Graduate student to teach new learning community created for ISU veterans

Angie Mallory, who served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years, will be the instructor for the new veteran’s learning community English 250 class.

Courtesy of Angie Mallory

Angie Mallory, who served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years, will be the instructor for the new veteran’s learning community English 250 class.

Mackensie Moore

A new learning community has been created for students taking English 250 in the fall, led by veterans for veterans.

Angie Mallory, a doctoral student in rhetoric and professional communication, will be teaching the new learning community class.

“A learning community is a place and a way to build community among individuals and a place to make learning effective for students,” said Mallory.

Because learning communities are created to help students be in an environment with similarities, the Veterans Learning Community will only be available to veteran students.

“Many veterans have had incredible experiences and as a society we don’t always recognize that, but that won’t happen in this learning community, those experiences will be utilized,” said Jathan Chicoine, the veterans services coordinator at Iowa State.

There are more than 700 students considered veterans at Iowa State. This number includes any student using G.I. Bill benefits, ROTC students or current enlisted military members.

“Veterans are all different individuals, who cut through demographics and come from all walks of life with incredible experiences, but there are common threads such as how we transition into civilian life,” Chicoine said.

Mallory served in the U.S. Navy for six years and has researched how veterans assimilate into college cultures. This research was her choice because of the difficulties she experienced when she first began her higher education career after her service in the Navy ended.

“We’ve needed an environment like this for veterans,” Mallory said. “Veterans come from a culture of supporting each other, being team players and valuing timeliness and professionalism, and not all students value those concepts.”

Chicoine said he believes having the learning community will be beneficial for assimilation.

“By creating a veterans learning community, we have an opportunity to provide a space where veterans can be veterans,” Chicoine said.

While Mallory will teach the class as a student at Iowa State, she is already planning ways to ensure the community’s success for after her graduation.

She plans to look at other universities and how they have shaped their own Veterans Learning Community classes. This will help her create an effective class at Iowa State, she said.

Mallory is also trying to help give other instructors knowledge about veterans’ experiences and how to help veteran students in class.

“Many veterans are non-traditional students who have different needs than traditional students. This learning community will give veterans a classroom where all of the students will have similar needs and similar drives,” Mallory said.

Mallory plans to continue to build the program to ensure it endures even after she graduates. 

She plans to grow the program by advertising the new learning community and by working with other instructors to understand why having a separate learning community for veterans is important. This will help the learning community continue to thrive and grow even larger. 

This three-credit English 250 class has a total of 25 seats and will meet from 8 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

With success of the learning community, Mallory also hopes to add a section of English 150 and more sections of 250 as well.

Interested veterans that would like to learn more about the class or sign up can contact Mallory at [email protected].