Image of a mountain landscape

Project Cohort

The Iowa State University Veteran Center is working in conjunction with Project Rebirth to create an effective program for student Veterans as they continue their education at Iowa State University. As Veterans attend school, they may find difficulty adjusting from their military experience, relating to fellow students, missing the camaraderie from their unit, isolated from their communities, and searching for ways to cope with the challenges they face.

The Project Cohort model combines service projects, outdoor adventures and other experiential learning activities with ongoing health and wellness education. The goal is to create small communities of Veterans that support each member's efforts to build on their strengths and overcome challenges. Project Cohort is grounded in the belief that providing small group support that is ongoing and based where Veterans live, study, and work will be the most effective way to positive and lasting improvement in their lives.

During the Fall of 2016, Iowa State University’s Veteran Center and Project Rebirth launched a pilot cohort at ISU consisting of 8 student Veterans. During the Fall Semester, the cohort members began the program with a week-long outdoor adventure to Cloud Peak Wilderness Area in Wyoming that helped establish camaraderie within the group. They then were provided opportunities to attend over 10 activities that included:  community service projects that re-established a sense of purpose and belonging within the community; informal educational discussions on mental and physical well being with a focus on positive personal growth; and casual get-togethers to maintain and build their friendships.

A model of Project Cohort was first developed by Dr. David Scheinfeld, who designed the original model after years of research and work with Veterans. Currently, Donna Gaffney, an educator and psychologist who has worked with Project Rebirth for a number of years, is organizing the manual for future cohorts. The Project Cohort model continues to be developed over time as we seek an effective and efficient model for Iowa State University.

Sign Up and Learn More

Learn more about Project Rebirth & Project Cohort at their website. To sign up for the Iowa State Project Cohort email projectcohort@iastate.edu.

Click HERE to read the Iowa State Daily article how Project Cohort has helped student veterans.

Scrapbook

Check out some of the activities the cohorts have been involved in. Click the picture to enlarge.

Caption
The Fall 2016 Cohort showing their pride in Cloud Peak Wilderness

 

Cohort members get together on a regular basis, especially when good food is served
Cohort members get together on a regular basis, especially when good food is served

 

Although it was a first for many of the cohort members, they enjoyed a session of Hot Yoga, which helped to calm the mind while reducing anxiety
Although it was a first for many of the cohort members, they enjoyed a session of Hot Yoga, which helped to calm the mind while reducing anxiety
Introducing the Project Cohort Model to interested veterans
Introducing the Project Cohort Program to interested veterans
Cohort members in Labyrinth Canyon
Cohort members enjoyed canoeing on the Green River in Utah
Cohort members learning how to fly fish with Project Healing Waters
Cohort members learning how to fly fish with Project Healing Waters
Memorial Day hike at Ledges State Park
Memorial Day hike at Ledges State Park

 

 

 

 

The Fall 2016 Cohort having some down time at Cloud Peak
The Fall 2016 Cohort having some down time at Cloud Peak

 

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

 

 

Showing some Cohort pride at the Habitat for Humanity work site
Showing some Cohort pride at the Habitat for Humanity work site
Sunday Brunch Get-together
Back to School Breakfast
A couple of cohort members were able to utilize their skills to volunteer their time to assist Train to Inspire participants rock climb.
A couple of cohort members were able to utilize their skills while volunteering their time to assist Train to Inspire participants rock climb.
Enjoying the river
Enjoying the river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kayaking
Getting ready to go kayaking at Backbone State Park

 

Cohort members having fun kayaking at Backbone State Park
Cohort members having fun kayaking at Backbone State Park

 

Cohort members enjoying a day at the rock wall
Cohort members enjoying a day at the rock wall
The cohort had an opportunity to help Train to Inspire participants at Center Grove Orchard
The cohort had an opportunity to help Train to Inspire participants at Center Grove Orchard
Veterans canoeing on the Green River, in Utah
Veterans canoeing on the Green River, in Utah
Canoeing on the Green River in Utah
Canoeing on the Green River in Utah