Marine veteran Yevgeniy Malyasin returned home after traveling the worldby Jan Janes on Jan 10, 2020
Quiet, for a communications major, and attentive, like a business major, Marine Corps veteran Yevgeniy Malyasin returned to Gilroy and Gavilan College after six years’ service.
“I always wanted to go to college but wasn’t fully ready after high school,” said Malyasin. Looking to build his confidence and maturity, he saw the military as a way to start. “And the Marines have the reputation of being the toughest.”
Yevgeniy Malyasin (left) and fellow veterans at the end of Fall 2019 semester.
After six years, he was ready to transition out. “It was a bigger shift going in than coming out,” he said. “Because I had to grow up, become an adult, in the blink of an eye.” Leaving the military after many accomplishments, he looked forward to becoming a civilian again.
After his four-year tour, he reenlisted, wanting to make one last deployment, when he received training as a medic and saw combat in Yemen. Prior to that he had assignments and training in Okinawa, Thailand, Australia, Guam and South Korea.
Born in Russia, Malyasin moved to the United States as a child, living first in Salinas, then in Gilroy during his high school years. “I know Gilroy and Salinas well,” he said, “and I wanted to attend a smaller school.”
He didn’t know about the college benefits until the last year of his military contract. “The GI bill changed after 9/11, now I’m fully set on using them,” Malyasin said. “But the preceding five years, I didn’t know.”
Yevgeniy Malyasin works with Cynthia Matory in the Welcome Center.
Malyasin has worked in the Welcome Center since spring 2019. “I work with all students, and especially know what vets need,” he said. At the same time, he notes, “How welcoming and available others have been to me through this first year.”
He added Writing Center duties after a recommendation from communication studies instructor Sara Burkhamer. “She liked the way I created outlines and references.”
Tutoring in the Writing Center, students attend a guidance class and teach a few different subjects. “This prepared me to be a better peer mentor and to learn how to be a tutor,” he said. “I did know how to organize and outline, but not how to tutor and sit alongside, asking leading questions.” Training in metacognition was key to helping students solve other problems on their own.
Malyasin started classes during winter intersession just one year ago. He is planning his transfer path majoring in communications and marketing at a four-year college, with an eye to area CSU schools. “I was shy and timid when I arrived,” he said. “As time progresses I meet more students and teachers. Gavilan has made a difference in my life, even just one year in.”