SAC Victory Center Acquires a Director
A few months after Tammy Micallef graduated from high school, when her summer job was coming to an end, she had to decide what to do with her life. So, with help from a friend's mother, she opened the Yellow Pages phone book and looked for a military recruitment office. The first one she found was for the U.S. Navy. She made the call and within two weeks, started boot camp in Florida.
That decision led her to a career helping others and she is now at San Antonio College as the new Director of Student Success in charge of the Victory Center.
Micallef spent 21 years in the Navy, where her duties included working as a personnel specialist, Equal Opportunities officer, educational services officer, and a veterans benefit coordinator. She also held extra duties such as being a financial specialist and a career counselor. "Every hat I wore in the Navy was to help other sailors," she explained.
During her tenure, she earned a bachelor's degree while on active duty.
When she retired from the Navy, Micallef went into teaching and worked as a special education teacher and case manager. She went back to school and earned a master's in counseling from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi.
She intended to become a school counselor, but while she was helping one of her sons enroll at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, she clicked on a job opportunities link and saw there was a new position for a College Veterans Center Director.
"When I read the job description, I said 'wow, this has my name written all over it,'" she recounted. Micallef was hired and built the services for the Veterans Center from the ground up.
After four years, she was persuaded to become the Director of the Veterans Education State Approving Agency for the Texas Veterans Commission in Austin. She said it was a challenging job and she learned much at the state agency, but she missed working with students on a college campus.
Fortunately, she learned that San Antonio College was hiring a director for the campus' new Victory Center. She was hired and began her new position in December 2017.
As the construction of the Victory Center nears completion, Micallef's work is just beginning. The plans for making the Victory Center a one-stop shop for veterans, active military, and their immediate families are ambitious.
The goal is to have every service needed - from enrollment to graduation - available at the Victory Center. To accomplish this, Micallef will coordinate with programs and departments across campus as well as hire additional staff.
In addition, Micallef has reached out to the Texas Veterans Commissions to help work with disability claims and she wants to bring in local civic organizations such as the American GI Forum and Grace Under Fire to assist with their services for veterans.
"There are a lot of plans on the horizon but they will not necessarily be in place from day one," said Micallef. "It will not happen overnight."
But she is more than up to the challenge of turning the Victory Center into the one place where veterans, active military and their families can rely on for a "warm and welcoming atmosphere to give them everything they need."
- SAC -
Construction of the $7.6M SAC Victory Center is slated to be completed in early 2018. To follow the progress, you can view the Construction Cam
To learn more about the SAC Victory Center, visit http://www.alamo.edu/sac/VictoryCenter/ .