Veterans’ coordinator brings experience, hope

Position filled after nearly a year of being vacant


Efrain Valdez / The Advocate

TeJae Dunnivant is the college’s new veterans’ coordinator this semester after the position remained vacant for nearly a year.

By Efrain Valdez, Sports Editor

After a prolonged period without a veterans’ outreach coordinator, Contra Costa College hired TeJae Dunnivant to fill that void at the start of the 2019 spring semester.

The position was open for nearly a year after Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga resigned as the coordinator last spring.

This hire comes as a relief to the student-veterans on campus who were hoping that someone with a military and mental health background like Dunnivant would be brought in.

After a year that saw campus veterans coming together and pleading to the administration for the support they had been promised in the past, the hire is a welcomed move.

“It feels like this is the work that I’m meant to do,” Dunnivant said. “One veteran here explained to me that he was very happy that I was able to walk him over to get one of his questions answered. He said that he would have never waited in that line at Admissions and Records. For veterans, it’s a different situation (than for a typical student),” she said.

In the short time that she has been here, the veterans have noticed positive changes taking place in the Veterans Resource Center.

Dean of Student Services Dennis Franco said that in short time Dunnivant has been here he has enjoyed working with her.

“We thought somebody like her was going to be perfect for the position, she has already asked the right things when asking questions about the job,” he said.

CCC Veterans Club member Zachary Frappier said even though he hasn’t spoken to Dunnivant much yet, he is glad that she is a person who can relate to veteran concerns.

Frappier said that he always sees Dunnivant around the VRC and that having her presence there is something that has been missed.

“I’ve already seen other veterans utilize her to get help with their educational plans and everything else,” Frappier said. “She is super approachable.”

Frappier said that he’s has seen Dunnivant in and around the VRC and making her presence known within the veteran populous at CCC.

“It’s good knowing that you have someone here who is actually in their office, communicating with us and who understands our needs regarding transferring to a four-year university,” he said.

Dunnivant is not necessarily new to this campus, as she did outreach for UC Berkeley on campus in the past.

“I was the outreach person for UC Berkeley, so I had a chance to visit this campus a couple of times,” she said.

Dunnivant said that she originally applied for a different position on campus, which she did not end up getting. However, navigating the process led her to apply for the open coordinator’s spot.

Dunnivant said she is more experienced with veterans affairs because of her experience at the community college she attended. “I started working with the student veterans at my community college. Then, when I went to UC Berkeley, it was automatic that I was going to be working with the student veterans there.”