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Military Applicants

MilitaryThe Penn State Smeal MBA Program promotes discipline, team orientation, and practical skill building, much like the training you experienced in your military career. Our program is well-suited for students furthering their education during or following a military career.

Highlights

  • Nearly every U.S. military branch is represented in the Penn State Smeal MBA program. Several students are army logistics officers returning to active duty roles following graduation. Many are those separating and entering civilian professional careers.
  • Our dedicated Office of Veterans Programs at Penn State supports your application, transition, and tenure here at the University.
  • Penn State offers a vast array of resources and opportunities to support more than 40,000 students, yet each Smeal MBA class is only about 100 members. We are tight-knit and individually focused.
  • Our culture is team oriented with a philosophy of competing outside and collaborating inside. We help each other develop and count on each other for support. This is a network built for a lifetime.
  • Our MBA recruiters are in the top 100 for government contractors - aligning your past experience and future opportunities.
  • Smeal participates in the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) "military-friendly" school program. We are also a member of, and listed on the MilitaryMBA Website.
  • In funding, research, and support, Penn State is extremely military and veteran focused.
  1. Our Office of Military and Security Programs, supports the Homeland Security Initiative and aims to "position Penn State in the lead among academic institutions for military, homeland security and defense, and information operations research and technology development."
  2. Penn State conducts more than $355 million in military research. Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory is one of the U.S. Navy's top civilian research facilities, as well as Penn State's single largest research unit with well over 1,000 employees.

Application Fee

Your application fee of $65 will be waived. Simply contact us at smealmba@psu.edu to request the military fee waiver code.

Financial Support

We commit to making financial aid available to qualified military personnel who have transitioned from the service in the two years prior to enrollment with the Smeal MBA Program. The amount of support offered will be based on the criteria used for our merit-based awards of scholarships and assistantships.

Post 9/11 GI Bill and The Yellow Ribbon Program

Fully qualified U.S. veterans who have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001, and who wish to attend Penn State are eligible for assistance with tuition costs, thanks to Smeal's participation in the U.S. Government Yellow Ribbon Program, part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

"Penn State recognizes the tremendous contributions being made by our servicemen and women and wants to ensure they have access to a Penn State education, regardless of their state of origin," said Brian Clark, director of Penn State's Office of Veterans Programs. For more information, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Smeal MBA Military and Veterans'  Association

The Smeal Military Veterans Association provides MBA Admissions, the MBA student body, and veterans at the Smeal College of Business with support for recruiting, professional development, and leadership service throughout the academic year in order to create and sustain a mutually beneficial relationship between the college and its veterans.

Lion Partners

Many military students come to Smeal with their families. Lion Partners provides support to significant others, spouses, and families. As an official Smeal organization, the group plans activities such as weekly dinners, hikes on Mount Nittany, and outings to local cultural and athletic events.

Deferral

We will provide up to two years of enrollment deferral if your MBA plans are delayed by your military service.

Military Student Profiles
Military Student Profiles
Lukasz Derda Lukasz Derda
Class of 2015
Supply Chain Management and Strategic Leadership
lxd254@smeal.psu.edu

Lukasz graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in German. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the US Army Aviation Branch. He attended flight school at Fort Rucker, AL where he was qualified as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. Lukasz spent 5 years in the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade in Fort Bragg, NC with 2 operational deployments to Afghanistan. His last assignment was as a Company Commander of HHC/2-82 Aviation Regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Joseph Henry Joseph Henry
Class of 2015
Finance

jjh5378@smeal.psu.edu

Joseph enlisted in the National Guard immediately after high school in Spring of 2008 and in the following fall started classes at Truman State University where he enrolled in the Army ROTC program. After two years he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and commissioned into the Military Intelligence Corps. In the fall of 2010 Joseph enrolled at the School of International Affairs and in December 2011 I graduated with a Masters of Arts in International Affairs. Directly after graduating with his graduate degree he went to the Military Intelligence school house and in the Summer of 2012 deployed to Kuwait and Jordan as the Battalion Intelligence Officer for the 935 Aviation Support Battalion.
Ryan McCool Ryan McCool
Class of 2015
Supply Chain Management and Strategic Leadership

ryan.mccool@psu.edu

Ryan graduated from Temple University in May of 2009 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics.  Immediately upon graduation, he was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps and proceeded to The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.  Ryan was then assigned to serve as an Aviation Logistics Officer at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.  In July of 2012, he deployed to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Ryan completed his service obligation in May of 2013 and is currently attending the Smeal College of Business as a full-time MBA candidate.
Donald Roenigk Donald Roenigk
Class of 2015
Supply Chain Management

dpr179@smeal.psu.edu

Don graduated from Washington & Jefferson College with a degree in Russian and was commissioned as a Logistics Officer in the Marine Corps in 2007.  He has served as a Motor Transport Platoon Commander, Battalion Assistant Operations Officer, Maintenance Management Officer, Logistics Advisor, and Aide-de-Camp.  He has worked with foreign militaries and governmental agencies in Japan, Thailand, Korea, Germany, and Afghanistan.  Don is looking forward to learning new business and management practices while at Smeal and transferring them to the business world in a logistics/supply chain capacity.
Andrew Svoboda

Andrew Svoboda
Class of 2015
Supply Chain Management

axs1134@smeal.psu.edu

Andrew enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2000 and spent six years working in Public Affairs. After completing training at the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, he was assigned to the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware where he worked as a Public Affairs staff member. Next, he was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, where he served as Editor in the Public Affairs office.  Andrew’s next assignment was with Air Force News Agency and he was assigned to the American Forces Network Radio and Television station at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. At this position he served as both Broadcast Producer and News Director. Finally, Andrew was assigned to the Air Force News Agency Headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, where he worked as a Broadcast Producer on AFNEWS flagship television and radio programs.

After completing his enlistment, Andrew graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Chinese and a minor in Business Administration. Andrew is currently attending the Smeal College of Business as a Full-Time MBA candidate.

Joe Volansky Joe Volansky
Class of 2015
Strategic Leadership

jmv231@smeal.psu.edu

Joe graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2005 with a BS in Information Technology.  Upon graduation, Joe was commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer.  Stationed on a Destroyer, Coastal Patrol Craft and as a Detachment OIC at a Riverine Squadron, he has deployed throughout the globe.  His duties ranged throughout Asia, the western Pacific, Central and South America and the Middle East, to include Iraq and Afghanistan.  Transitioning off of Active duty to attend graduate school and enter a new career, he continues to serve as a Naval Reservist.
Zhen Zhu Zhen Zhu
Class of 2015
Supply Chain Management and Strategic Leadership

zhen.zhu@psu.edu

Zhen enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2009. After completion in military basic training, he was assigned to Marine Corps Systems Command in Albany, Georgia where he provided IT support for Marine Corps’ ground supply and logistics system. While on active duty, Zhen finished his Undergraduate degree in Management from University of Phoenix. His goal is to become a supply chain manager in the private sectors.
Ryan Bruner Ryan Bruner
Class of 2016
Supply Chain Management

rdb233@smeal.psu.edu

Ryan graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the US Army Aviation Branch. He attended flight school at Fort Rucker, AL where he was qualified as a CH-47 Chinook pilot. Ryan spent three years in the 3rd ID Combat Aviation Brigade in Savannah, GA and then attended the Military Intelligence Career Course and the Multi-Engine Fixed Wing Course.  Ryan then served as a Company Commander in Task Force Observe, Detect, Identify, Neutralize.  Ryan has served two operational deployments to Afghanistan.  His last assignment was as an Operations Officer for 2-291st Aviation Regiment at Fort Hood, Tx.
Mark Frank Mark Frank
Class of 2016
Finance

mdf211@smeal.psu.edu

Mark enlisted in the US Navy after graduating from high school in 2004.  His first command was Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, where he was an Aviation Structural Mechanic on the E-2C and C-2A airframes.  VAW-120 is the US Navy’s E-2/C-2 Fleet Replacement Squadron based in Norfolk, VA.  In the spring of 2007, Mark transferred to VAW-125 and flew onto the USS Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf, where the squadron was deployed onboard the aircraft carrier.  VAW-125 is a sea-going E-2C squadron based out of Norfolk, VA.  Upon completion of his enlistment, Mark attended Penn State and received his BS in Energy, Business, and Finance, graduating in the fall of 2011.  He is now concentrating in Finance and Supply Chain as a Smeal MBA candidate.

Soloman Fong Soloman Fong
Class of 2016
Supply Chain Management

suf169@smeal.psu.edu

Soloman enlisted in the United States Army Reserve shortly after turning 17 while he was attending High School. He was assigned to the 436th Transportation Battalion in Staten Island, New York as a Transportation Management Coordinator. He was deployed to Iraq in 2010 with the 961st Transportation Detachment. The detachment filled the role of Movement Control Team at the largest logistics hub in Iraq during this time period. Through the military he has been able to visit North Carolina, Texas, Nevada, California and New Jersey during training. While in reserve status, Soloman completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management at Stony Brook University. Soloman was honorably discharged from the Army in March 2013.
Stephen Letts Steven Letts
Class of 2016
Supply Chain Management

sal322@smeal.psu.edu

Steve graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy in 2009 where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Operations Research and Computer Analysis and his commission into the US Coast Guard. Steve’s first tour was onboard the USCGC DECISIVE in Pascagoula Mississippi where he served as a Deck Watch Officer and a Boarding Officer in Counter Drug & Migrant missions throughout the Caribbean. In 2011, Steve was transferred to USCG Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia, PA where he served as the Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security Branch Chief where he received the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for his performance of duties. In the summer of 2014, Steve transitioned out of the Coast Guard and is currently a full-time MBA Candidate at the Smeal College of Business with a concentration in Supply Chain Management and Strategic Leadership.
Todd Olson Todd Olson
Class of 2016
Supply Chain Management

tjo142@smeal.psu.edu

Todd Olson graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2008 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Transportation Corps.  Todd has served as a fuel and ammunition platoon leader, a brigade transportation coordinator, and also as a division transportation Officer for the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood Texas.  He has worked in numerous locations in the United States and Afghanistan conducting large level transportation operations involving freight, rail, and air assets.  Todd separated from active service in July of 2014, and is looking forward to transitioning into the corporate community and continue working in a supply chain management role.
Steven Pedersen Steven Pedersen
Class of 2016
Finance

scp188@smeal.psu.edu

Steven joined the United States Air Force in 2004 and was assigned to the 305th Security Forces Squadron at McGuire AFB, NJ.  Throughout Steven’s time in the Air Force, he worked as a military police officer, a combat training instructor, and ran a sniper security team.  During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Steven conducted security patrols with Detachment 2411 throughout Northern Iraq to support intelligence gathering and to map insurgency operations.  After the war, Steven worked as an Operations Intelligence Analyst with the 349th Operations Group at Travis AFB, CA. In 2012, Steven was recruited by Special Operations Consulting, LLC to provide diplomatic security and sniper support as a Designated Defensive Marksman for the Department of State in Baghdad, Iraq.  Some notable clients Steven provided security for while in Baghdad were Ambassador Robert Beecroft and Secretary of State John Kerry.
John Seitz John Seitz
Class of 2016
Supply Chain Management and Strategic Leadership

jds572@smeal.psu.edu

John graduated from the United States Military Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the US Army Aviation Branch. He attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he was qualified as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. John has served with 2-2 AVN BN in Camp Stanley, South Korea; the 3d ACR in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Multinational Forces and Observers in the Sinai, Egypt; and D Co.,12th Aviation Battalion in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 2010, John transitioned into the Army Acquisition Corps, Functional Area 51.  Prior to entering the Smeal School of Business, his last assignment was as the Assistant Product Manager for the Army’s Air Traffic Control Mobile Tower System working in PEO – Aviation at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. John has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a graduate of the US Army Airborne School, the USMC Expeditionary Warfare School, and the US Army Command and General Staff College.