To foster community connections and give back to those who have given their all for our nation, George Mason University’s Military, Veterans and Families Initiative (MVFI) is hosting Military Mondays, a virtual webinar series from Feb. 8 to May 10.
“Our hope is that we could start to bring together the people who are military connected or simply want to support that community,” said MVFI Director Keith Renshaw, adding that this is of particular importance during the pandemic.
The series, which features moderated discussions, presentations and Q&As, will run every second and fourth Monday of the month at 1 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
“Each presentation is going to have a different angle and different information,” Renshaw said, such as maintaining health and wellness during the pandemic, or making a career transition from the military to the civilian sector.
“Each one will have its own flair, but hopefully all of them will have a little bit of that sense of connection and sense of here’s some things you can be doing to support yourself or support those around you who are in this community,” he added.
Renshaw, who first became interested in supporting the military community after a clinical psychology internship at a veterans hospital, said MVFI was born out of work already taking place at Mason.
“As I’d go around campus, I would always be connected with people who were doing something related to military veterans and families, whether it be services, education or research,” he said. “Over time, we started talking about the possibility of trying to bring all these together and that’s what sparked MVFI.”
MVFI allows each center or program to be a source of learning and inspiration for the others, Renshaw said, and to work together to generate new programs and services. It also ensures people can easily find the resources Mason offers for the military-connected community.
“What excites me most is the untapped potential we have to reach and support this population,” Renshaw said, adding that Mason is unique for its location and its large population of military-connected people.
“Mason is dedicated to using its mission as a university to better everyone who it comes into contact with, and that’s what this initiative is about,” Renshaw said. “It’s about trying to tap into that intersection of the unique type of institution that Mason is, and its ability to serve and give back to this population that’s given so much.”