Student Profile: Ethan Lichwan ’25

Feb 21, 2024
Ethan Lichwan, class of 2025. He is in the Veteran and Military office on campus, and wears a gray shirt with a blue "WSU" print on the front. He has close-cropped hair. Colored flags are blurred in the background and he is sitting on a green couch.

Ethan Lichwan '25.

Ethan Lichwan, class of 2025, is a junior and criminal justice major at Westfield State. He is also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and Westfield State Veterans’ Alliance Club. “It’s a new club,” Lichwan said. “We’re still trying to get recruits.”

Initially, Lichwan did not foresee himself going to college. He had his sights set on joining the military.  However, he was eventually persuaded by his mother to invest in higher education and was still able to join the U.S. Army Reserve, where he has two years left to serve.

Because he grew up in Springfield, Westfield State appealed to Lichwan due to its location, but also because of its reputation for having a premiere criminal justice program, where he would be able to pursue his passion of military law enforcement. “How lucky am I that I have this program right here, near my home?” he said. “I just knew what I wanted to do, and it’s been great.

Part of Lichwan’s preparation for university includes his collaboration with Westfield State’s Veteran and Military Services office and the transference of his military education to college credits. Joint Service Transcripts allow college students and veterans to connect military education classes taken while in basic training with official programs offered by a university as a “jump start”.

Rob Vigneault, Assistant Director of Veteran and Military Services, along with Justin Marques, assist those on campus who are military-connected and coordinate benefits for those who qualify. For Lichwan, the office has been immeasurably helpful as he navigates higher education while still serving out his military contract.

“Rob and Justin helped me out tremendously,” Lichwan said. “From my first day on campus and throughout my time at the University, they’ve been there to help me, even with that financial aspect of it. If you’re having a rough time, they can point you in the right direction on what to do for school. While it's true that they primarily deal with individuals who have been in the military, they’re there to help anyone who comes through those doors. I know that even after my time here, they will continue to fight on and push forward doing great things for the students and the University. I highly encourage prospective students, military connected or not, to seek the military center out if you ever need something during your time at the University. They’re always helpful.”

As a junior, Lichwan is considering pursuing his master’s degree through the University’s 4+1 program, which allows students to earn both their bachelor and master’s degrees in just give five years. While he aspires to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, career prospects can “go a lot of different ways”, and so Lichwan is still considering his options. For now, Lichwan is still enjoying his time at Westfield State and cultivating connections both in the Veteran and Military Services office as well as on campus in general.

Westfield State University has a great feeling of community and closeness,” he said. “To faculty and staff who are always there to help you when you need it, to the clubs and sports teams… the University offers so many opportunities to all its students. You just have to ask and get involved. You get out what you put in!”