Veterans and the SOU Community

(Ashland, Ore.) — On Veterans Day, some pertinent notes about veterans and Southern Oregon University:

  • SOU’s Veterans Resource Office will host a Veterans Day Reception at noon today in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union. Speakers will include SOU President Linda Schott.
  • A total of 247 of the 6,200 students at SOU this term are military-affiliated – primarily, either veterans or dependents who are eligible to receive veterans’ benefits. About 30 of them serve as cadets in SOU’s Army ROTC program. SOU also has a robust Military Science Program, which offers about 10 courses and serves in the neighborhood of 150 students per term.
  • Innovative Educators, a Colorado firm that supports academic and professional growth in higher education, honored four veteran students from around the U.S. in its online newsletter this week. Two of them – veteran U.S. Marine Corps infantryman Justin Jones and veteran U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chris Vorgang – are SOU students.

Here is what Innovative Educators said about Jones and Vorgang:
Justin Jones, Southern Oregon University 
Justin Jones is currently enrolled as a full time student at Southern Oregon University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Prior to this venture, Justin served as an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Serving for a single enlistment, Justin received an honorable discharge after 4 years active duty. Currently, Justin is employed at the Veterans Resource Office at SOU where he assists fellow veterans in utilizing VA educational benefits. Future aspirations include attending graduate school at Portland State University with the desired goal of employment within the finance sector of the automotive industry. Justin also has a strong passion for flight and is hoping to earn his pilot’s license in the near future. In his free time, Justin enjoys long walks with his German Shepherd, Mattis.
Chris Vorgang, Southern Oregon University
Chris Vorgang was born in Anaheim, CA in 1983, but was raised in Medford, OR most of his life. After dropping out of college in 2004, Chris joined the Army and was trained as an Intelligence Analyst. He deployed twice to Iraq and implemented his training to triangulate cell phones. Chris spent the last three years of his eight-year enlistment in the Army at the Defense Intelligence Agency in D.C. as an Iraqi Security Forces Analyst contributing to the President’s Daily Brief. In 2011 he met his stunningly beautiful wife, Jill. After his military service, Jill followed him back to Medford where they began raising their daughter Scarlett, and three years later their son Ivan. Realizing he wanted to contribute to the Social Work field, he quit his job and returned to Southern Oregon University to finish his degree in Psychology and started working at the Veterans Resource Office (VRO) on campus. After his deployments he tended to avoid social situations and kept to himself. Fortunately, he started hanging out at the VRO more and more. It felt great to be around like-minded individuals that could understand how difficult the transition to civilian life can be. He now manages the VRO, and is able to certify student Veterans who want to pursue their educational goals. He realized that supporting Veterans was a passion of his. Chris is almost done with his Psychology degree, and is planning to attend Portland State University to pursue Social Work.
About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit

SOU ROTC Program Tops Nation in Guard Scholarships

rotc-gold (1)(Ashland, Ore.) –National Guard Officer Strength Management in Washington, DC has named the ROTC GOLD program at Southern Oregon University top program for Guard and Reserve scholarship awards.  ROTC programs at more than 140 colleges and universities offer Guard and Reserve scholarships- SOU has surpassed all in “Citizen Soldier” scholarship offers.
SOU has eleven cadets with scholarship awards in the year 2013 group, the most of any college participating.
“I would like to thank President Mary Cullinan and SOU for making this possible,” says Lt. Col. Keith Ensley, the head of SOU’s ROTC program. “This is a tremendous achievement and will increase our national visibility.” As a result of the award, the SOU cadre will be featured in an upcoming issue of Guard Experience, the National Guard magazine.
A year ago Army ROTC awarded three SOU students the first ROTC scholarships at SOU in more than 20 years. ROTC was discontinued at SOU in the early 1990s due to the Army’s reduction in forces.
SOU now has the only ROTC program between Sacramento and Eugene.
Most ROTC scholarships available at SOU are full tuition, three-year scholarships worth more than $18,000 per year.
ROTC is the U.S. Army officer program available through the Military Science program at SOU. Enrollment requires a military service obligation – in the active Army, National Guard, or Army Reserve. ROTC is not an undergraduate degree program; it is a program that runs parallel to a student’s academic major.  Every student enrolled in ROTC receives a minimum college scholarship starting at $5,000 per year.
ROTC students training to become Army officers also take courses in other subjects such as political science, history, and philosophy. These courses help to broaden their understanding and prepare them to be better officers.