New Veterans Services Coordinator Named
When student-veterans walk into the Northern Essex Veterans Center they will be met by someone who is well-versed in veteran/military advising.
While Kalyn Ryll, is not herself a military veteran, she is a federally-certified career coach and job-search trainer with experience working for the U.S. Army as well as numerous private colleges and universities.
Ryll, assumed the role of veterans and military services coordinator at NECC last month. As a Haverhill native and 2003 graduate of Haverhill High School, Ryll is more than familiar with the Greater Haverhill community. A 12th generation descendant of the Spoffords, one of the original settlers in this area, she owns and lives, along with her two cats, in a home her grandparents built.
A true academic, with a strong, eclectic professional history, she was destined for a career advising military veterans. Ryll earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Business Administration & Law and Society from Clark University, followed by an MBA from Suffolk University, and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Washington, DC.
While earning her second master’s degree, Ryll worked for the U.S. Army in the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program and found her work with veterans fulfilling.
In 2015, she returned to the Boston area working as a career advisor for Curry College before moving on to Northeastern University where she was a career and academic coach to the Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, and Analytics Master’s degree programs which attracted a high veterans population. This led to an assistant director position of career education services at Simmons College and finally NECC where she is a department of one.
“I have always wanted to work with veterans,” she said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to continue to build the Veterans Center here. I want this to be a place veterans can come for help with their benefits as well as make connections with other veterans.”
She intends to build a community around the Veterans Center, which is located on the second floor in the NECC Student Center. With more than 200 veterans or military-connected students enrolled at Northern Essex, she sees a real value to inviting representatives of other veterans’ organizations on to campus.
While Ryll said she learned a lot about the military during her time in Washington, D.C., she found the military personnel she worked with “appreciative of my experiences in civilian life. It was a mutually beneficial relationship.”
She says she has been received well by the veterans who have already visited the Veterans Center.
“I can answer their questions. Through my psychology and counseling training I’ve learned to be empathetic,” she said. Even if I haven’t lived it, I can validate their experiences.”
In addition to holding veterans events on and possibly off campus, Ryll will launch a monthly newsletter for NECC student-veterans. She is also visiting other college and university veterans centers to see what has been successful.
“I want this to be a welcoming space,” she said. “I want to put the center on the map as a destination for veterans.”
She will also survey NECC student-veterans to learn what types of support they are looking for.
“I want to make sure our veterans are receiving what they need from us,” she said.
For additional information, contact Ryll at firstname.lastname@example.org