NOTICE : Campus-wide Power Outage - Thursday August 28, 2014 from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm. Click for details.

Meet the people of the Veterans Resource Center

Micaela Black, M.Ed., CRC, QRC, LMHC
VetSuccess on Campus Coordinator

Micaela is a counselor for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She works on campus at RIC to assist student Veterans in pursuing all areas of their academic and career goals. Micaela provides guidance and support with VA education benefits and strives to ensure that Veterans (or their family members) understand the process. She can also link Veterans to other VA resources, including healthcare and benefits information. Additionally, Micaela can work with student Veterans to set up school support services. If you are a student Veteran, please consider checking in with Micaela to make sure you are aware of all the benefits and services you are entitled to utilize.

Robert "Joe" Towner
Sonar Technician Chief Petty Officer Submarines (STSC/SS)
USN Retired
RIC VA Work Study

Joe spent 22 years in the military. Initially serving in the Army and the Army Reserve, he transferred over to the Navy and served onboard submarines for the bulk of his service. Joe served onboard and qualified on five different classes of submarines, three Fast attack submarines and two fleet ballistic missile submarines. Joe served during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and is an OEF/OIF veteran, including operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Joe served as a Military Training Instructor and supervised the training of sailors (post boot camp) until they received their initial orders to the Fleet. Joe qualified as a Master Training Specialist and Master Staff Specialist while at the Naval Submarine School in Groton, CT. His last tour was with the Submarine Surveillance Equipment Program. Joe retired from active duty in 2009. From 2009 to 2011 Joe was a Field Engineer and Installation Team Leader for a Defense Contractor until starting school at RIC. Joe has been accepted to both the Secondary and Elementary Education programs and plans on pursuing a Master’s degree and becoming a Principal.

Tyler Smith

Tyler is 26 year old former Marine who served four years out of Camp Lejeune, NC. In the course of his service he deployed to Iraq, the Mediterranean, Pakistan, and Haiti. Tyler also has a brother who served in the Marines. As a Veteran himself, he is acquainted with many of the challenges of being a Veteran making the transition to student. Tyler draws on his work at the VRC and his experiences as an intern at VAMC Providence to assist, support and educate fellow Veterans that come through the VRC.

Neal Yeatman
Gunnery Sgt USMC Retired
RIC VA Work Study

Neal spent twenty-two years in the United States Marine Corps. His first tour was as an Air Traffic Controller while stationed at MCAS Tustin, California, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, which included a six month tour of Korea in support of Operation Team Spirit, and MCAS El Toro, California. Not satisfied with the challenges offered in the air traffic control field, Gysgt. Yeatman transferred to 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, India Company, Weapons Platoon and retrained as a machine gunner and assumed duties as the Machinegun Section Leader for that unit. He held similar billets in 3rd Battalion 6th Marines and 3rd Battalion 8th Marines. Gysgt. Yeatman has taken part in combat operations in Central and South America as well as Africa and West Asia. Gysgt. Yeatman also did an eighteen month tour as a Combat Water Survival Instructor in NWTTC Naval Base in Coronado, California and three years as a Marine recruiter in the 1st Marine District Recruiting Command. Neal has been married to Diane M. Yeatman (Miller) of Cranston, Rhode Island for twenty-two years and they have two sons.

rebeccaRebecca R. Swagger, M.A.
Graduate Assistant, VRC

Rebecca is a poster Masters graduate student in the CAGS in Mental Health Counseling program. Rebecca has experience working with veterans on a research study at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is currently a smoking cessation counselor on a study at Brown University. As a graduate assistant in the VRC , she will facilitate assistance to veterans in the VRC and collaborate on research endeavors that support veterans and their family members . Rebecca enjoys learning and is eager to gain knowledge of and communicate the resources available for veterans at RIC.

Page last updated: September 18, 2013