Members of UConn's Veterans Community are honored to serve as resources to students and faculty and staff who are seeking some advice and/or guidance from a fellow veteran on-campus.
Please feel free to contact these individuals listed below. No question is too big or too small.
Each of them work at the University of Connecticut and are familiar with the inner workings of campus in addition to having experienced first-hand the transition from the military.
John Armstrong, Director of Off-Campus and Student Commuter Services, Army Veteran
John Armstrong has worked at UConn since 2001 where he has held leadership roles in Residential Life, Facilities Operations and Community Standards. He is currently the Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services. Through this role he serves as UConn’s liaison to the Faith Communities, Town Officials and State Police. Armstrong is a member of the Veteran’s Advisory Council and has been a long standing instructor for the First Year Experience class (FYE). John Armstrong joined the U.S. Army in 1986 and completed his Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Following his training, he was assigned to the 28th Transportation Battalion, 69th Transportation Company in Bremerhaven, Germany as a member of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps. During this time, he participated in multiple NATO led Reforger (Return of Forces to Germany) Campaigns across Germany during the Cold War; the 1988 Reforger “Certain Challenge” proving to be one of the largest European ground maneuvers since World War II. Armstrong was fortunate to have served in Germany and witness a historical turning point of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 which marked the end of communism is Eastern Europe and the Cold War. Armstrong left the military in February 1990, returned to his home state of Maine and started his career as a student at the University of Maine that fall. In January 1991, the United States entered Operation Desert Storm and Armstrong was ordered back to active duty via a Presidential Executive Order through the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Armstrong left UMAINE and reported to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for training and to await deployment to the Middle East. Operation Desert Storm concluded at the end of February 1991 and Armstrong returned to civilian life and completed his undergraduate degree at UMAINE and a Master’s degree in education at Springfield College.
Ryan Bangham, Human Resources Director, Navy Veteran (currently in the Reserves)
Commander Ryan T. Bangham
Human Resources Officer, United States NavyCommander Ryan T. Bangham is a native of Farmington, CT. He holds a B.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Connecticut. He was commissioned via the Enlisted Commissioning program in 2002. Bangham has completed courses and seminars at the Naval War College, University of Hartford, Naval Science Institute, and the Human Resources Introductory course at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and is a certified Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR). Bangham has served as the Assistant Training Officer onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), Communications Systems Director with Joint Task Force 700 (Horn of Africa), Operations Officer at Naval Recruiting District New England, Officer in Charge of Operational Support Unit at Navy Operational Support Center Newport, Casualty Assistance Officer with the POW/MIA division of the Navy Casualty Office, instructor at the Direct Commission Officer School (DCO) at Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island, J1 Deputy Director at Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, and the Executive Officer of United States Fleet Forces (USFF) N1 unit. He was enlisted from 1994-2002 serving aboard USS Boxer (LHD-4) and Naval Station Rota Spain. Bangham has executed afloat operational deployments including both a Mediterranean cruise and two western pacific deployments. He has completed two deployments in support of Operation Desert Fox with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and executed support missions in support of operations in Kosovo. His current assignment is as the Commanding Officer of the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center in Gulfport, MS. He is qualified to wear the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist insignia. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4), and various campaign, unit, and service awards. In his civilian career, he is the Director of Human Resources at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT.
Samantha Bolduc, EHR Specialist, Student Health and Wellness, Air Force Veteran
Samantha Bolduc serves with the Air Force Reserves and has been assigned to Westover Air Reserve Base for 8 years. She is the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Medical Readiness department at the Aeromedical Staging Squadron (ASTS). At her unit, she facilitates unit-wide total force trainings, manages scheduling for aeromedical evacuation courses, and inspects wing-level exercises for unit performance and compliance. Samantha also serves her unit as a strategic planner for quality improvements and as a mentor for junior enlisted personnel. While serving, Samantha expanded her administrative expertise by earning a B.S. in Healthcare Administration from Charter Oak State College. She currently works in the medical records department at Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) while actively pursuing her master’s degree in Health Information Management and Technology with the University of Maryland Global Campus.
Steven Fletcher, IT Manager, Information Technology Services, Air Force Veteran
Steven Fletcher served in the Air Force as an explosive detector dog handler from 1994 to 1998 in Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bosnia. He continued to serve in the Air Force Reserves in Security Forces/Combat Arms from 1998 to 2002 when he separated from military service due to a service-connected medical injury. Upon leaving the military, Steven earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems and then a Master’s degree in Educational Technology. He’s been working the past 20 years in information technology, audio video, and Learning Space design.
Eric Kruger, V.P. Facilities, UConn Health, Navy Veteran
Eric Kruger is the Executive Director of UConn Facilities Operations and has been at UConn since June 2014. Eric specifically oversees the skilled trade shops at the Storrs Campus, all of the Facilities Operations at the Regional Campuses, and Facilities Operational Engineering for all campuses. Prior to working at UConn Eric spent seven years with Eversource as a Manager in Operations and Engineering. Eric is a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer – EMCS(SS) from the United States Naval Submarine Force and holds a BSAST in Nuclear Engineering Technology from Thomas Edison State College, an MA in History from Southern New Hampshire University, and an MBA from UConn.
Joseph Tinnel, Academic Advisor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Army Veteran
Joseph Tinnel is an Academic Advisor serving students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Storrs Campus. Joe served in the Connecticut Army National Guard for 6 years, was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2 years, and has been a member of the UConn community since 2006.
Ed Weingart, Director, Dramatic Arts Department, Army Veteran
Ed served in the CT Army National Guard from 2000 to 2009. In January 2003, Ed joined the 143rd MP Company, and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Kuwait and Baghdad, Iraq. After one year they returned home to CT as the most highly decorated National Guard Unit in US history. Upon Ed’s return, he transferred to the 102d Army Band as a drummer, guitar player, MC, and sound engineer. Ed also volunteered to rejoin the 143rd MP Company on their humanitarian relief mission to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. His awards include the Humanitarian Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, and Army Commendation Medal for valor. Ed describes his transition from the military as “far from seamless.” At 21, after returning from overseas, Ed bought a house and started college at UConn. During his first semester he suffered from PTSD and really struggled academically. However, once he transferred to the Department of Dramatic Arts, he found his career path and a job he loved, which really helped with the transition. The leadership training and experience Ed gained from the military uniquely prepared him for his career as Technical Director since he has to manage people and lead a team to build the sets for shows. He currently serves as the Head of the Dramatic Arts Department at UConn.