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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Student Serves Veterans while Learning Sign Language

Photo of William Brethauer in the SPC Veterans CenterWilliam Brethauer served his nation for nine years in the Air Force and now wants to help others as an American Sign Language interpreter. William served as an Aircraft Electric and Environmental Systems Specialist on Air Force active duty from 2011 to 2017, then served three years in the Air National Guard with the 133rd Airlift Wing in the Twin Cities. He followed his heart after his military service and enrolled in the Sign Language Interpreter Transliterator Degree program. William continues to serve veterans as a student worker in the Veteran Center on the 3rd floor in Room 3340 while preparing for his next journey in serving the Deaf community.

William enrolled in Saint Paul College’s Sign Language program because of its deep roots in the Deaf community. He appreciates having Deaf professors and active interpreters teach the classes as it gives him many real-life experiences which help prepare him for his new profession. William also loves the campus environment, which allows him to see cultural diversity daily. It has helped him “approach each interaction with others with an open mind focused on relating to different cultural perspectives.”

William loves reconnecting with veterans and using his “extra-linguistic knowledge” by helpingPhoto of William Brethauer with child in front of Air Force plane student veterans and their families. Beyond the classroom, William serves as the Veteran Center student advisor. Saint Paul College has recently been proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon College with a sustained commitment to supporting veterans and their families; this Veteran Center is consistently open to serving our growing student veteran body. William encourages veterans and their family members to come in and enjoy:

  • Connecting with other veterans and sharing past experiences
  • Utilizing computers to access emails, print out papers, or search the internet
  • Studying or relaxing while enjoying coffee or snacks or using the microwave or refrigerator
  • Learning more about your benefits as a veteran.

Veteran Center hours change each semester. For Spring 2023, the hours are Monday 9-4; Wednesday 9-12:30; Thursday 9-noon; and Friday 9-3:30. The Veterans Center is also open every other Tuesday from 1-3 pm as staffed by Duane Bauer from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, who can help with questions about veterans’ educational benefits. Go to Student Veterans Services to view the current hours and services available at this culturally-relatable space for our veteran families.

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