Ross D. Bryant, Director, Military & Veteran Services Center
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Student Veterans of America (SVA) held its 10th Annual National Conference from the 4th to the 7th of January in San Antonio, Texas. Organizations from all over the country came to learn, connect, and network with fellow student veterans. Currently, there are 1,500 registered chapters at campuses in all 50 states and in 4 countries abroad. These chapters represent the 1.1 million student veterans attending college courses worldwide. The UNLV Rebel Veteran Organization, also known as Rebel Vets, sent twelve members to represent our team. This was made possible with the support and sponsorship of the Military and Veterans Services Center (MVSC), Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada (CSUN), and the Dean’s Office at the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.
The Rebel Vets were extended the privilege to present at four breakout sessions during the conference on various topics. Randy Dexter, Jeff Detrick, and Bruno Moya, all current or former Rebel Vets presidents, educated participants on their best tips and tricks to running a successful chapter. Mr. Moya, a SVA Policy Liaison, spoke to student veterans about how to become effective legislative advocates. Mr. Detrick, an academic counselor at UNLV, partnered with SVA and LinkedIn associates to introduce a pilot program that teaches chapter leaders how to use LinkedIn’s continuously expanding platform. In 2017, UNLV was selected as one of five campuses to kick-off the program and successfully hosted four webinars for students to enhance their digital presence and professional network. In the last session, the MVSC Director, Ross Bryant, and his Outreach Coordinator Dwayne Gordon enlightened other college advisors on ways to build a successful veteran center on campus.
The Rebel Vets were recognized throughout the conference for their stellar work over the last year. A few major highlights for the Rebel Vets included Mr. Bryant being awarded SVA Chapter Advisor of the Year for 2017, two UNLV student veterans being selected to attend the SVA’s Leadership Institute, and an impressive 235 student veterans graduated from UNLV. These accomplishments led to the chapter being distinguished as a top five finalist for Chapter of the Year. Chapter President, Randy Dexter accompanied by Captain, were also recognized as a top ten finalist for Student Veteran of the Year and awarded a position as one of ten people across the country to become a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) – SVA Legislative Fellow. This will allow him to travel to Washington, D.C. from the 4th to the 9th of March to advocate for the Troops to Teachers program, which could greatly benefit the Clark County School District.
The UNLV Rebel Vets are a nationally recognized student veteran organization that is dedicated to empowering and motivating student veterans not only here at UNLV, but across the nation.