By Andrea Vasquez

Eugene Bernard accepts his College Service Award from San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College.

If you walk into any of the campus veteran centers, chances are you’ll run into Eugene Bernard. As the San Jacinto College Veteran Services District Manager, Bernard ensures that the College’s veteran students and dependents have all of the services and resources they need to successfully complete their higher education credential and transfer their military service and educational experiences to the workforce or a four-year degree program.

Bernard’s journey began as a student at the College in 2004 right after graduating high school. Despite working three jobs and taking on a full-time college course load, he quickly saw the benefits of attending San Jacinto College. “When I compared my experience to those of my friends’ who were attending universities, I knew the advantages I had by attending the College,” he said. “Affordable tuition smaller class sizes and multiple parts of term allowed me expedite my time in school.”

One of his jobs was working as a part-time student assistant at the College. “My role with the College never felt like work. It was as if my role was an extension of myself. I thoroughly enjoyed working with other students and knowing that our actions would make a lasting impact on their lives. We strive to provide the highest quality student experience at San Jacinto College.”

In addition, Bernard says that after 13 years as a College employee, both his student and professional experiences have prepared him for his role as the veteran services district manager. “I know what it feels like to be a new student navigating through the enrollment and registration process and the struggles of attending classes while working full-time. I also understand what it takes for our staff, faculty and administrators to assist students on their pathways to success. I can see processes and policies from various perspectives which allows me to help our administration see things from the student angle and help our students understand the College’s core values, vision and our drive to eliminate barriers that impede their success. The more people we have building those bridges, the greater impact we’ll have on tomorrow’s leaders.”