NUSU First in Country to Partner with Military Veteran Family Program


NUSU First in Country to Partner with Military Veteran Family Program

28th August 2017

The Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) and the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) announced their partnership today in an effort to give more assistance to military families and former personnel. Acknowledging the valuable skills and strengths acquired from military training and military family life, while being proactive to the potential challenges that can arise in a university environment during a Veteran or family member’s transition from military to civilian life, the Nipissing University Student Union and the Military Family Resource Centre have forged a partnership.

“It is our hope that members, veterans and families will feel accepted, understood, and valued for their important skills and experiences as they adapt to the university environment. NUSU, the MFRC, and the Veteran Family Program are committed to easing the transition from military to civilian life for members, veterans and their families,” said Tina Thomason, Veteran Family Program Coordinator for the North Bay Military Family Resource Centre.

The Nipissing University Student Union is the first Student Union in Canada to partner with MFRC and their Veteran Family Program.

“We applaud the work that the MFRC does for those who protect our country and the families that support them. It is an honour that we are the first Student Union in Canada to partner with the Military Family Resource Centre, especially the Veteran Family Program” stated NUSU VP Governance and Legal Affairs, Cooper Allen.

With Frosh Week starting tomorrow and engaging over 400 new students, the Student Union had over 60 Frosh Leaders attending the press conference dressed in red in honour of the service personnel of Canada.

Sydney Lamorea, NUSU President stated, “It was a fantastic moment to be able to see so many of our Frosh Leaders stand in support of this partnership. With Frosh Leaders being one of the first groups new students encounter, it is important that former military personnel and family members know that they can speak to our staff, executives and frosh leaders for assistance in their transition.”

MP Anthony Rota, who was unable to attend the press conference, sent a message of congratulations to both parties. “Congratulations to the Nipissing University Student Union and the North Bay Military Family Resource Centre for establishing this exceptional new partnership and helping former service personnel, and the loved ones who stand behind them, reach their post-military educational and career goals.”

To find out more information about the MFRC and Veterans Family Program, please visit For more information about NUSU please visit

Humans Of Nipissing U- Emily Brown

“What generally makes me happy? Uhm kind of just hanging out with friends. Like I don’t feel the need that like we have to talk all the time, like we can just sit in comfortable silence and like… That really, really works. That makes me happy. Yeah! Seriously like the little things like the book store… little things like that.”

Emily Brown

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Where did you learn the most about yourself?

While I was putting dry dishes away, this question came into my mind. I was thinking about the skills I’ve learned in my previous jobs and thought about where I discovered new things about myself the most. My first answer was here, at a university far from home. But it wasn’t necessarily the distance between here and home that made me more independent. It was the belief and goal that I had to create to discover myself, for this chapter of my life is crucial to establishing who I wanted to become.

And though at times I may still be distant to who I want to be and what I want to do, my thoughts always circle around to the pronounced difference of who I was in high school in comparison to who I am now. I have told myself this before, and I will continue to do so for a long time:

I have grown. I have grown in ways I never knew I would. University has given me a reason to go beyond my boundaries and say goodbye to the limitations I set for myself. And I want to continue to reflect about myself. I’ve acknowledged I’ve changed into a person I never thought I could be – a good change; those around me can see it too. And that’s what I strive for every day. To become a better person and to constantly look for inspiration around me to guide myself towards that direction.

I do not want to find comfort in this knowledge I have of myself that I have matured tremendously. For accepting this observation of myself means rejecting my potential. I have yet to find my own potential, and what sets me apart from others. And the only way to do so is to try and do something beyond what I believe I can achieve.

I may not succeed, but for me, there is an abundant amount of joy that accompanies the action of trying.

So thank you, university, for being a place of discoveries. Though I will give my farewell to you soon, I will never forget the beloved people I have met, whom you’ve taken care of under your roof.

And thank you to myself, for your constant reminder of the strive towards improvement and growth.

Mikee Layaoen is a fourth year student in the Psychology program minoring in Human Resources.

Humans of Nipissing U- Adele Orr

“Oh, I’m a hard core fan [of Harry Potter]. Absolutely. [My favourite was] uh, number six. Yeah number six. Unpopular opinion but I think number six was the best one [of the series]. I don’t know, there’s just something about it! It’s got… In my opinion it’s got the most action. People will fight that, but uh, it’s, I don’t know I just really like the book! A lot happens. A lot is revealed in that book. There’s a lot of mystery in that one, a lot of weirdness. Things that you didn’t expect to happen then all of a sudden… You see kind of a darker side to some good characters that you’ve been taught to, not worship but like adore. And then you see a lighter side to some dark characters… It’s my favourite in the series.”

Adele Orr

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Humans of NipissingU- Sayyadah Merali

“There’s one thing I learned last month. I try to make every month a lesson, you know like January, February, March… So last month I learned that don’t expect anything from anyone. If you give someone something, do it with all your heart. For example, I gave someone a gift and the person didn’t say thank you to me. So I told my fiancé that this person didn’t say thank you to me. And he was like, “If you give a person a gift, do it with all your heart. You don’t need to expect to get a thank you from them.” And I was like, that is so true. We often do things and expect them to say something back. Or [for example] if you hold the door for someone, you expect them to say thank you, but if you do it with all your heart, you just wouldn’t care if they said thank you or not. Do it with all your heart as long as it makes you happy, right? So I thought that was an important lesson to learn. Whenever you do something for someone, you always expect them to say something nice or [receive] something in return. It’s not business, it’s kindness.”

Sayyadah Merali

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Humans of Nipissing U- Claire & Meghan

“I have two pet ducks. They don’t run away, we have a little pet-duck house for them. Their names are Peter and Susan.”

“It’s weird I want to get into paediatrics because I do not like children. It’s like I don’t want children, but I love taking care of them. But I do not like babysitting, does that make sense? Like I love caring for the little ones but not in a babysitting sense.”

Claire Rocher and Meghan Brackenridge

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.


Humans of Nipissing U- James

“Namibia [is my favourite country]. I was there to help them get their independence when they broke away from South Africa, so they wanted to have elections. They’ve never had elections before. So, free and fair elections. They set up their government in the same style like the British or Canada’s type of government, where they have a Parliamentary system and oppositions and everything – [they] never had [that] before. You had to go out and collect these people from the middle of nowhere, from way up at the Etosha Pan, the north end of the country or in the southern end of the country. Go to the remote areas and bringing them in so they can literally – they didn’t even have to sign their name – give them a fingerprint or something or say their name, just so they could vote. But, yeah for sure, that country has so much going for it when it comes to prosperity and stuff in the future. If you look it up, I mean they have a desert, they have beaches, they have gold mines, they have diamond mines. They have all these things in this country. It’s such a nation that has been there forever, but used to be called Southwest Africa and they were owned by South Africa. When they broke away, they became their own country. They’re 26 or 27 years old now, you know. 1989. They’re in their infancy when it comes to that. So if you were there to watch the development or the start up or be a part of that, I think that, what else can you ask for, you know what I mean? To be a part of a country that is just starting out. That was the good part of it. And the people are super kind, they’re like so nice. Really good country. I like it.”

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.


Humans of Nipissing U- Cass Battiston

“Over Christmas break, I went to a party with my friends at home and this guy started talking to me. And I started talking about school to him and later that night, my friend pulled me aside and she was like, ‘You realize that guy was hitting on you and you literally just talked to him about your thesis.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, so?’. She’s like, ‘Cass, you’re not gonna get a boyfriend like that.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t want a boyfriend!’ So that’s my life. School. [chuckles]. Karl Marx is my boyfriend.”

Cass Battiston

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Humans of Nipissing U- Maniza Khan

“Challenge yourself. Do something that you’re scared of. It’s so over-said and everything, but it works. If you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t do something that scares you, once at least, you’re not going to change. You’re going to come back the same person. If you want that, that’s cool. But if you go to a different country, you want something exciting.”

Maniza Khan

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Humans of Nipissing U- James Shecapio

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

We thank James for sharing his story.
– Humans of Nipissing University team

Where are you from?

My name is James Shecapio, and I am First Nations Cree from Waswanipi, QC. Northern Quebec. I have been studying for couple of years now. I have 4 diplomas, 3 awards and now I am going for a Business Administration Degree. This is my 3rd year and I have one more year to go. I am planning to be a consultant and probably help our people back home. Most of them get ripped off, they get overcharged, they don’t know where to get resources, they don’t know where to get help and they don’t know how to start a business. So, I just want to help them out. I am actually working on one plan already for a friend of mine who is doing an online business, they are going to be selling handmade purses, bags and keychains, all native made. It’s mostly hand-made sewing merchandise, and they will do bead work as well. Hopefully, the business should be online by next year.

Why did you come to Nipissing University?

“I love educating myself. I never had the opportunity to be recognized as a mature student when I was younger. I started my education from Canadore College, and that’s where I got my 4 diplomas from. I came to Nipissing University to upgrade my knowledge and skills in business. And, I hope to go back home and help my people out. And also, I love meeting new people. I have met a lot of people, some good and some bad. I had my ups and downs academically and also personally. I lost a lot people in my life while getting my education. I also met a lot of great people. Support from family and good friends made a huge difference to continue. Especially, from people that believe in you, with good support, you can go a long way.”

What would you say was the saddest time of your life?

“When I was a student at Canadore College, I encountered a few sad times. I lost both my parents. I had a brother that got murdered. And my common-in-law died of a heart attack. And, that was in a 10 years span. Those were the saddest days that I had to endure while I was in school and it was extremely hard. But, I never gave up because of the circumstances. These were the people that I wanted to make proud. Before they passed away, they encouraged me the most to go to school with a lot of support. As soon as I got my first diploma, I said, I’m going to quit school to take care of my dad. After my dad got sick, he almost died. My late mother told me, “Don’t quit school. Go back. Your dad’s going to be okay.” Then, we lost my brother before my dad died. Nearly, every year, I lost someone dear in my life. First it was my mom, then my brother, then I lost my dad and 9 months later I lost my spouse. I was in college during those days, and those were the saddest times I ever had and I think death is the ultimate challenge we all face when we go to school. We students make a lot of sacrifices, we leave our families, and friends. I think that’s the hardest part, for me. But I’m glad my family always supported me with school and now here I am. I made it to university.”

If your parents were alive, is there something you would want to say to them?

“One of the biggest sacrifices that every student has to make is leaving their parents, and their siblings. Some people who are older like me, had to leave my kids and grandkids. When I first told my parents I was going to school, they weren’t very happy about it. Until they found out I was doing very well with my life, because coming back to school changed my life. It gave me more opportunities, I met a lot of people, and I thank my late mother because she was the first one that encouraged me to go back to school, when, I wanted to stay home and take care of my dad. I thank her for that, for giving me the love and encouragement.

Pardon me if this is too personal, how long were you in residential schools for?

“Nine years. Nine years straight. Never went home. Never went home for Christmas, never went home for Easter. If you guys want, you can add this… I had to endure all the abuses. Every abuse. I lived through that. I even have scars. This scar… [points to his forehead] I got pushed into a wall for not snitching on my friends that were running around the hallways, just having fun. I didn’t know who was running around the hallways, and the counsellor banged my head on the wall for not speaking. My hands here… [shows us his palms] See the scars? These are straps for talking my language. I got strapped for talking my language and these are the scars I had from them. And every time we accidentally spoke our language, we got strapped. And also, um, these two scars right here… [shows us his arm] I got pushed through a window because I didn’t make my bed right, all because, there was a lump on my bed and I got pushed through a window. And this scar here… [shows us his other arm] the cigar burn? For losing a hockey game.

Photos by ©Isaac Bender



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