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SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Kate Tillotson: 

As a part of our mission in aiding veterans with their transition into higher education and civilian life, SVA shares the stories of student veterans through our SVA Voices series in the hopes that, through storytelling, we can change the narrative surrounding veterans, highlight their successes and inspire the next generation of student veterans.

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Kate Tillotson is a U.S. Marines veteran studying speech pathology at the University of Tulsa. She was elected President of the University of Tulsa Student Veteran Association (TU SVA) in April 2016. Kate was awarded SVA's Student Veteran of the Year at the 9th Annual National Conference earlier this month in Anaheim, California.

During her tenure as president, she has been an outstanding advocate for veterans at her local university, surrounding universities, and in the surrounding Tulsa area. When Kate was elected president of her organization faced many challenges, due to a lack of communication between the previous group's officers and their corporate sponsor. Kate was able to repair and rebuild that relationship, resulting in a $1,500 grant to the association and a $1,500 scholarship to a Veteran engineering student at TU.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 9.41.54 AMKate Tillotson, joined other SVA Chapter Leaders from across the country to meet with Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
Robert McDonald, at SVA's 9th Annual National Conference, in Anaheim California. 

Kate worked tirelessly to establish and grow other partnerships with local businesses and employers. The TU Student Veteran Association has had events hosted by VALOR group, a volunteer organization within U.S. Cellular that focuses on veteran outreach. The association has also had events attended by the Army Corps of Engineers and City of Tulsa employees. Kate coordinated with the TU Creative Writing Department to bring a veteran author, Phil Klay, to the University of Tulsa campus for a joint event with other campus organizations.

Under Kate's leadership, her chapter increased the TU SVA's events to an almost weekly average. This significant growth in activity has increased average attendance from less than 10 students to 30+ per event. Due to the wide variety of events, students are able to attend those which align with their preferences, allowing her chapter to serve a higher percentage of their overall veteran population.

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Kate Tillotson accepts SVA's Student Veteran of the Year Award at SVA's 9th Annual National Conference. 

Because of Kate's exemplary leadership, TU SVA has been able to transform themselves into a model chapter. At SVA we want to share the success stories of student veterans across the country, and that starts with sharing your successes and that of your chapter. Join the #SVAVoices campaign and share your story today!


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