EOT 359- Weekly News & Nick Drake Interview

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Weekly News with Abigail & Brian. The second segment is an Interview with, Nick Drake, the Director of Military and Veteran Services.

Brian Jurado 0:01
The views and opinions expressed on Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or NC State student media who are currently tuned into Eye on the Triangle here on WKNC 88.1 HD-1 Raleigh. Thank you for listening.

Brian Jurado 0:20
Hello, everyone. I'm Brian Jurado the Public Affairs Director here on WKNC 88.1. For today's episode, we have some news of technician news editor Abigail Ali. Following the weekly news we have an interview with Nick Drake, the Director of Military and Veteran Services here at NC State.

Abigail Ali 0:41
Hello, guys, welcome back to Eye on the Triangle. This is Abigail Ali. I am the technician news editor. And today I am joined with

Brian Jurado 0:51
Hey, I'm Brian Jurado I am the Public Affairs Director here at WKNC.

Abigail Ali 0:56
So today I'm just going to give you my tidbits, I think Brian might have one for us today and he's just gonna kind of react to what I have. And yeah, let's get into it. So for my first tidbit I have that the Village District is going to be having a job fair Monday, June 13 from 4 to 7pm. Merchants in the village participating in the job fair will be standing at their door fronts to greet job seekers. If any of you are looking for a summer job now that school is out, this is a great opportunity put to put yourself out there. Also the Village District would be such a fun place to work. There's so much to do there. The vibes are so nice and most places have huge windows or outdoor seating, which I feel like is a big bonus for a summer job. So you feel less cooped up. So check it out. If you're interested. You can find more details on their website at shopvillagedistrict.com.

Brian Jurado 1:53
Oh, that's really cool. I feel like with jobs and internships nowadays, it's mostly all online like through it.

Abigail Ali 2:00

Brian Jurado 2:01
So it's also really cool to just kind of have like physical locations where you can actually meet people and learn about the job more.

Abigail Ali 2:07
Yeah, I agree. It's kind of a cool concept just to even if you don't even get the jobs, it's kind of fun just to go around the village district and just see what they have and go talk to people. It's a cool idea.

Brian Jurado 2:19
It's good experience as well. You kind of get to meet people and maybe learn about different industries that you didn't know about prior.

Abigail Ali 2:25
Yeah, exactly.

Brian Jurado 2:27
So my tidbit this week is about the Triangle Restaurant Week, which is the summer edition that was just announced recently. It's a biannual event. It runs from June 6 through June 12 and it's kind of scattered all around the triangle of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Apex and, um, I think as well as Mooresville, Cary and Holly Springs, just different restaurants throughout the triangle participate. And it's just kind of like a very fun event. If you're like a food nerd, or like a person that really enjoys like fine food. There's different pricing for like several different meal options so I don't know seems like a very fun way to like maybe branch out from your typical restaurants that you visit, and it just kind of promotes more diverse food options throughout the triangle.

Abigail Ali 3:10
Yeah, I'm kind of obsessed with restaurant weeks in general. So I'm glad they're having another one this summer. I know they had one not too long ago, it felt like anyways. But yeah, that's so exciting. I love getting to go to new restaurants and just new places in the triangle area in general. So that's so much fun.

Brian Jurado 3:29
I feel like I typically just always stick to the restaurants that I know, which is like a terrible habit. I think this will actually make me like get out of my shell and try new food because there's a lot of like cool cuisine that seems to be getting promoted through here. And they're like pricing options are a lot more affordable. They have like one two and three course meal options of different price points on it seems like a fun way to try new food out.

Abigail Ali 3:53
Yeah, for sure. For my second tidbit, today, I'm going to be talking about Toupees Doughnuts for National Donut Day. Toupees Doughnuts that's kind of hard to say is partnering with idle our coffee and giving out a complimentary donut and small coffee. This will be on Friday, June 3 For those of you who may not know exactly when National Donut Day is it will be going on from four to seven and you can RSVP if you're feeling fancy or if you just want to help out the suppliers and knowing how much to provide. Through this event you get free stuff have the opportunity to support local businesses and have a great excuse to leave the house and explore a little bit. It sounds like a pretty great deal to me find out more through their Instagram at Toupee Doughnuts spelled dough just by the way.

Brian Jurado 4:44
Sounds like a really fun event. I'm really excited for that one I'm hoping to like check it out. I think any event that features donuts I always try to go to I'm always excited for National Donut Day. typically go to Krispy Kreme but it'd be fun to support something more local.

Abigail Ali 4:58
Yeah, for sure. That's why I was thinking because Krispy Kreme is having something going on as well as Dunkin Donuts. But I was like, you know, let's just focus on the little guys this time.

Brian Jurado 5:09

Abigail Ali 5:10
For my last tidbit, I'm going to be talking about a local place that I visited recently and really wanted to buy everything from and that is Curate Raleigh. Curate Raleigh is a tiny store in Downtown Raleigh that is part of Triangle Pop Up a group that hosts pop up markets around Raleigh and the triangle in general. This means that Curate is home to multiple local artisans and vendors where they can sell their items through the store, not just the markets. Curate sells things like jewelry, soaps, keychains, candles, journals, and more. Everything is so super cute. And I have never regretted a trip there. I highly recommend and if you're in the area, you can learn more about Curate Raleigh on the Triangle pop up website or their Instagram, at @shopcurateraleigh.

Brian Jurado 5:57
I have yet to go to Curate Raleigh. It sounds really cool. I think a couple of friends have recommended me to go there. I think that's like the cool part about living in this area is how many like art markets and how open like the Raleigh community is to like the arts. Because I mean, there was art exposure Artsposure last weekend. And I think there's just a bunch of small like pop ups going on throughout the summer that I'm very excited about.

Abigail Ali 6:21
Yeah, exactly. I also enjoy the pop ups a lot. So I think it's really cool that they have like one constant pop up, I guess it's kind of what it's like where it's just like local vendors, which I know Edge of Urge does the same thing but Curate's just a little different vibe. But yeah, it's fun. Okay, guys, that's all we have for you today. Thank you so much for joining us again and we will see you guys next time. Bye!

Grace Gidley 6:47
Opinions expressed during Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or NC State student media.

Grace Gidley 6:59
Good evening Raleigh. Your dial is currently tuned to Eye on the Triangle and WKNC 88.1 FM HD one. I'm Grace Gidley. On tonight's episode I Grace Gidley am joined with Nick Drake, the director at NC State's Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran services. NC State was recently named the sixth most military friendly school in the nation. Tonight, Nick Drake tells us about the many resources that NC State provides military affiliated students. Stay tuned for more Eye on the Triangle.

Grace Gidley 7:28
Mr. Drake, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today on Eye on the Triangle.

Nick Drake 7:32
Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Grace Gidley 7:35
To start, can you tell me a little bit about what you do and what your role is at NC State's Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran services?

Nick Drake 7:41
Absolutely. So I am the director as you just stated, in that role we are now I guess I've been in this role for just over five years, this office is just over five years new. In this role, we provide programs services and connection to resources for our nearly 2400 military connected students each semester. So of those students about 850 self identify through the application process, education benefits process, or later on once they're here as a veteran or current service member. And then the additional 1400 plus are identified as either a spouse or a child of a veteran.

Grace Gidley 8:22
What resources does NC State offer to military affiliated students?

Nick Drake 8:27
So we, we really start engaging with our military connected students, even before some of them are even perspective students. So part of that is outreach and engagement. You know, once we get a student that has applied to NC State, it starts very early with the communication through the through the undergraduate admissions process and through the graduate school, once they've identified to get them connected through our orientation process. So every fall in every spring, we do offer orientation programs, specifically geared towards military connected students to help them transition into a higher education setting. And this is super critical for veterans, because a lot of them get lost in that process in terms of, you know, understanding the major differences between an active duty setting and not only civilian but education in higher ed in general. And then ultimately, once they're in here, probably one of the most critical resources we offer is our advising campaign each semester, which we threw us through student success GPS, but again, it's our opportunity to kind of get, get our finger on the pulse, if you will, of where our students are at each semester. So if we have students that are kind of appearing to fall behind, it gives us an opportunity to be more proactive in reaching that group. You know, but ultimately, this advising campaign is to connect with any student that has any, you know, any potential issue challenge or if they just want to talk about future forecasting. And then lastly, it's kind of tying the knot in this event certainly falls under that but each semester at the end of the semester, we do have a culminating event where we, we bring everybody or invite everybody to come back, all of our veterans will be honored at the ceremony. So those in attendance did bring their families, we have alumni that comes back to those events, and then also current students that are actively engaged involved in kind of what we do. And that very much ties into our social engagement piece, which which may be most the most critical of everything we do.

Grace Gidley 10:27
NC State was recently ranked the sixth most military friendly school in the nation. What makes a school military friendly? And what criteria is this ranking based upon?

Nick Drake 10:37
It's a great question. And for for NC State, I will say that one of the things that I'm most proud of that yes, we do have an office that that has military and veterans in the title and 100% of what we do is serve that student population. But things like that are not possible without a community or campus wide effort. So, you know, you know, I mentioned Undergraduate Admissions and the the great work that they do, and, you know, our counseling center and our r&r registration records. And there's just a lot of groups and go through the whole list of groups that, that touch a military connected students each day in terms of kind of the work that they do know, from a military and friendly standpoint, in that survey, it is a it's a national survey that any institution is eligible to apply for it is a very rigorous survey. And thankfully, Jim Price in the Office of Institutional and Research- or Institutional Research and Planning, he is the he is the anchor for us here at NC State. He's the one that gets on these gets these out to the appropriate offices or POCs, in these offices to get these questions answered. But it is very comprehensive in nature in terms of, you know, what policies you have in place at the university that that support veterans and military families? What types of programs? What is the staffing structures look like? You know, what are you doing in certain areas throughout to make the overall process or transition, if you will, for the students better? You know, at NC State, we've been very intentional about looking at our rankings each year, and picking one or two things that we can move the needle on. And I think that's really benefited us we're not trying to change everything overnight, because it's hard. But picking one or two things that we know that we can influence in a given year, and then making those gradual changes to help again, push us more and more to that military friendly, top ranking.

Grace Gidley 12:38
I read the NC State has ranked in the top 10, six times? And between this year and last year, NC State has jumped from a ninth spot to a the sixth spot. What improvements did you specifically make last year to make this jump?

Nick Drake 12:54
Yes so some big things like a lot of it is like working with our enrollment management and services, some some of those more military friendly processes. So you know, priority registration, and enrollment and classes for for students. So it's expanded not just GI Bill benefit users, but also veterans, so they'll all fall within that window. So those things are critical, especially for GI Bill users, right? Because they have, they have to take courses within their their curriculum or their program or plan to study to get them certified. So not being able to get classes then poses another issue on the back end, or if you will, undue stress for them to try to figure out how they're gonna get into a class. You know, things like that. So from a standpoint with us alumni engagement is a big piece too, because of the benefits of, of having alums actively engaged with our current student veterans, especially, you know, the mentorship opportunities, the potential career opportunities that come from that. And then overall, just creating a more encompassing environment where we create a a community that supports our students here, and it's not just Nick or Daniel, in our office, you know, having these conversations or doing all of the work. It's more of a community effort, if you will.

Grace Gidley 14:12
What does this high ranking mean for the university as a whole?

Nick Drake 14:16
Well, I think I think first and foremost, it it says to any prospective student that NC State is serious about making sure you're taken care of. I think that's probably the biggest piece and then obviously, the, you know, probably the most visible thing that comes from that. The second and third order effect is that it is a great recruitment tool for us we want. We want veterans and military families to be at NC State. They don't- NC State doesn't need Nick to, you know, Nick to market and promote it does a great job of doing that on its own. But when we talk about veterans and the experience they bring, when they come here to NC State, they want to be able to have their military service acknowledged, just by looking at at least looking at and considering potential college coursework or credit hours already completed, or when they get here, they want to know that somebody is going to be reaching out to them. And they're not just hey, I'm going to show up on the first day of class, and I have 100 questions to ask, but hey, somebody from that office, or that university has reached out to me, and they've given me the opportunity to ask questions. We're just getting involved. You know, so that's, that's the big thing I think.

Grace Gidley 15:27
Yeah you mentioned that this is a good recruiting tool, and that a lot of military affiliated students will look to this ranking as something and consider it when they're choosing a college. What are some other things that a military affiliated students should consider when choosing a college?

Nick Drake 15:43
So we've had these conversations a lot, you know, we're going through right now, with with our undergraduate admissions and initiative we're working on right here state is our denied students, specifically veterans, you know, we've reached out to them to give them an opportunity to have a conversation with us, because we want to talk through what a pathway plan would look like coming here to NC State. And ultimately, they want to know, you know, what was the rationale or the reasoning behind not getting in, and a lot of it is just not knowing that the requirements for being a competitive student, whether I'm a transfer or a first year, so I think what has kind of come from these conversations is that some students really value major first, they've got a career in mind, and that's most important, whereas others are like, no, there's five or six degrees I'm willing to, you know, I'm willing to look at, I want to be at NC State, you know, so it's different. But I think from from that standpoint of a perspective student is really forecasting out what you at least think you want to do, and start exploring, by talking to people in those fields, whether it's other veterans, and I think that's a benefit of being tied in here in NC State, we can find a veteran alum for almost any major to have those conversations. But you know, really knowing what you want to do and then you know, what's more important than institutions more important, or the degree is more important.

Grace Gidley 17:07
Is there any key thing you'd like our audience to take away from this conversation?

Nick Drake 17:12
If there's a takeaway, you know, for this is that really we want to create a community we try to get rid of the formalities and the more structured things that you sometimes see in the military and just say, hey, we're veterans, ourselves, we're real people and, you know, whatever questions you have, we want to be able to be transparent and kind of our responses and, and let you know that that overall NC State is going to support you. You know, we may not always have the answers, we may not have the best policies right now, but we'll do what we can to support you and get you the biggest bang for your buck.

Grace Gidley 17:42
Thank you so much for speaking with us today on Eye on the Triangle.

Nick Drake 17:46
Great. Thanks so much for having me Grace.

Grace Gidley 17:49
Listeners can find more information about NC State's Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran services online at veterans.ncsu.edu reporting for Eye on the Triangle. This has been Grace Gidley.

Brian Jurado 18:09
That is all for today's episode of Eye on the Triangle. Thank you to Abigail Ali, Grace Gidley and Nick Drake for their time and efforts on today's show. episodes are available wherever you listen to your podcast. Thank you everyone for listening. Hope y'all have a great week. Music for today's episode has been Smoke Jacket Blues by Track Tribe licensed under the YouTube Audio Library. This has been Brian Jurado from WKNC you can listen to more Eye on the Triangle episodes on wknc.org/podcast. Thank you!

EOT 359- Weekly News & Nick Drake Interview
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