VASCO is in the business of changing and shaping lives. The work we do at our veterans' organization is aimed at providing a holistic approach to solving some of our society’s biggest challenges. We make sure our partners are empowered by creating opportunities for individuals and communities.
Takesha A. McMiller
Northern Virginia Community College
Takesha A. McMiller is currently the Director of Military and Veterans Services of Northern Virginia Community College. She is a military spouse, her husband served in the United States Air Force. She has been active in the field of higher education for about twenty years and military/veterans programs over ten years. She is responsible for overseeing one of the largest military and veteran program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Takesha has been successful in streamlining the college military and veteran processes across the college six campuses. She, collaborated with the United Way of the National Capitol Area, awarded a veteran success grant to improve transition and education advising services to military students. She currently, serves as the President of Virginia Association of School Certifying Officials (VASCO) a new organization in which she help established in June 2018. She also serves on the Board of Director for the National Association Veterans Program Administrators (NAVPA); she serves on many taskforce representing veterans and cybersecurity initiatives. Takesha was recognized by, Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education, in 2018 as Educator of the Year. Mrs. McMiller is a doctoral candidate at Liberty University pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Mississippi Valley State University and her master’s degree in mass communications from Arkansas State University, and specialist degree in educational leadership from Liberty University. Takesha and her husband Jason live in Northern Virginia and have two children.
Kiama Anthony Bishop
University of Virginia
Kiama Anthony Bishop is the Vice-President of the Virginia Association of School Certifying Officials (VASCO). She is the Assistant University Registrar for Policy and Compliance at the University of Virginia where she has been employed since 2015. She has worked with military students in the higher education setting since 2011. Kiama has been working to support initiatives for military students since she began at UVA. She is also the School Certifying Official for UVA and coordinates the submission of certifications for military educational benefits, tuition assistance, and other programs. Kiama also manages collaborating with the provost's office and the schools to develop and improve academic administrative policies at UVA. She also represents UVA on the SCHEV Military Education Advisory Committee. Kiama is a first-generation college student with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Public Administration. She is completing doctoral studies in the Doctor of Education in Leadership program at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Tidewater Community College
Veronica Cianetti is the Director of Military Student Support Services at the Center for Military and Veterans Education at the Virginia Beach Campus of Tidewater Community College. She enlisted into the United States Army immediately following high school serving three years of active duty and seven years in the Army Reserves. Veronica used Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) to attend SUNY Delhi earning an AAS in Veterinary Technology. While working full time as a vet tech, she obtained an Associate of Science degree from Tidewater Community College in Business Administration and transferred to Old Dominion University to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration. She joined the Center for Military and Veterans Education team at Tidewater Community College just as the Post 9/11 education benefit came to fruition. As director, Veronica continues to serve students and staff in understanding and utilizing military related benefits in higher education.
Daina H. Winfield
Richard Bland College
Daina H. Winfield is a native from New Jersey who relocated to Virginia in 2014. Mrs. Winfield has over 3 years of financial aid experience and just under a year as an SCO. She was previously employed at Reynolds Community College, before her current position as a Financial Aid Counselor and School Certifying Official at Richard Bland College. Mrs. Winfield has many family members who are educators; because of this, she knows the benefits of assisting students achieve a level of success for themselves and their families. “Assisting students to achieve their career goals is very important to me. Paying for college, or finding ways to pay for college can be very challenging. My job is to help simplify the process. This is achieved by listening to their needs and providing our students with information that will benefit them for the rest of their college years.”
Veterans Affairs is also very important to Mrs. Winfield as she has many family members who dedicated their lives serving our country. “I believe in the importance of servicing the needs of families who have fought for our country. My goal is to provide the ultimate customer service to our military students in an efficient manner. That is the least I can do to show gratitude.” Mrs. Winfield welcomes the opportunity to serve on VASCO’s Board as their secretary.
The Evolution of VASCO
September 30, 2013
First VASCO meeting is held.
September 17, 2017
Begin holding regular conference calls to generate interest among Virginia schools in establishing an association. About 50 interested individuals participated in the monthly calls.
November 7, 2017
Nominations submitted for
Executive Board positions.
January 24, 2018
Scheduled first in-person meeting at ECPI.
January- May 2018
Creating By-Laws and Constitution.
April 5, 2018
In-person meeting scheduled and
leadership candidates identified.
May 29, 2018
Final draft of Constitution sent out.
June 1, 2018
First in-person meeting at ECPI in Richmond.
Twenty-four people attended to vote
for the executive board.
July 18, 2018
By-laws and Constitution finalized
September 19, 2018
Contracted Consultant Company, Nonprofit Elite, to submit corporation filings.
October 11, 2018
Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes
VASCO as a corporation.
November 5, 2018
Official VASCO logo and table cover
December 4, 2018
Received VASCO EIN number.
December 6, 2018
VASCO list-serv created.
February 22, 2019
First in-person training with approximately
30 people attending at ECPI in Richmond.