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MARY PARZYNSKI
VETERANS BENEFITS ADVISOR

A proud veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Mary Parzynski believes in “treating everyone right.” She says, “There's a camaraderie of sorts among those connected to the military and that continues even after leaving the service.”

As the Veterans Benefits Advisor for the Chesapeake Campus, Parzynski spends her days preparing veterans and retiring military members for the work ahead. She handles the paper work required to certify veterans to use the various GI bills for higher education and career preparation. “When veterans come in, they are often unsure of the process and may not even know what they want to do. We help them navigate through the options.”

A community college graduate herself, Parzynski knows what it’s like to move from the military to a civilian career. “I tell those who come through my door that I know what they're going through, and I do!”  Parzynski used her GI bill to earn her associate degree from TCC and a bachelor’s from Saint Leo University. She later earned a master’s in urban education and community counseling from Norfolk State University.

Parzynski coordinates with other college services including enrollment services and career counseling to ensure student success. “The most fulfilling part of the job is to watch veteran students succeed and move on to new careers or four-year schools. Most are very successful and so grateful,” Parzynski adds.

Parzynski serves on the Mayor’s Commission on Veteran's Affairs for the City of Chesapeake and is an active member of Fellowship Deliverance Church. She is married and has three grown children and two grandchildren.

“I started here as a work study student some 17 years ago, and I knew I’d found my place. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing.”