Lori Skarka, assistant office manager, emphasized the relational aspect of the new space. She wants military students to connect with the campus and with each other.
“It’s a place where these students can build camaraderie, meet people with similar experiences and feel included in the UNK community,” said Skarka, who serves as a point of contact and “another mother” for d countless UNK students.
“I hope they start here and then branch out and get involved in other activities and organizations in the UNK and Kearney communities,” she added.
Skarka, whose son Kellen is a major in the US Marine Corps, has worked at UNK for 20 years, the last six of them in his current role.
“It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” she says. “It really is.”
About 200 military-affiliated students currently attend UNK, which is ranked 15th among Midwestern regional universities on US News and World Report’s “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.
The Military and Veteran Student Center is also supported by the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, which provides opportunities for military students to pursue nursing careers through its Kearney Division.