NEWS RELEASE: Pace University College of Health Professions Receives Veterans’ Grant

NEWS RELEASE: Pace University College of Health Professions Receives Veterans’ Grant

Pace University College of Health Professions Receives Veterans’ Grant

NEW YORK, NY, September 12, 2012 – Pace University’s College of Health Professions has been awarded a grant of $60,000 from the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women to provide scholarships to female veterans or female dependents of veterans. The scholarships of up to $10,000 per year are available for the next two years to qualifying students in the Combined Degree program, the undergraduate RN-4 program (junior and senior years), the Family Nurse Practitioner program, and the Physician Assistant program.

The first scholarship awardee at Pace is US Army veteran Casmin Bennett, a student in the Combined Degree Program, a 12-month accelerated nursing baccalaureate program for career changers.

Bennett says, “I grew up in Jamaica and came to the U.S. in 2000. I did not always want to be a nurse, but on deployment to Iraq, I had an epiphany. I can still vividly remember telling my sergeant that when it was over, I would return home and do something meaningful with my life. I came home and I have been working toward this goal ever since. The foundation’s scholarship will greatly alleviate the financial burden of paying for my nursing degree.”

Robert Rahni, Veteran Specialist and adjunct professor at Pace said, “Casmin Bennett has honorably served our nation. The funds from the foundation’s Veterans Grant with the Pace 50% Veterans Scholarship and her well-deserved GI Bill benefits will enable her to complete the nursing program expeditiously.”

“Thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women, this is the first grant that is available to both nursing and physician assistant students, and the first grant specifically for female veterans and their dependents at Pace,” said Sophie Kaufman, executive director of the Center of Excellence – ALPS (Advancing Leadership, Partnerships, and Scholarship) at Pace’s College of Health Professions.

“The Lienhard School of Nursing has a history of commitment to helping veterans,” said Gerrie Colombraro, PhD, RN, interim dean of the College of Health Professions. “In 2009, Lienhard was one of the few nursing schools to participate in the Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy, a partnership to increase nursing faculty and students and enhance the professional development of VA nurses.”

In addition, Lienhard was one of 20 nursing schools nationwide to be invited to an event earlier this year with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden as part of the Joining Forces initiative to educate nursing students on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury.

Veteran-turned-actor Matthew Pennington spoke to Pace nursing and physician assistant students in the spring about his experiences with PTSD, highlighted in A Marine’s Guide to Fishing – a short film in which he stars.

“During clinical rotations Pace students are very adept at sorting out the medical conditions of their patients at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Hospital but are sometimes uncertain as how to approach patients with PTSD and substance abuse issues,” said nursing professor Joanne Knoesel, RN. “Hearing from a vet with PTSD provided them with better insight on how to help these patients.”

In addition to the new scholarship, Pace offers other scholarships for veterans and was selected by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School for 2012, an honor awarded to only 15% of all colleges, universities, and trade schools nationwide.

Pace offers a Veterans Scholarship which can cover half of a student’s tuition (in fall and spring semesters) for full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.  Additionally, admitted veterans are eligible to receive need-based financial aid from Pace as well as benefits offered by the GI Bill. Veteran students may be eligible to receive full coverage of tuition through Pace’s Yellow Ribbon Program. Pace University also provides application fee waivers to all veteran applicants.

According to Rahni, “The Veteran Affairs team at Pace is committed to ensuring that veteran students’ transitions are seamless.”

Students who wish to apply for the scholarship can contact Sophie Kaufman ( or Robert Rahni, Pace Veteran Specialist (

About The Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW):  The Jewish Foundation for Education of Women is a New York City-based, nonsectarian organization helping women with financial need meet their education and career goals through scholarships and opportunities for professional development. In partnership with schools and nonprofits, JFEW fosters a community of women dedicated to education, professional achievement and who contribute to society.

About the College of Health Professions: Pace’s College of Health Professions is made up of the Lienhard School of Nursing and the Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital Physician Assistant Studies program. Students at the College learn evidence-based care, cultural competence and primary health care in an interprofessional setting in programs preparing them to be family nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, registered nurses and clinical leaders.

About Pace University For over 100 years, Pace has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Media Contact: Cara Cea,, 914-906-9680.

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One Response to “NEWS RELEASE: Pace University College of Health Professions Receives Veterans’ Grant”

  1. As a proud service-member of the United States Armed Forces it makes me smile to know there are dedicated individuals at Pace University that are determined and committed in catering to me by securing the above Grant for veterans like me!

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