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    GradImpact: Providing a Beacon of Hope for Veterans and First Responders

    Nick Harnish is an applied master’s student in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison with an emphasis in community organizing, human development, nonprofit management, and public humanities. He’s also a veteran of the U.S. Army, a former first responder, a volunteer with Wisconsin Hero Outdoors, and a Public Humanities Scholar with the UW—Madison Center for Humanities.


    Harnish is using his broad and impressive range of experiences and expertise to turn a lighthouse on the grounds of Lakewood WWV Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, into a cultural retreat for veterans and first responders. “It’s going to be the beacon of hope for our veterans and first responders. A lighthouse is very fitting for that,” Harnish said.


    Aptly named Havenwood, the outdoor wellness center is scheduled to open in spring 2020. Harnish’s certification in mindfulness-based stress reduction and experience with wilderness therapy will help ensure programs that work. “That’s where Havenwood is really unique,” he said. “I’m going to give you this space to be alone with your thoughts and your feelings and allow you to process them. And I want to give you the tools and resources to process it, versus forcing that process to happen.”


    Harnish currently works at the Department of Military Affairs as a state program coordinator, organizing programs for military-connected youth. To learn more about Nick’s work, visit the University of Wisconsin—Madison website


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.



    Image Credit: University of Wisconsin—Madison



    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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