Published Thursday Oct 11, 2018
Christina Mick is passionate about two things — veterans and suicide prevention.
It’s that passion that got her appointed for a second term as the higher education representative on the Governor’s Council for Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families.
“I want to focus on suicide prevention in veterans in higher education and be an advocate for all veterans, especially female veterans and Vietnam vets,” she said.
Her appointment covers higher education over the entire state, not just Tennessee Tech, which has approximately 300 student veterans.
Across the state, there are approximately 8,300 student veterans.
A veteran herself, Mick served six years in the Tennessee Air National Guard.
“I enlisted right out of high school,” she said. “I served in active duty stateside during Operation Desert Storm and was deployed to Kenya in 1994 as part of Operation Support Hope.”
Mick comes from a military background. Her father, who was Tennessee Tech’s ROTC coordinator, served in Vietnam. Her grandfather is also a veteran.
She became the assistant director of clinical services at the counseling center in December 2011, which was about the same time that the Student Veterans Organization was getting off the ground.
In 2013, she was invited to participate in a group traveling to Washington, DC, to represent veterans in higher education.
“We worked to develop strategies about suicide prevention in veterans,” she said. “Those are two of my passions.”
The group consisted of people with the Veterans Affairs and others associated with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The state of Tennessee received two grants out of that visit. Tennessee Tech then received a three-year grant in 2015 for suicide prevention.
That was around the same time she got a call from the governor’s council about the opening for the higher education representative.
“We look at all aspects of veterans’ lives and their dependents,” she said. “We also share resources with each other on the state and local levels.”
She is also a member of Tennessee Tech’s military affairs committee.
“Since I started working here (in 2011), options for veterans (to attend higher education) have increased substantially,” she said.
There are various versions of the GI Bill, not only for veterans but their dependents as well. Information about those can be found on the university’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs website, https://www.tntech.edu/em/military-and-veterans-affairs/.
For more information about the Counseling Center, visit www.tntech.edu/counsel.