October

Veterans Administration Psychologist Joins HPU to Help Veterans Integrate into Campus

October 07, 2015

HPU

Honolulu, Hawaii — Lynn Tokumine, Psy.D., has joined Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Military/Veterans Center to provide mental health services and outreach to the university’s student veterans. She is also available to faculty and staff to address their questions regarding student veterans. Her appointment is a part of HPU’s three-year agreement with the Veterans Administration (VA) Pacific Islands Health Care System to offer the Veterans Integration to Academic Initiative (VITAL) program at the university beginning with the Fall 2015 semester.

Through VITAL, HPU is the only university in Hawai‘i with a full-time, imbedded psychologist on its campus.

“I am excited to have joined Hawai‘i Pacific University in its efforts to educate student veterans,” said Tokumine. “By providing student veterans convenient access to VA care on the HPU campus, they no longer need to make a trip to Tripler. We want to be as supportive as possible of veterans and any challenges they may face adjusting to university life.”    

The VITAL program is a national VA initiative, which as of this summer is serving 100 college and university campuses across 23 medical centers. Its mission is to support veteran integration, retention and success on college and university campuses.

Tokumine is well-qualified to serve veteran students. She holds a doctorate degree in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System National Center for PTSD in 2002. Tokumine has been with the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System since 2009.  Previously, she was in private practice and was also employed at Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center for five years.

She is the second, full-time imbedded Veterans Administration employee, joining the HPU Military/Veterans Center. Gwen Dang, who is a vocational rehabilitation and employment counselor through the VetSuccess on Campus program, has been working with HPU veteran students since Fall 2013.

“We, at HPU, are committed to educating our military and veteran student population, recognizing the need for flexibility without sacrificing academic integrity,” said Justin Vance, Ed.D., Interim Dean of the College of Extended and Interdisciplinary Education. “We are pleased to have Lynn join our Military/Veterans Center as the second VA employee dedicated to the academic success of HPU’s veteran students.”

HPU serves approximately 2,500 veterans and active duty service members. In the 2015 Military Times “Best for Vets” college rankings, HPU is number 33 and is the only Hawai‘i-based school on the list. U.S. News lists HPU among the top-ranked schools in its 2016 “Best Colleges for Veterans” western region list. The university continues to be a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a partnership between Hawai‘i Pacific University and the Department of Veteran Affairs, to supplement the tuition benefit of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The HPU Military/Veterans Center is located at the Downtown Honolulu campus at 1164 Bishop Street, Suite 912. The center provides certification for veterans benefits, transition and academic counseling and referrals for other services such as behavioral health and career assistance. Contact HPU’s Military/Veterans Center at va@hpu.edu or (808) 356-5222.