G-20 News

Veteran Students and University Leaders Kick Off 2022 at Veteran Student of America Conference

Eighteen student veterans, including eight Army veterans, six Navy veterans, and four Navy veterans, recently returned from the 14th annual Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Joining the students were Syracuse University lecturers Ron Novack G’20, executive director of the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs (OVMA); Jennifer Pluta G’15, Deputy Director of Veteran Career Services for OVMA; Rosalinda Maury, Institute of Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) director of applied research; Misty Stutsman Fox, Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Portfolio at IVMF; Mirza Tihic, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Businesses at the Whitman School of Management and IVMF; and Linda Euto ’86, G’91, G’02, Associate Director for Research and Evaluation at IVMF.

Each year, the SVA National Conference brings together more than 2,000 student veterans, advocates, thought leaders, stakeholders and supporters of higher education for the largest gathering in the field. The three-day conference consisted of breakout sessions focused on veteran student success and post-graduation opportunities. One such defender was former Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke, a longtime IVMF supporter.

University leaders facilitated several sessions during the conference. Novack, Pluta, and Janina Rios ’24, president of Syracuse University’s Veteran Student Organization, presented on “Raising Fundraising in Higher Education for Veteran Students,” speaking on the best practices, tools, and strategies related to fundraising for veteran and military-related student programs and initiatives and financial support funds.

Pluta also joined Maury for an important discussion about navigating the current employment situation in a post COVID-19 climate. Maury and Tihic presented “The State of Veteran Entrepreneurship,” sharing results from the 2020 and 2021 National Survey of Military Affiliated Entrepreneurs with the goal of understanding the resources, tools and programs needed to help military-related entrepreneurs succeed.

person talking in front of a screen to a group of people

Ron Novack G’20, Executive Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs, presents at the National Conference of Student Veterans of America (SVA).

Stutsman-Fox was part of the “Exploring the Entrepreneurship Journey” panel with Stan Kurtz of the US Small Business Administration and Chris Rawlings, IVMF graduate, founder and chief energy officer of Bowerbird Energy. Finally, Euto presented on debunking common myths about veterans and the challenges they face, and she moderated a panel on “Improving the Pipeline Between Higher Education and Employers” based on a recent report in partnership with Prudential where Pluta was a panelist.

Each year, the SVA announces the finalists for Chapter Advisor of the Year, Chapter of the Year, and Student Veteran of the Year. OVMA’s Ron Novack was honored as a finalist in the Chapter Advisor of the Year category for his hard work and dedication on behalf of student veterans and military-related students at Syracuse University.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the finalists in this category,” says Novack. “I am extremely proud of the work our OVMA team has done to continue Syracuse’s historic legacy to make the university the best place for veterans.”

Veteran students have shared how helpful this experience has been for their future careers. “I met several companies that I am seriously considering for the future and that I would never have known how to approach without it,” says Keri-Anne Miclon G’23, a master’s student in library science at the École des sciences. information and a Navy. veteran. “Hoping to have the chance to go back next year!”

Marjorie David G’22, who earned an MBA and is an Army veteran, says she was grateful to the OVMA team for being there. “It was an amazing trip filled with networking and new friends. Grateful for the opportunity!”

Syracuse students attended the conference for free thanks to the support of donors to the Veterans Legacy Fund (VLF). The fund provides scholarships and special event programming to enhance the student experience, a key strategic imperative of the University.