VALOR Ally of the Year - Kevin Kettner
Congratulations to Kevin Kettner, VALOR's 2019 Ally of the Year. Kevin was awarded the inaugural VALOR Ally of the Year award on April 10th at the conclusion of the VALOR Presents presentation. Kevin has a long history of serving student veterans at NDSU. To learn more about Kevin and his receipt of this award see the article posted on NDSU News: https://www.ndsu.edu/news/view/detail/37211/.
VALOR Presents: Rising to the Challenge: History, Action, and Vision presented April 10, 2019 by Jeri Vaudrin
Jeri Vaudrin shared how she came to work with student veterans, what she learned along the way, and what lies ahead for those seeking to improve student veteran experiences and outcomes at NDSU. Her presentation stimulated a robust Q & A segment.
Jeri Vaudrin is the Campus Veteran Outreach Development VISTA for the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to her current position, she worked for a decade as the Project Coordinator for Veterans Education Training (VET) at NDSU (which replaced the TRIO Veterans Upward Bound program). Since her retirement from NDSU in 2015, Jeri has continued working with student veteran issues as a VALOR Board Member.
VALOR Presents: Serving Veterans presented March 13, 2019 by Bryan Watters
Bryan Watters covered a number of topics relevant to serving veterans to include the NDDVA website, the services provided by State Veteran Service Officers, State Loan and Grant Program, veteran indicator for the ND license, veteran ID Card and application process, ND license plates, and some examples of other veteran appreciation programs.
Bryan was raised in Southern Minnesota and served in the USMC as an Infantryman from 1987 to 1991 to include the First Gulf War. He graduated from Moorhead State Univ in 1997 with a B.A. in Biology. Bryan went on to serve in the Minnesota Army National Guard as a Field Artillery Officer from 1991 until his retirement in 2017. In 2013, he started his veteran advocacy as the Department Service Officer for the North Dakota American Legion. Bryan joined the NDDVA in 2015 and is currently the VSO Supervisor for the NDDVA.
VALOR Presents: Military Sexual Trauma presented February 13, 2019 by Calie Lindseth
Calie Lindseth discussed Military Sexual Trauma (MST) an its impacts. MST impacts 8 in 10 women and 3 in 10 men serving in our US Armed Forces. 16 new North Dakota Veterans, each month, reach out to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time in an effort to find healing and services.
Calie is the Women’s Veteran Coordinator with the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. Her position focuses on women veterans, minority veterans, LBGTQ veterans, military sexual assault survivors, among others. She has served with the ND Army National Guard for over 11 years, with two tours overseas-to Kosovo and to Kuwait. Calie holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology and a Master’s in Public Health from NDSU. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. at SDSU. Much of her academic and research interest has focused on alternative treatments for mental health, trauma intervention, and suicidality.
VALOR Presents: A Call to Action: Preventing Veteran Suicide, Suicide Awareness and Prevention through Limiting Access to Lethal Means presented January 9, 2019 by Nicole Veselka
Nicole Veselka, BSN, RN, discussed key facts about veteran suicide to include: protective factors and risk factors that increase the likelihood of suicide attempts (including unique risk factors for Veterans), how lethal means reduction prevents suicides, and resources for veterans and the whole community.
Nicole is the Suicide Prevention Education and Outreach Specialist at the Fargo VA HCS. She has been a nurse since 2007, and has experience in long term, acute, and primary care at the VA. She is also a member of the ND State Suicide Prevention Coalition. She served in the military as an active duty Army Medic from 2000-2004 and deployed to Iraq from 2003-2004 in support of OIF I.
VALOR Presents: What Job Service Does to Support Veterans and the Importance of that Support - presented December 12, 2018 by Jerome Billups
Jerome Billups, a Veteran Employment Specialist from Job Service North Dakota, discussed the ways in which Job Services works to meet veterans' needs. He explained how veterans can translate military experience to education and employment. Jerome is an Air Force Retiree (22 years of service) who is invested in early intervention and access to education to stabilize employment throughout a veteran's life.
VALOR Presents: How the Effects and Trauma of War Impact a Service Member's Transition from the Military - presented November 14, 2018 by Brad Aune
Brad Aune discussed the ways in which the effects and trauma of war impact a service member's transition from the military. Through Brad's story of living with PTSD and his personal transition from the military, attendees got a better understanding of the unique challenges veterans can face once they “come home”.
NDSU Veterans Day Ceremony - held on November 9, 2018
Coming in 2019 - the Valor Ally of the Year Award
In May 2019, the VALOR Advisory Board will award the first Valor Ally of the Year Award. Stay tuned for more details about the criteria for this award and the nomination submission process.
ND Cares Signing Event
ND Cares Signing Ceremony, September 17, 2018 (From left to right: Grant Larson, Fargo ND Cares; Kelsey Handt, NDSU ND Cares (student representative); Carol Cwiak, NDSU ND Cares (VALOR representative); Jim Stoddard, NDSU ND Cares (VET Program representative), Connie Sprynczynatyk, ND Cares; President Bresciani, NDSU; Darcie Handt, ND Cares; and, Major General Alan Dohrmann, North Dakota National Guard.