What the SVA Leadership Institute Helped Create for My Chapter

Written by: Jonathan Granata, a United States Air Force veteran and former president of the SVA chapter at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Granata currently works as a Development Specialist at SVA HQ, while pursuing his MA in Organizational Leadership at George Washington University.

I first heard about the 2015 Leadership Institute in Savannah, Georgia when I was attending the Google Leadership Summit in NYC. I was instantly interested when I heard that it was specifically for chapter leaders and was focused on the broad scope of how to build and maintain a sustainable SVA chapter. Each day we broke down individual aspects of topics that every chapter faces on campus such as membership, marketing, effective communication, recruiting, fundraising, and policy. We were instructed on best practices by the SVA staff and heard from corporate leadership on what they look for from veterans. The most beneficial aspect of the institute was how Student Veterans of America provided the forum for all of the chapter leaders to network and provide best practices and experiences. Hearing what other chapters (both well-established and brand new ones) had done to make a positive impact with their members and on their campus was a huge advantage. Building these relationships between chapter leaders gave us the opportunity to communicate and ask questions far after the institute.

How Last Year's SVA Leadership Institute Changed My Student Veteran Experience

Written by: Kristen Robinson, Graduate Student at University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she studies Conflict Management and Resolution. Robinson also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

My first interaction with Student Veterans of America was at the 2015 National Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Since then I have become very involved with my university's student veteran organization, UNCW VETS, and our military-affiliated community. Last summer I had the amazing opportunity to attend a Leadership Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina and then the Leadership Institute in Savannah, Georgia. I met so many amazing people at these events and stay in contact with them so we can learn from one another and improve our organizations. The breakout sessions were incredibly helpful and taught us all how to become better leaders, students, and people in general. Through these experiences I have learned to stay positive and look for solutions rather than just pointing out problems. We see a lot of that in the veteran community, but if we can take those lessons back to our schools and teach others what we have learned, then we need to do so. Some people believe that veterans are looking for handouts or sympathy but through these events I have met the people who can and will change the face of the veteran community and how the world views us.

Looking Back at the Houston SVA Leadership Summit

Written by: Khymberly Booth Director, US University Relations, BP America

Wow! We got to spend an amazing three days with our friends from Student Veterans of America.

In case you haven't heard, 50 student veterans recently gathered in Houston for this summer's third installment of the SVA Leadership Summit. Representing 21 different college campuses, it seemed perfectly fitting to bring these dynamic and driven leaders to the energy capital of the United States! And energized they were.

SVA Celebrates the 72nd Anniversary of the GI Bill

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, also commonly called the GI Bill of Rights. And today after the passage of successive GI Bills following the Korean War, Vietnam and most recently, the post 9/11 version; it is now known simply as the new GI Bill. These GI Bills represent critically important legislative successes for America's service members, veterans, survivors, and their families.

SVA's Response to the NYT Op-Ed “Veterans Deserve a Chance in College, Not a Free Pass”

Earlier this month SVA, Warrior-Scholar Project, and Service to School responded to a New York Times article in a letter to the editor. It wasn't published, but we think it is important enough to publish openly here.

We write today in response to the op-ed by Mr. Alexander McCoy, "Veterans Deserve a Chance in College, Not a Free Pass." Most simply stated, Student Veterans of America, Service to School, and Warrior Scholar Project do not believe ACE recommendations are at the root of the predatory college problem student veterans face. We further believe Mr. McCoy's piece inadvertently and unintentionally both devalues military training and education and does a disservice to veterans pursuing higher education by suggesting colleges and universities should not accept prior learning transfer credits.


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