Students presenting in Bridging the Gap class

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Bridging the Civil-Military Gap

Funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities Dialogues on the Experience of War program, this project brings civilians, veterans, and service members together to build understanding between the two groups and facilitate healthier reintegration experiences for veterans.

About Us

Project PIs are Rebecca Best (Political Science), Viviana Grieco (History), and Whitney Terrell (English). Eric Gormly, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Director of UMKC's Student Veteran Support Services, is a key project partner in planning events and reaching the student veteran population at UMKC. Carlos ParraCervantes, Michelle Perez, Philip Potter, Eric Gormly, and Morgan Christensen all served as Supplemental Instructors for the Bridging the Gap course in the spring of 2023. Personnel from the Missouri Institute for Defense and Energy provide critical support in grants management.

Meet Our Team

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Upcoming Events

Featured Post

Veteran Roundtable Flier Veterans Roundtable: How can civilians help veterans reintegrate?

Date: Nov 8, 2023

Time: 12 pm – 1:30 pm

Location: Scofield Hall, Room 109, UMKC Volker Campus

What, if anything, do civilians owe to returning military veterans? The words “Thank you for your service” are ubiquitous – but to some military veterans they ring hollow at best and at worst may leave the veteran feeling more isolated or misunderstood. What then can or should civilians do to make space for military veterans as they reintegrate into civilian life? A panel of six military veterans discuss their reintegration experiences and what they want civilians to know about service members and veterans. Pizza will be provided.


Matthew Briggs served as a rifleman in the United States Marine Corps from 2015 to 2021. Currently Matt is studying at UMKC for his bachelor's in mechanical engineering and working with his wife to saving enough money to build a cat retirement home.

Andrea Guzman served as an Intelligence Analyst in the United States Air Force from 2010-2014. She went from being Active Duty to a military dependent as her husband also served in the Air Force and has since retired. She is currently working on starting up her photography business and is considering returning to school to further her education.

Naomi May served as a Public Affairs Specialist in the United States Marine Corps from 2016 - 2021. She is currently an agriculture manager at Chow Hall Farms, a veteran farming program and partnership between the Veterans Community Project and the University of Missouri - Kansas City. 

Stephen Meyers retired from the U.S. Army in 2016 at the age of 40 after 22 years of service. He is passionate about improving his community. During the pandemic he raised awareness of PTSD by walking from Kansas City up to Indianapolis, Indiana and then down to Jacksonville, Florida. 

Lucia Brazier-O'Bannion served in the U.S. Navy and is currently working on IT certifications to enter the Cybersecurity field.

Tim Schmidling bio to come.


Lt. Col. Stephanie Cooper

Public Lecture from Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Stephanie Cooper, U.S. Army JAG

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Our Partners

Thank You To Our Partners

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Veterans Community Project

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Missouri Institute for Defense and Energy