College of New Rochelle Ed.D. Cohort Treated to Inspirational Guest Speaker
A total of 30 students from the Ed.D. Program in Executive Leadership’s College of New Rochelle cohort have spent the week on the St. John Fisher College campus, a requirement of the extension site’s program. On Monday, June 3, the program hosted guest speaker Luis Carlos Montalván, author of Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. Montalván’s topic was, “War, Recovery, and the Role of Organizational Leaders in Social Justice for Veterans and People with Disabilities.” Program alumni, other current students, faculty, and staff attended the talk as well.
Montalván is a former soldier who served for the U.S. Army for 17 years from 1990-2007. Before he entered the officer corps in 2003, he worked for over a decade as a military policeman, infantryman, and communications specialist. He has dedicated his entire adult life to serving in the Army and helping those who also have served. Most recently, Montalván has gained notoriety as a spokesperson for those injured in war both physically and mentally.
He attended Georgetown University and the University of Maryland, College Park, where he took classes to complete the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2003. After graduating, he went on to complete the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox in Kentucky. As part of his military education, he engaged in a number of different courses such as Armor Officer Basic, Sapper, Airborne, Pathfinder, and Air Assault. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City.
Montalván was deployed to Iraq for the first time in 2003 and completed his first tour there as a Tank and Scout Platoon Leader. He was part of the team responsible for securing and developing a port-of-entry in Al Waleed. In addition, he patrolled the Iraqi desert. Throughout his time there, he recognized the importance of serving with honor and dignity.
Upon his return from his first tour of duty, he found the adjustment back to regular life difficult and re-enlisted for a second tour. Since the extent of his physical and psychological injuries was not yet fully diagnosed, he was deployed to Iraq for the second time in 2005 and remained for another year. He worked on a variety of special assignments and was later promoted to Captain. Later that same year, he returned to the U.S. and was responsible for training and mentoring new Army officers in Fort Benning, Georgia.
He witnessed firsthand the attack of September 11, 2001, from the Pentagon, and it was there he started volunteering for security missions throughout the area. He also helped by adding to the development of national strategic policy through his participation in the American Enterprise Institute’s Iraq Planning Group.
Although he was dedicated to the Army and devoted to doing a good job, his physical and psychological health continued to deteriorate until he could no longer perform at such a high level every day. Montalván was honorably discharged in 2007 after serving his entire adult life thus far in the Army.
After his tours of duty, Montalván returned home and began tending to his injuries. Since PTSD is an umbrella term that covers many symptoms and is based on reactions that each person has the tendency to handle differently, many of his injuries are referred to as invisible disabilities. Plagued by chronic pain, anger, isolation, and depression, to name a few, he looked for relief. He dedicated himself to finding help and poured himself into his writing, and his book is a result of his efforts.
CNR Cohort 3 student Colleen McLaughlin, Luis Montalván, and his service dog, Tuesday. Luis was Colleen’s executive mentor in the Ed.D. Program in Executive Leadership.