GGU student Otilia Alas
April 2, 2024 |

Diller Center Helps Student Veteran Soar to Success

Otilia Alas

GGU student Otilia Alas spoke at the Diller Center Ribbon Cutting Event held on Wednesday, February 7th. Below are her edited remarks about her experience at GGU. 

After serving in the Army for 14 years and wearing various hats as a logistics specialist, truck driver, and military police officer I made the difficult decision to leave the military in 2020. In 2021, I started searching for an educational program that would enhance my business degree, however, the number one thing I wanted was veteran inclusivity. I wanted to sit in classrooms where I wasn’t the only veteran, and that’s why I chose GGU. I remember my VA counselor mentioning that GGU had a strong veteran presence. A place where the focus is placed on working professionals.  

Gaining admission into a graduate program was not something I had considered, but before I knew it, I was on the phone with a Diller Center onboarding coach who assisted me every step of the way. The onboarding coach ensured me that I had the resources and information I needed to begin my education at GGU. I knew right away that I wanted to help other veterans like me. Shortly after finding my footing at GGU, I applied to serve as a Student Veteran Ambassador and interviewed with Military Student Success Manager Marlena Blackman. One of my biggest highlights at GGU has been answering questions from other veterans. I have also had the privilege of working alongside other Veteran Ambassadors who understand how important it is to be a resource for prospective and current students. I enjoy representing the Diller Center during Welcome and Campus Week and putting faces to names of those we have helped. 

Last spring, I graduated with a master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology. The courses were so invigorating that it led me to pursue a second degree at GGU where I could work with veterans in a different capacity. Before my last term ended, I was accepted into the counseling psychology program. Through this degree program, I have been provided resources and assistance to secure an internship in the field that will lead to a licensure in marriage and family therapy. The counseling psychology program is not an easy road, and GGU makes sure they provide you with the information you need to be successful. That is why there was no question in my mind that GGU is where I wanted to continue this career path. 

After completing the counseling psychology program, I hope to work in the Bay Area as a therapist and support those around me, specifically working with veterans and their families.  

 GGU has given me a space to work with other veterans in the cohort and help prospective veterans with questions. The Diller Center, a one-stop shop for veterans, is such a crucial part of our success. I could not have been this successful in my educational career at GGU if not for the helpful team at the Diller Center.  

I am always encouraging soldiers with whom I served to continue their education with GGU, as well as current student veterans to visit the Helen Diller Center and attend our events.  

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