Suffolk County Community College has named Shannon O'Neill as its $91,000-a-year director of veterans affairs after a nationwide search.

O'Neill, 38, an East Patchogue resident chosen from more than 50 applicants, began work last week in which she will direct all aspects of campus services for veterans. School officials do not yet have veteran figures for this semester, but last fall, Suffolk had 510 veteran students.

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O'Neill, who will be based on the Selden campus, will develop and implement training sessions for faculty, administrators and staff about best practices for providing services to veterans, develop policies related to veterans affairs, design and implement student veteran recruitment strategies and on-campus Veterans Resource Centers.

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The hiring comes after the college earlier this summer received a $42,000 state grant for a program now underway to assist veterans with entrepreneurship and starting up new businesses.

O'Neill comes from St. Joseph's College in Patchogue where she most recently served as assistant dean for professional studies. Earlier, she served five years in the Office of Military and Veteran Services on the campus where she led a tremendous growth in the number of students served by that program -- from 54 to 235.

O'Neill has both a bachelor's in Community Health and Human Services and a master's in Management with a concentration in health care from St. Joseph's College.