Sue Flannigan Receives MNARNG Outstanding Service Award

Sue Flannigan

Minnesota Army National Guard Education Services Office recognizes military and veteran services coordinator’s 38 years of service

Sue Flannigan, military and veteran services coordinator at Inver Hills Community College, has received the first-ever Outstanding Service Award from the Minnesota Army National Guard Education Services Office. Justin Falness, MNARNG education services officer, presented Sue with the award Friday afternoon, February 12, 2021.

Sue has supported members of the Minnesota National Guard for 38 years in her role overseeing the Military & Veteran Service Office at Inver Hills. The MNARNG Education Services Office recognized Sue for her outstanding knowledge, unwavering support and hard work serving student veterans and military students, including her role managing the close-knit veterans organization, Club V.A.L.O.R. ((Veterans And Loved Ones Resources), on the college campus.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of the Minnesota Army National Guard Outstanding Service Award,” Sue said. “Building relationships is key to the success of our students, and I am truly grateful for the wonderful partnership I have with the MNARNG, our students and the Inver Hills campus community.”

Sue Flannigan at Inver Hills Veterans Pinning Ceremony 2018

Eric Rasmussen: MNARNG perspective…

I’ve had a working relationship with Sue for the past 12 years. When we decided to create the Outstanding Service Award, the intent was to acknowledge some of the hardest working education professionals that support and assist our service members in pursuing their education goals.

Sue Flannigan was the obvious choice for our inaugural award. Her 38 years of service assisting service members, veterans, and their families are unmatched. She is one of the most prolific school certifying officials we have had the pleasure of working with.

I always see her reaching out to students with information on how to utilize their veterans benefits properly. Sue helps manage one of the most vibrant veterans communities in Minnesota. On several campus visits, I have seen IHCC Club Valor [Club V.A.L.O.R.] putting on events that are widely attended. It seems that students are drawn together and have a very tight-knit community at this campus.

The VA and Army Tuition Assistance programs can be intimidating to new students. Sue reaches out to these eligible students, counsels them on best utilization of their benefits, and guides them through the application process. When something goes wrong, she finds solutions to problems before they can grow out of hand.

I have always been impressed to see how in tune with policy changes and proposed legislation she is. Having a knowledgeable student advocate to challenge the bureaucracy of the VA is a tremendous asset for the Inver Hills veterans community.

Eric Rasmussen
GI Bill Manager
Minnesota Army National Guard

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Milissa Troen: Inver Hills perspective…

Sue is an unsung hero. She provides service to our military-affiliated students that goes unnoticed by many. Sue is more than a “certifying official.” She understands the type of support our military and veteran population needs to be successful in college and achieve their academic and career goals.

Sue is very well connected in the military community and leverages those relationships to provide additional support for our students. She thinks three steps ahead and advocates at the state level when there is a policy or bill that can negatively impact our students.

More than once, I have had Inver graduates tell me that they wish their transfer college had a “Sue” for them. Likewise, I have heard from people around the state that see Sue’s program as the flagship Military & Veteran Services Office in Minnesota State.

Sue goes the extra mile—all the time. Sue’s work with our students is more than a job. It has been her lifework, and we are the beneficiaries. Sue cares deeply for her students and her dedication is bar none. Inver Hills is so fortunate. I am so glad that Sue was tapped to be the first recipient of this prestigious Minnesota National Guard honor.

Milissa Troen
Inver Hills Community College

More about the Military & Veteran Services Office…

Inver Hills Veterans Pinning Ceremony 2018

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Military & Veteran Services Office at Inver Hills has continued to deliver quality services to student veterans, military students and their families.

“Although, I certainly miss the on-campus interactions I have with my students, we have made the best out of the situation,” Sue said. “This office has worked hard with our administration to assure students using Post 9/11 benefits that their monthly housing allowance is not affected while they attend a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous classes.”

Sue added that students actively serving in the Minnesota National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve have been able to seek virtual assistance for tuition questions without any problems.

“Believe it or not, it actually has been easier for our students using tuition assistance,” Sue said, “as I can guide them through the entire process virtually—Zoom is a wonderful tool!”

Sue reported that life has been busy for Inver students in the Minnesota National Guard with state activation due to civil unrest and the pandemic, but through their own hard work in concert with assistance from counselors and faculty, they are continuing to succeed in higher education.

“This has been a stressful time for all,” she said, “and my office continues to break down any barriers our students face while attending school. There are many resources available through my office for virtual check-ins and COVID-19 financial relief along with mental health counseling and coping through the pandemic.”

Learn more about the Military & Veteran Services Office at Inver Hills by contacting:

Sue Flannigan
Military & Veteran Services Coordinator
School Certifying Official

Inver Hills Veterans Pinning Ceremony 2018

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