Today at the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) 2015 Annual Symposium, Colonel (Ret.) James D. McDonough, Jr., IVMF Managing Director for Community Engagement and Innovation, is being presented the William E. Kennedy Award in acknowledgement of his dedication, leadership, and support of voluntary off-duty education programs throughout a career in service to the nation’s veterans and military families.
This award comes in recognition of McDonough’s distinguished career in the arena of veterans support services, beginning with his appointment as Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs upon his retirement from the US Army after 26 years of active service. In each position he has held – NYS Director of Veterans Affairs, CEO of the Rochester Veterans Outreach Center (VOC), senior fellow for veterans affairs at the NYS Health Foundation, and now Managing Director for Community Engagement at the IVMF, McDonough has consistently identified pioneering methods for veterans’ education, policy, programming, and service delivery.
As NYS Director of Veterans Affairs, McDonough placed benefits advocates on campuses across the state years before practitioners across the country realized the value of doing so. As CEO of the Rochester VOC, he developed an innovative community-based framework for integrated care, tying resources together from providers across the city and region. At the NYS Health Foundation, he identified and seeded investment in what is now one of the nation’s leading community of practice models for preventing and treating veteran homelessness. And today at the IVMF, McDonough is leading a growing movement for the implementation of veteran-focused collective impact strategies in major cities across the United States.
The William E. Kennedy Award is one of several presented each year at the annual CCME symposium, honoring individuals, corporations, institutions of higher learning, and government entities dedicated to advancing the cause of veterans’ education and, more broadly, successful veteran transition and reintegration. The CCME describes the William E. Kennedy award’s namesake:
William Kennedy was Vice President and Head of Chapman College’s (now Chapman University), regional education centers. Bill was one of the early pioneers in developing and implementing college degree programs at extension campus sites. Bill was a national advocate and avid supporter of the voluntary education program and was instrumental in founding the CCMEA (California Colleges and Military Educators Association) which later became CCME and served as the first elected President of the association. Sometime after Bill’s death in 1985 the William Kennedy Award was established in his honor.
The Council of College and Military Educators is a consortium of educators – both military and civilian – and suppliers of educational products and services, who come together for the cause advancing the development of military education professionals, through identification of innovation and discussion of political, fiscal, and institutional issues affecting the profession. CCME’s mission is to “promote and provide educational programs and services and to facilitate communication between the membership and the DoD educational support network.” The consortium began with a small group of institutions in California in the early 1970’s and today has grown to host annual symposia with over 1,000 participants at each. This year’s conference theme is “Innovative Pathways to Military Student Success.”