The Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs maintains a staff of highly qualified full time and part time employees working to ensure veterans and service members at UConn are well taken care of. The staff is comprised of a mix of civilian and military personnel with a variety of backgrounds and services.
Alyssa Kelleher, Director
Phone: (860) 486-3802
Alyssa Kelleher was enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard before earning a commission through Army ROTC while attending UConn. She served in the Regular Army after commissioning until returning in 2007 to the Connecticut National Guard. Alyssa deployed twice to Afghanistan, once as a Platoon Leader and once as a Company Commander. Alyssa continues to serve in the Connecticut National Guard, currently as the Battalion Commander of the 1/169 Regional Training Institute (RTI). She graduated from UConn in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and earned her Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from UConn in 2017.
Nikki Eberly, Program Manager
Phone: (860) 486-3802
Nikki holds a Master’s of Science in Counseling and has worked at the University of Connecticut for several years serving students. She is also an Alum of UConn, upon earning a 2nd Master’s Degree from UConn’s School of Business in Human Resource Management. Her background includes working in Student Service positions at three large public Universities around the country, in addition to working as a case manager at a homeless shelter in Hartford, CT. Her brother and father both served in the Navy in addition to many extended family members who served in the military. She feels honored and privileged to be serving those who have served our country and have chosen to pursue their dreams through the University of Connecticut.
Jonathan Ramos, Veterans Program Administrator
Phone: (860) 486-5068
Jonathan is a Navy Veteran who served 6 years on the USS Annapolis, based out of Groton, CT. He comes to UConn with several years’ worth of experience serving student Veterans at Manchester Community College. As a UConn Alum, Jonathan is excited about serving fellow Veterans at UConn and guiding them through the University system.
Rob Passmore, Veterans Program Administrator
Phone: (860) 486-1973
Rob is a proud UConn Alum (’86) with a BA in Spanish and Political Science. Rob enlisted as a Senior Airman (E-3) in the CTANG in 1986 and left the service in 1996 as a Captain (O-3E). Rob comes from a Mansfield family with a long military history and many ties to UConn. He is also an Army “brat,” having moved from country to country during his Father’s Army career, where he became fluent in Spanish. Even before coming on-board, Rob was active in supporting the mission of the VAMP office through Veteran outreach and supporting ROTC events. Rob brings with him a deep commitment to continue his family’s tradition of service, with this office, supporting local sports through coaching and umpiring, and his involvement with Team Rubicon USA and Team Rubicon International, a veteran-based disaster relief organization: (www.teamrubiconusa.org)
Rob is the primary point of contact for CH31, Vocational Rehabilitation (Veteran Readiness and Employment).
Rebekah Mizener – Veteran Services Coordinator
Phone: (860) 486-2823
Rebekah is a proud UConn graduate ('21) and a life-long Huskies fan. She holds a B.A. in Music from the School of Fine Arts. Rebekah is an avid supporter and former member of the "Pride of Connecticut," UConn Marching Band. While she isn't a veteran herself, she has several family members in the military and values serving the veteran community where she can. Rebekah has worked for the UConn Veteran's community since her years as an undergraduate student and looks forward to continuing to do so!
Emily Lugo, Outreach Coordinator
Phone: (860) 486-1175
Emily is a United States Marine Corps Veteran who served 4 years as an Aircraft Maintenance Administration Specialist. She is also a proud UConn Alum who earned her Bachelor’s in Human Development, Master’s in Educational Psychology, and teaching certification in Special Education. Emily is excited to return to UConn and provide support to fellow military-affiliated students and the larger community.
Bethany Grabowski, Program Coordinator – Air Force ROTC
Phone: (860) 486-2224
Bethany holds a Master’s of Business Administration and has worked at the University of Connecticut since 2019. She began her career in higher education at Park University at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, where she was a military spouse, and lived and worked for several years serving the students on base and in the community. Both of Bethany’s grandfathers were military men, having served in the Korean War, one in the Army and one in the Marines. Her brother-in-law is currently an officer in the Coast Guard and is stationed in Boston. Bethany has experience working with undergraduate, graduate and professional students and experience in financial aid, admissions and student affairs. She grew up in and currently lives in the area and is glad to be a part of the UConn family.
Jonathan Bartolotta, Program Coordinator – Army ROTC
Phone: (860) 486-4538
Jon is an Air Force Veteran serving in UConn’s Department of Military Science – Army ROTC program. He's also served in the Air Force ROTC program at UConn. He holds a Master’s of Art in Education from UConn. His background includes working in community outreach and with children and families in the non-profit sector.
Ryan Hinton – Director, Veterans Upward Bound
Phone: (860) 486-5078
Ryan Hinton enlisted in the Army and reported to Basic Training three days after graduating from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. After completing his initial enlistment Ryan left active duty and joined the Army Reserve to pivot towards a career in education. While in the Reserves, Ryan completed two Masters Degree programs in Education at the University of Notre Dame and worked as a teacher and then as a high school principal. Eventually, Ryan transferred out of the Reserves and into the Connecticut Army National Guard where he served as the State Master Religious Affairs Noncommissioned Officer. In addition to his Chaplain Corps assignment, he volunteered to serve as the Education Service Officer for the Connecticut Army National Guard, while that soldier was out on deployment. He retired after 22 years of combined service in December 2022. Ryan looks forward to serving our Veterans Community in succeeding in their educational aspirations.
Jessika Gossett – Academic Coordinator, Veterans Upward Bound
Phone: (860) 486-5078
Jessika is a United States Marine who served eight years as an Intelligence Specialist. She holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Psychology and is pursuing her master’s degree in Organizational Psychology with the University of Hartford. As a first-generation college student, Jessika understands the unique challenges that face veterans and first-generation college students. Before coming on board with Veterans Upward Bound, Jessika served veterans and their families by volunteering with different Veteran Service Officers. Jessika is excited to be on the UConn team and remains dedicated to ensuring all veterans get the most out of their benefits.