Honors student Dan Piston (’16 ED) can tell you, it’s hard to find your niche in the civilian world when you leave the military. A supportive community is key to a successful transition. Dan served in the Navy from 2007 to 2013 as a helicopter crew chief.  He served three deployments in Bahrain and was part of Operation Unified Response, which assisted Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

 One big question for veterans is how their skills will translate to the civilian sector. SU has helped Dan meet and network with other veterans in the same situation, and he has taken advantage of the many services offered on campus. Career plans, personal experience and work he began in an internship have come together to shape Dan’s Capstone which he’ll begin this fall. Dan is helping design a program with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families that will help veterans transition into the civilian workforce and ultimately help with their overall wellness.

 A Health and Exercise Science major, Dan joined Honors in the fall of 2014. His motivation to become part of Honors was similar to his reasons for joining the Navy—he’s always looking for a challenge and a new way to excel. Honors provides a professional atmosphere and the support to make the most of his education. Plus, “Honors classes are fun…and weird.”

 Dan’s commitment to health and fitness extends to his work life. He works part-time as a trainer at Cross Fit Syracuse, where he tailors workout routines for individuals’ specific needs and abilities. 

 Clearly, Dan has found many rewarding ways to rejoin the civilian world. We like to think that the Honors Program has played a role in Dan’s transition and future successes.​

 helicopter Dan he served on Dan jumping from a helocpter into a body of water

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