By: Louis Frey
Asst. Features Editor
On Wednesday Feb. 20, Sacred Heart University held the Education of Service colloquium.
The Education of Service presentation was brought about by Professor Marie Hulme.
“This event came about after I had Professor Hulme last semester as a teacher. She saw the contribution that three of the veterans were making in her CIT class and asked me if I had any ideas for a colloquium. That’s how the Education of Service was born,” said Jake Nazza, a senior Sacred Heart student and Air Force veteran.
Other speakers at the colloquium, along with Mazza, were Navy veteran Skirmantas Gomez, and Marine veteran Cody Puricello. They each spoke about important life lessons they learned during their time of service.
The colloquium began with the veterans speaking about their experiences with leadership and discipline. Mazza wanted students to learn the benefits of having veterans on campus. He needed help getting that message across.
“Skirmantes and Cody were both great guys who I believe have better stories than I do since they have had to overcome so much. They also came from different branches of the military which is extremely important to me,” said Mazza.
Gomez said he decided to speak for this event because he likes to represent his veterans and to make sure that the community is aware of veteran issues and things they go through on a daily basis. This way they can have a more rounded knowledge of what veterans go through on a daily basis.
“I strongly urge those of you who shy away from being a leader in certain situations to really just give it a shot. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping out people underneath you when you’re a good leader,” said Puricello.
Gomez taught the lesson of the importance of mental health and looking out for others who may be struggling. He said for those who are showing signs of poor mental health to pay attention to them; even if they’re pushing you away.
“If you have anybody like that, contact them, say hi to them. Regardless of how many times they shut you down because I guarantee you, they are the ones that need the most help,” said Gomez.
The veterans also spoke on the importance on going abroad and learning about other cultures.
“Understanding other cultures makes you appreciate your life a lot more. It makes you appreciate the finer things in life,” said Mazza.
Puricello said he hoped students take a positive message from the colloquium.
Students that attended did just that.
An important aspect sophomore Greg Lynch learned from the colloquium was to “keep pushing. You’ll always get success if you keep trying and working at it.”
Sophomore Bailey Devaney said what she took away from the speakers was how they talked about reaching out to people.
Other students learned from the colloquium that mistakes are a part of learning.
“You never make a mistake in life. You just learn from an experience,” said Pioli.