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Lessons From an MMC Student Veteran

In honor of Veteran’s Day, MMC’s Intercultural Center spoke with Olivia (LJ) Tanski ’24, an emerging student leader who served in the U.S. Air Force before medically retiring this year. 

With a major in Politics and Human Rights and a minor in Law and Ethics, Tanski plans to apply to law school next fall and pursue a career in public interest law, civil rights, and government.


IC: How did serving our country support your growth as a person and student?

Tanski: Serving provided me with security and structure when I needed it and taught me countless lessons about confidence, time management, leadership, and interpersonal skills. All of these things have helped me immensely in transitioning back to the civilian sector and beginning college life.


IC: What does it mean to have being a veteran as one of your identities?

Tanski: Being a veteran has changed how I step into a space and the confidence I have in myself to achieve my goals.


IC: What do you want folx to keep in mind when engaging veterans?

Tanski: It would be really helpful if folx othered us less. Yes, we were in the military, which is an uncommon experience, but there are a lot of misconceptions about us that can be alienating. Not every veteran has a nationalistic worldview; so many have a sincere and genuine love for their country and people. Actively dissolving stereotypes around student military members is important so they can get appropriate support and resources from their campus communities.


IC: Olivia, we thank you for your service and look forward to seeing how you’ll continue to grow and lead in the MMC community.


Click here to learn more about resources for veterans at MMC.

Published: November 20, 2022