Press Release

Boston’s Commissioner of Veterans’ Services Visits BHCC’s Veterans Center

Monday, August 12, 2019

Robert Santiago, Commissioner of Veteran’s Services for the City of Boston, visited Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) on July 22 to meet fellow veterans and military service members who are attending BHCC. The BHCC Veterans Center provides veterans, active duty military, Guard/Reservists and their eligible dependents specialized customer service and a smooth transition to BHCC.

Robert Santiago BHCC August 12, 2019

Photo Caption: (From Left to Right) William Cribby, BHCC Assistant Dean of Student Services; Pam Eddinger, PhD., BHCC President; Robert Santiago, Commissioner of Veteran’s Services for the City of Boston; James Canniff, BHCC Provost and Vice President; Misael Carrasquillo, Special Programs Coordinator, BHCC Veterans Center; and Julie Elkins, BHCC Dean of Student Services.

Santiago was appointed to the position of Commissioner of Veterans’ Services in April. He is the first Puerto Rican and LGBTQ Veterans' Commissioner in the City's history. Before joining the Mayor's Office of Veterans' Services, Santiago served 20 years in the Navy in diverse duty stations including sea duty on four warships, and overseas tours in Belgium, Puerto Rico, Panama and Japan. Santiago participated in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Eastern Exit, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. His final duty station was in Boston onboard America's Ship of State, the USS Constitution, which is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. He retired from military service in 2008 while onboard USS Constitution. Santiago also attended BHCC in 2008.

Misael Carrasquillo, Special Programs Coordinator for BHCC’s Veterans Center, welcomed Santiago to the campus. Santiago toured the facility and met with BHCC students who use the services of the Veterans Center. Carrasquillo also gave a presentation of the Veterans Center that included testimonials of BHCC alumni who are veterans and had a successful experience at BHCC, graduated and transferred to a four-year university. At the end of the visit, Santiago gave the students challenge coins and ensured that he will be of any support that they need.

Santiago is on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Veterans Services Officer Association and is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Santiago is also a member of the leadership team for the Homes for the Brave initiative which is part of the Mayors Challenge to end Veteran Homelessness.

Each semester, nearly 400 veterans enroll in classes at BHCC. In 2017 and 2018, BHCC earned the Military Friendly® School designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. ® Jobs, STEM JobsSM and Military Spouse. The BHCC Veterans Center will hold information sessions for any veteran, active duty service members, Guard/Reservists and their dependents who are interested in attending Bunker Hill Community College. Visit to learn more about the BHCC Veterans Center.

BHCC Veterans Center Information Sessions:

August 13, 2019                      2:30 p.m.                     Charlestown Campus, E232

August 20, 2019                      2:30 p.m.                     Charlestown Campus, E232

August 22, 2019                      2:30 p.m.                     Charlestown Campus, E232

August 29, 2019                      2:30 p.m.                     Charlestown Campus, E232

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About Bunker Hill Community College
With more than 50 years of academic excellence, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is Massachusetts' largest community college, annually welcoming a diverse community of around 16,000 students. With campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, BHCC extends its reach across several locations in Greater Boston. The College offers associate degrees and certificates, early college and dual enrollment, community education, corporate training, and industry-specific training programs. BHCC is celebrated for its diversity, boasting a student body where 65% identify as people of color and more than half are women. The College also embraces a global perspective, with over 600 international students representing 90 countries and conversing in more than 65 languages. Our commitment to diversity is further reflected in BHCC's designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).