News: News Archives
Science Careers Project Wins Army 'Salute' for Managing Editor Alan Kotok
An ambitious project on veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to study and work in science and technology has won a U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute Commendation for Alan Kotok, managing editor of Science Careers.
The project, published 6 June 2008, explored the challenges and opportunities awaiting an estimated 100,000 or more war veterans who have in recent years enrolled in science and engineering programs or joined the workforce in those fields.
"As soldiers serve, the support of families and communities sustains them so they can do what must be done to protect our freedoms," said the commendation letter signed by General George W. Casey Jr., the Army's chief of staff, and Army Secretary Pete Geren. "Our nation would not have the service of soldiers without your support and patriotism."
Science Careers is the online employment, career development, and funding portal of the journal Science, which is published by AAAS.
The project, "Student-Veterans Come Marching Home," included stories and a podcast on an array of topics. In one story, Kotok examined an expansion in benefits proposed for the GI Bill; the expanded benefits were approved by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush last summer.
In another, he explored the experiences of eight soldiers who were making the transition back to civilian and academic life as science and engineering students.
"In many respects, these veteran students are much like their nonmilitary peers," Kotok wrote. "Yet military service has left many of them facing not just the usual academic challenges but also the emotional scars of battle, semesters lost to continuing service obligations, and veteran's benefits that don't cover their educational and living expenses.
"But it isn't all bad; quite the contrary. Military service has imbued many of these veterans with valuable practical and technical skills and with qualities of focus, discipline, motivation, and maturity often lacking in students with less worldly experience."
The project also included an article by Science Careers columnist Beryl Benderly on the S&T job market for returning vets.
After learning of the commendation, Kotok said he had been deeply impressed by the soldiers and their experience. "The best part of the project—and a real honor for me—was meeting these returning veterans and relating their stories," he said. "They really are special people."
Kotok has been at Science since 2003. He was nominated for the Army commendation by John Mikelson, the veterans advisor at the University of Iowa.
Science Careers' recruitment and job-search features and easy-to-navigate site make it a powerful resource for S&T employers, job-seekers and grant-hunters. At ScienceCareers.org, users now are offered free access to thousands of job postings, along with career advice articles, graduate school listings, and funding opportunities. The editorial part of Science Careers, an editorially independent production of Science, produces about a dozen new articles every month including information on career paths, profiles of scientists, and practical advice on basic career skills.
"Alan Kotok's commendation is the result of excellent work on an important topic," said Science Careers Editor Jim Austin. "But there's much more to it than that. It is, in a sense, a reflection of a lifetime's commitment to the ideals of civil society. And it has to be mentioned that Alan—and the rest of us—are fortunate to work within a principled, mission-based organization where the transformation of such commitment into concrete good works is not just allowed and facilitated—but expected."
1 December 2008