University of Nevada – Las Vegas is our Featured Campus for April! “UNLV has been consistently and enthusiastically providing exceptional support to the student veterans on their campus. The close-knit team has held special events, like the Women Veterans Retreat meant to empower and inform women veterans, as well as other innovative events to connect with all of their student veterans,” says Emma Czajka, PAVE Research Assistant.
Team Leaders Frank Vizza, Kesha Westbrook, and Natalie Dailey work with Associate Director of Veteran Outreach Dwayne Gordon and nine Peer Advisors to serve UNLV’s community of 1,600 veteran and military-affiliated students.
Key to UNLV PAVE’s success is how well their team works together and supports one another. “One of the most rewarding things for me is to see this team taking care of each other,” says Dwayne. When you interact with the UNLV PAVE team, they feel like the best kind of family – a caring, supportive, and fun-loving one.
They continually draw more people into their military and veteran family by building community via their PAVE and SVA events. “We know that it helps student veterans to be in social environments with other student veterans… PAVE is very crucial for the holistic wellbeing of student veterans,” says Frank.
Since PAVE has been operating robustly at UNLV for many years, the team there has countless examples of assisting veterans via PAVE. Some recent examples include noticing and assisting a student veteran in crisis who was actively suicidal and helping a student move to a new home. Another student who wasn’t going to have enough GI Bill eligibility left to finish their degree was able to continue their education after being connected with VR&E benefits.
By easing the discomfort and mitigating some of the challenges students face, the UNLV PAVE team has kept their large military and veteran community well-served. Sometimes the support is long-term: Kesha still connects and provides resource recommendations to a student who she’d first been paired with years ago. “The effect that we have on one person goes farther than we can imagine,” Keisha says.
Thank you for consistently providing excellent support to your military and veteran community, UNLV!