In 2007, Army veteran Jeremy Wolfsteller, arrived at Normandale where he became a student counselor. Wolfsteller, who was shot in Iraq during his second active tour of combat duty in 2005, received medical retirement in 2007.
Former Vice President of Student Affairs Ralph Anderson, former Normandale Veteran Center (VRC) Coordinator Ken Bursaw and Normandale’s Veterans Affairs Certification Officer Lisa Marshall enlisted Wolfsteller to help Normandale staff members develop the college’s VRC.
"Ralph (Anderson) really took me under his wing and—along with Ken (Bursaw) and Lisa (Marshall)—supported the efforts and initiatives we needed to put into effect to have a quality Veterans Resource Center," said Wolfsteller."
Wolfsteller prepared himself for his job as a student counselor by researching various issues related to veterans’ benefits and other options—as well as basic options for all Normandale students. After one semester, the VRC was moved to a separate office space to allow veterans to have more privacy during their counseling sessions with Wolfsteller.
From the start, Normandale’s plan was to create a VRC that could be a "one-stop shop" for any veteran students. From 2007 to 2009, the VRC made large strides in that direction, evolving into a desirable destination for veteran students in the area.
"I think from 2007 to 2009, Normandale grew to be known as a veteran-friendly college in the Twin Cities and Minnesota," said Wolfsteller. "It was popular for Minnesota reservists and National Guard members to attend. It was great to be able to help those students with their needs when they came to Normandale."
Wolfsteller graduated from Normandale in 2009, and moved on to work for the American Legion where he counsels and assists veterans with their Veterans Administration benefits. He takes pride in the fact that he helped start Normandale’s VRC, and still stays in contact with Normandale to help them continue to serve veterans in the best possible way.