Get to Know HFC: Gail Bock has a passion for helping veterans
Since 2001, Gail Bock has been a strong contributor at HFC, working in a variety of positions.
“I began in Records and Registration, then worked in the Cashier’s Office for two years,” recalled Bock. “When the new Welcome Center opened, I applied for a job as an Enrollment Associate IV. The College later needed someone to take over Veterans Services on a part-time basis.”
The Veterans Services position soon became a full-time job, according to Bock, whose position is Enrollment Associate IV/Veterans Services. She reports to HFC Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Holly Diamond.
“Gail is an extremely knowledgeable and kind person,” said HFC student Nina Denny, a United States Air Force veteran. “She has helped so many people in so many ways. I’m just proud to know a caring person like her.”
HFC was the best step for Bock
The youngest of four children, Bock was born in Painesville, OH. She also lived in Louisiana before her family settled in Michigan when she was 12. After graduating from Woodhaven High School in Brownstown Charter Township, Bock enrolled at HFC (then Henry Ford Community College). Transferring to the University of Michigan-Dearborn, she earned her bachelor's degree in business administration.
Bock now lives in Dearborn with Glenn, her husband of 43 years. They have two children, Ben and Kristy, and two grandchildren. Ben and Kristy both took classes at HFC.
“I wanted to start my secondary education, but I knew I wasn’t ready for university life quite yet,” explained Bock. “Because I lived downriver, the College seemed like the best place for me to begin. I came in, saw what it had to offer, and knew it was the best step for me. The College prepared me well for UM-Dearborn. I don’t think I would’ve done well otherwise. Attending a community college was the right step for me.”
Going from corporate to education
For just under a decade, Bock worked for General Motors upon graduating from UM-Dearborn.
“I enjoyed working in the corporate sector. I was very comfortable,” said Bock. “I was in materials management or what today is known as supply chain management. I worked in the Pontiac plant to start with, dealing with the supply chain and production schedule. Then I moved into the materials management corporate offices in Warren.”
Bock left GM to become a stay-at-home mom. When her two children were old enough for her to return to work, she wanted to stay closer to home and took a job in the Dearborn Public Schools in the adult education division.
After two years in the P-12 district, Bock transferred to HFC. She has been in her current position for five years.
“This role became much more than originally intended. The many demands of the College, the State of Michigan, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs expanded what this role is,” explained Bock, who also serves as HFC’s VA Certifying Official. “The main duty of this job is to be the point of contact at HFC for student veterans and currently active service members and their families who want to use their benefits to continue their education. I’m a school-certifying official, who works with veterans to certify their enrollment in order for them to receive their educational benefits.”
A small but mighty SVA
In 2017, the HFC Office of Veterans Affairs was established on the main floor of the Welcome Center. The Veterans Center space for veterans who are students is on the first floor of the Student Center. Some of the services and resources offered include:
- A point of contact to help you navigate VA and College processes
- Access to priority registration
- Guidance through College processes and advocacy to help you reach your goals
- Assistance in applying for and understanding your veteran and military education benefits
- Connection to various College resources: Enrollment Services, Counseling, Academic Advising, Assisted Learning Services, Student Outreach & Support, Career Services, Financial Aid, etc.
- Connection to community resources
- Connection to our Student Veterans Affairs organization, which helps to provide a sense of community for our veterans and their families
“I work directly with SVA faculty advisor Bob James. We have a small but mighty SVA here at the College,” said Bock. “We are continuing to have virtual coffee hours monthly. We are making ourselves known to military service members so that they are aware of campus resources.”
An honor and privilege to assist HFC’s military-connected students
In 2019, the College – which earned distinction as a veteran-friendly employer and gold-level veteran-friendly school – opened the HFC Veterans Center in the Student & Culinary Arts Center (Building M on the main campus). This center provides military-connected students a place to call their own. With the impact of the pandemic, our military students have instead connected virtually with monthly Coffee Hours sponsored by SVA, as well as our annual commemoration of Veterans Day each Nov. 11.
“Our main goal is to make sure there are resources for our military-connected students that are out there and that we can connect them with when needed,” said Bock. “I really love doing what I’m doing, helping military-connected students. I am truly honored to help these students of varying ages from all walks of life who come to HFC and want assistance. I feel humbled to assist them based on what they’ve given for our country. I’m proud of HFC for making this position and making it a priority to service the military-connected student population.”
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