Graduate Student Veterans Study

  • Aim: There is limited research on student veterans pursuing graduate degrees. The limited contemporary research on veterans tends to focus on undergraduates, and in particular their mental health and experiences with trauma. This interview study is distinct. Rather, we aim to learn and share useful information about the experiences and challenges of being a military veteran in graduate school. What motivated your decisions to pursue graduate degrees, in what fields, and what could help you be more successful as you pursue these goals? We plan to share what we learn with stakeholders, academics and higher education leaders, as well as with you!
  • Sampling criteria: We are particularly interested in the experiences of male student veterans who are currently enrolled in in-person FSU graduate studies programs.
  • Who are we? Jason Montalvo is a Ph.D. student in Higher Education, and is also a U.S. Army veteran and active in the Florida (and prior, in Texas) National Guard. This research is part of his doctoral studies. Dr. Perez-Felkner is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Sociology at FSU, with expertise in students’ pathways to and through higher education. She is also the daughter, niece, and granddaughter of U.S. Army and Merchant Marine servicemen.
    Montalvo, Jason Gabriel
    Jason Montalvo, Ph.D. Student, Student Veteran, Lead Interviewer
    Image result for lara perez-felkner
    Lara Perez-Felkner, Faculty Advisor and Principal Investigator

    This research has also received material support from the FSU Student Veterans Center, Office for Institutional Research, the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and the Center for Higher Education Research, Teaching, and Innovation.

  • What would I be asked to do? Participation in the study entails a one‐hour interview focused on your graduate school choice process, experiences, and how your veteran/active duty identity has influenced your pathway to your graduate degree. You can meet with Jason in‐person on FSU’s campus, in a local park or coffeeshop, or digitally via Skype or Google Hangout in a location of your choice. Participation in the research is voluntary; you may refuse to answer a question at no penalty to you. See also our approval letter from the FSU Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • How can I sign up? Email Jason Montalvo at to schedule a time for our interview.
  • How will I be compensated? Your participation could help advance understanding of how to better integrate and support veterans in graduate programs, at FSU and beyond. In addition, interviewees will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
  • Are there any risks or benefits? What efforts will be made to protect my privacy? There is minimal risk associated with participation in this study. The interview will be recorded for analysis, but your name will not be recorded or associated with any written report of the research.  We will only record your name and contact information so we can send you a transcript of the interview for your approval.  We will keep your private information confidential.
  • Questions? If you have questions, you can contact me at or my research advisor, Dr. Lara Perez‐Felkner at  If you have questions and you do not feel comfortable asking me or Dr. Perez‐Felkner, you may contact the Florida State University Institutional Review Board at 850‐644‐8633 or at
  • Thank you! Jason Montalvo and Lara Perez-Felkner