Recently while sitting in an airport, CSU Military Outreach representative Franc Lopez met a fellow traveler. The traveler recognized Lopez’s CSU polo shirt and decided to walk over and chat with him. The traveler it seems was a CSU student. The two talked and soon learned both had served in the military. As they traded stories about their days in the service, they were surprised to discover something very unique about their early days.
Lopez and the student had served in the same unit in 1973 in Fort Lewis, Wash. In fact, they were just one barrack away from each other!
This was just one of the happy chance meetings Lopez, who retired from the Army National Guard in 2000, has had during his three years as a CSU representative. As a member of the Military Outreach team that visits military institutions, groups, bases, etc., Lopez travels to facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.
And he loves it!
“I enjoy connecting with the service members on a personal level. Those that have served and were in positions of leadership enjoy ‘taking care of the troops first,’ their needs, and doing this outreach continues to provide me the opportunity of doing so,” he said.
Lopez is also president–elect of the prestigious Council of College and Military Educators (CCME). CCME is an active proponent for the professional development of those serving in the military education community by providing a forum for the exchange of information on educational programs, strategies and innovation among its members and associated partners.
“One of my goals is to increase Department of Defense presence to CCME so that we can continue the collaborative spirit of CCME, which will in turn, widen our exposure to corporate and private Industry, and to our veterans,” he explained.
“This is critical to having CCME be part of the decision-making for the DoD voluntary education programs.”
While Lopez will have his hands full as president of CCME, he still looks forward to interacting with students and working with CSU. “The philosophy of how CSU reaches out to our military is why I joined the University. Although a business, we take care of the troops, whether here with CSU or somewhere else with direction and advice.”