On Oct. 17, members of the Syracuse-area professional community gathered on Syracuse University’s South Campus for a full day of veteran cultural competency training followed by “Theater of War,” an innovative public health project designed to encourage thought and discussion around the impact of war and its challenges faced by military service members, veterans, their caregivers and their families.
Sponsored by the Falk College School of Social Work, “Theater of War” attendees learned best practices for delivering quality, culturally competent care and education for veterans and military families as well as how to acquire and implement the strategies for optimizing their performance and growth. Upon program completion, each participant earned 7.25 credits in evidence-based veteran cultural competence training.
“Trainings like this go a long way in creating more military-friendly communities and workplaces,” says Ken Marfilius, a United States Air Force veteran and professor in the Falk College’s School of Social Work. “The University’s readiness to provide this type of impact program speaks to the institution’s long-standing commitment to the military community and helps those who serve and employ veterans to bridge the military-civilian divide.”
“I know firsthand the power of experiential education,” said Tracy Walker, director of field instruction in the School of Social Work. “This program did a tremendous job engaging learners intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. It caused me to put myself in a soldier’s shoes in a way that I have never done before and it resulted in my deepening respect and compassion for our soldiers.”