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Joaquin Martinez


​Role: Peer Sponsor

Branch: Air Force

Academic Program: B.A. in Security and Intelligence with a minor in Andean & Amazonian Studies

Hometown: Chickasha, Oklahoma

Reason for Choosing Ohio State: "I grew up watching the Buckeyes with my uncle and remained a fan since. After separating from the military, I got my chance to attend my favorite school. The veteran community also made it an easy choice."  

Biggest Tip for New/Transitioning Students: "School should be your number one priority but definitely make friends who you can enjoy your down time with. Ask for help, utilize the tutoring resources, and other resources the campus has to offer. They are here for the student." 

Most Influential Experience at Ohio State: "Attending Vets4Vets events, military appreciation nights, the Office of Military and Veterans Services events, and other school events. The school takes great care of their student-veterans, and students in general. Being able to attend various events allows for greater awareness amongst our student-veterans and endless opportunities that can be used to keep you on a successful path." 

Most Useful Campus Resource: "Tutoring services, the Veteran's Lounge, and Thompson Library."

Favorite Thing to Do In Columbus: "Anything outdoors, the bike trails, the kayak river floats, golfing, attending all kinds of festivals around Columbus, or any sporting events"

Hannah Rodas


​Role: Peer Sponsor

Branch: United States Air Force

Academic Program:  B.S. Human Development and Family Sciences with a Minor in Studio Art

Hometown: Midland, MI

Reason for Choosing Ohio State: "Ohio State was the right fit as it allowed me to stay close to family while I transitioned into life outside of the military. I wasn't sure what to expect as OSU is the largest school I've ever attended, but I'm so glad I went this route as it has been an incredibly positive experience!"

Biggest Tip for New/Transitioning Students: "Here at Ohio State we have a wonderfully diverse and resourceful community of veterans who will go above and beyond to help their peers. I urge incoming students to take the time to get to know other members of their community and to take part in our various campus events."

Most Influential Experience at Ohio State: "Despite having grown up in that "state up north" I've found that OSU students are very welcoming. During my first semester I was approached by another student who had never met me before, but she later introduced me to her her friends and mentors who eagerly helped me deal with stressful issues as I transitioned into this new, full-time student life. As a result of that random meeting, I am now a certified Veteran Facilitator for Project Welcome Home Troops and I have the privilege of working with and helping my fellow veterans and their families as they learn how to cope with their own life stressors." 

Most Useful Campus Resource:​ "I highly recommend acquainting yourself with the Office of Student Life Disability Services. Even if you are not disabled they are a great resource to student veterans and will gladly make accommodations for you should you find yourself in need of help with transportation between classes after surgery or an injury, or testing services if you are coping with anxiety." 

Favorite Thing to Do in Columbus: "Columbus offers a wonderful arts and music scene, there are concerts and art shows every weekend for every taste! I like to spend my free time at the Buckeye Ceramics Supply Studio and I also enjoy attending film screenings and shadow cast shows at the Studio 35 Cinema near campus." 

Josh Rowan


​Role: Peer Sponsor

Branch: Army

Academic Program: B.S. in Business Administration (Finance Specialization)

Hometown: Findlay, Ohio

Reason for Choosing Ohio State: "Growing up in Ohio I had dreamed about attending OSU, back then I newer knew that would be possible. So when I transitioned from military to civilian life I knew I wanted to be a Buckeye, and it helps that OSU absolutely loves there Veterans."

Biggest Tip for New/Transitioning Students: "Get Involved, I know everyone says that but it is true. Join some clubs or meet new people, find others that have similar interests. OSU has many opportunities so get out of your comfort zone and try new things!"

Most Influential Experience at Ohio State: "Being apart of a diverse group of clubs around campus. Vets4Vets is one of my favorite groups to be apart of because of the experiences and the fun I have had with this group of Vets. I am also apart of a business fraternity which has helped me adapt to the business world and to broaden my network."

Most Useful Resource on Campus: "The Veterans Lounge, it is a great place to relax or study in-between classes."

Favorite Thing to Do In Columbus: "Explore! Try new places, attend some of the veteran events at some of the local sports arenas. My favorite would have to be the Short North area, I've been here for 2 years and haven't covered half of the strip."

Codie Rufener


​Role: Lead Peer Sponsor

Branch: Air Force

Academic Program: B.A. in Security and Intelligence with a minor in German; B.S. in Neuroscience

Hometown: East Liverpool, Ohio

Reason for Choosing Ohio State: "I grew up in Ohio, and a lot of my family went to OSU. I felt like a lot of people who grew up in Ohio desired to get into OSU. Their veteran services are also one of the best in the country."

Biggest Tip for New/Transitioning Students: "Get involved in the school outside of class. There are clubs and activities for everything and a lot of them are free or cost very little."

Most Influential Experience at Ohio State: "The 2016 Veteran Caving Trop put on by OSU."

Most Useful Campus Resource:​ "The rec sports facilities."

Favorite thing to do in Columbus: "My favorite thing to do is exploring the diverse food selection in Columbus. Everything from Condados tacos to Bareburger."​

Jeffrey Simko


Role: Peer Sponsor

Branch: ​Marines​

Academic Program: B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering with a minor in Nuclear Engineering

Hometown: Medina, OH

Reason for Choosing Ohio State: "Becoming a Buckeye was always a dream of mine, growing up we never missed a football game."

Biggest Tip for New/Transitioning Students: "The biggest tip that I can give someone who is new or transitioning is to seek help the moment you think you need help in a subject, go to office hours and tutoring services."

Most Influential Experience at Ohio State: "The most influential experience I've had at Ohio State has been the Veteran Tailgates because it gave me the opportunity to connect with other veterans."

Most Useful Campus Resource:​​​ "I have used tutoring services the most out of any resource available to me."

Favorite thing to do in Columbus: ​"Going to different concerts in the area; some of the best times that I have had have been at the Newport or Rock on the Range."

Charles Vincent-Barr


Role: Peer Sponsor

Branch: ​Navy​

Academic Program: B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Petroleum Engineering

Hometown: Wytheville, VA

Reason for Choosing Ohio State: "Offered a minor in Petroleum engineering within the Chemical Engineering Program."

Biggest Tip for New/Transitioning Students: Do not be afraid to ask your professors or TAs for help; they're there to help you succeed as long as you're willing to put forth the effort."

Most Influential Experience at Ohio State: "Joining and performing with the OSU Men's Glee Club."

Most Useful Campus Resource:​​​ "Exploring all of the beautiful parks and outdoor spaces the city provides."