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Unique U of G program helps soldiers succeed in school

A unique program at the University of Guelph is helping young soldiers balance their military and academic duties.

The Serving Scholars program provides special academic accommodations to students who are enlisted in the reserves to help them manage the challenges of juggling their commitments.

“It goes beyond an academic accommodation. It helps integrate the serving scholars in our university community,” said John Walsh, an arts professor who helped found the program in 2020.

Soldier are honoured at University of Guelph Homecoming this past weekend. (Submitted)

There are roughly 35 students in the Serving Scholars program, including Guelph Gryphons football player Seamus Milligan.

“I wouldn't be able to get all done if I didn't have the Serving Scholars program,” said Milligan.

The third-year student is a sociology major, defensive end with the varsity football team and a member of the army reserves.

“I'm currently in the middle of getting my trade qualification for being a gunner,” he said.

Fourth-year student Dana Lewis is majoring in English while serving as a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Artillery.

“I command a team of nine people to ensure the gun runs effectively,” Lewis explained.

Sgt. Dana Lewis is majoring in English at University of Guelph. (Submitted)

She is being deployed to the west coast for five months and will use her skills to make the mountains safer.

“We use the howitzers [artillery weapons] to create controlled avalanches to prevent dangerous avalanches from occurring,” she said.

The university is accommodating Lewis’ military duties so she doesn’t have to choose between school and service.

“I'll be taking a break from school, which the Serving Scholars program will allow me to do without any repercussions,” said Lewis.

Both Lewis and Milligan plan to pursue a full-time career in the military after graduation. Top Stories

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