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From left: Dr. Keith Kirkland, Thishin Jackson and Shawn Yearwood
Essex County College’s Veterans Service Group is off to a good start, having only been established in October of 2021 with a handful of members by Business Administration major Thishin Jackson. The group was recently chartered a National Veterans Honor Society by the organization SALUTE (Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute, Excellence).
“We have veterans performing outstanding academically at the College,” said Thishin, a Newark resident. He stated that while the group is similar to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (of which he is a member with a 4.0 grade point average), it is specifically to acknowledge veterans for exceptional academic performance.
Thishin said he is unaware of any similar two-year college chapters in the area. “My goal is to give veterans the opportunity to stand out and be recognized for their outstanding achievement.”
He explained that SALUTE is an excellent vehicle for providing veterans with scholarships, networking and referral opportunities. “It’s important for veterans to have a strong support system,” he added.
Thishin is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, which included two tours of Afghanistan.
SALUTE was formed in 2009 by the Colorado State University Veterans Office through a grant by the American Council of Education and Wal-Mart Foundation.
Membership into the National Veterans Honor Society is based on a veteran’s grade point average. It’s broken into four tiers: Alpha (3.75-4.0); Bravo (3.50-3.74); Charlie (3.25-3.49), and Delta (3.24-3.0).
“It’s the responsibility of all Americans to ensure that veterans are welcomed back home by providing them needed support. ECC is providing that support through our education programs, enabling veterans to advance academically,” said Veterans Service Group Advisor Shawn Yearwood, advisor/mentor in the Business Division.
The Veterans Service Group is a great way for the College to show support to those who have served. I want to thank Thishin for all he has done, and I’m confident the group will continue to grow and flourish,” said Dr. Keith Kirkland, Dean of Student Affairs.
Thishin is graduating this Spring from ECC and is looking to transfer to the Rutgers University-Newark School of Business. But he promised, upon graduation, to help in any way he can the ECC Veterans Service Group.