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Changing of the Guard

KCC Veterans Affairs Coordinator retires after 14 years

By Christina Uptain
On September 27, 2018

Former VA rep Vicki Terronez finishes up some work before her retirement. Photo by Jeff Sigmund.

Just over a month has passed since the start of the 2018-2019 school year and Kirkwood Community College has seen a wide range of changes across all points of campus. Included in that list is a new Veterans Affairs Coordinator, which is a position that was previously held for 14 years by Vicki Terronez.  
Former KCC President Mick Starcevich said, “Vicki always went that extra mile and did so with pride... many of our veterans called her ‘Mom’ and it was she who suggested the lounge we constructed eight years ago.”
Scholarship and Alumni Officer Jody Donaldson said, “Vicki has been extremely dedicated to her role and has been a savior to many with her guidance and expertise... she will be greatly missed.”  
As a result, military services, professionals and supporting agencies are allies and resources to Kirkwood’s veterans. “I first met Vicki in 2003 and from that moment she worked tirelessly for hours,” recalled Linn County Veteran Affairs Director Donald Tyne. “There did not seem to be a limit to what she could and would do... she even worked with the Kirkwood Graphics Department to organize a contest for a logo that is still in use today for our annual Five Seasons Stand Down event,” Tyne continued.
As the new coordinator, Ramona Taylor said she is excited to carry on the tradition of excellence and level of caring her mentor built for over a decade.   
“I have some military in my family but somewhat fell into this job and then fell in love with working with veterans,” said Taylor.
“My entire seven years here at Kirkwood has been with Vicki, acting as trusted liaisons for our vets and now I believe I will always do this,” Taylor added.
“I think all veterans have passion, know what they want for the most part, and are very dedicated, and that makes it fun,” Taylor answers when asked what she enjoys the most about her role.
In reference to upcoming plans still in the works as a part of renovations campus wide, Taylor said, “We have been somewhat tucked away in OneStop so once we have our new building and space, we look forward to joining more of the mainstream flow of campus and be more visible in general.”
Taylor said, “I think our veterans are very happy here. We have 350 currently this fall and I think behind DMACC we are the largest in the surrounding area, inclusive of all age groups and military experience.”
She added, “I am really looking forward to taking us electronically into the Hub and social media so we can cater to everyone’s needs and be more accessible.”

 

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