a meaningful education to those who served our country will ultimately benefit the community.”

Mr. Gonzalez and Vice President of Student Affairs Michele Hodge attended the event along with President Call and Dr. Brian Kerr, Assistant Dean of Student Development. Also present were Mr. Carl J. Gianatiempo, President of the Board, Friends of Veterans New York; Mr. Paul A. Nappi, Board Member; and Mr. Joseph Dubowski, Legal Advisor to the Board Members and Queensborough Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Business department.

The following student veterans were also recognized for their achievements:

Derek Floyd is a Marine Corps Veteran who will graduate this spring with an Associate in Science degree. He majored in Health Sciences and attained a G.P.A. of 3.59. Derek seeks to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing and community/public health at Hunter College.  

Lianghua Jiang is also a Marine Corps Veteran. He will graduate this spring with an Associate in Applied Science degree.  Lianghua majored in Electronic Engineering Technology and attained a 3.540 G.P.A. He will continue his education in electrical engineering at the New York Institute of Technology.

Hooman Arya (Class of 2015) graduated from Queensborough with a 3.96 G.P.A. in Health Sciences. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree at York College with plans to become a physicians’ assistant. In addition to being a full-time student, Hooman is a new dad.

Student Veterans receive support through the Office of Military and Veterans Services. Also, the Queensborough Student Veterans Association Center enables Veterans to help one another with day to day life, on and off campus and provide assistance with admissions, academic advisement, applying for benefits, VA benefits information, VA certification, classroom/instructor concerns, course registration, military deployment and or activation, and outside referrals related to career and health needs. Veterans Services also provides opportunities for student veterans to work at the College as part of the Work-Study Program or as Technology Fee Campus Interns. In addition, the College’s Task Force for Military Transitional Services, established by Dr. Diane B. Call, President, meets at least once a semester to review the needs of our transitioning service members and their families. And, in appreciation for their service, every year around Veterans Day the College honors its military students, faculty and staff with a series of events dedicated to those who served in the United States Armed Forces.

About Friends of Veterans New York
Friends Of Veterans New York is a non-profit organization with the main purpose of helping to end homelessness among the New York Veterans population.  The organization also assists with other projects such as financial aid for veterans’ educational expenses.  Friends of Veterans New York has partnered with Queensborough Community College in creating the Friends of Veterans New York Award.  Four $500 unrestricted cash awards will be awarded annually, provided there are qualified applicants.  Eligible students will be identified by the Coordinator of Military and Veterans Services and will be selected and reviewed by the Academic Senate Awards and Scholarship Committee.


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