Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, a 38-year Army veteran, came to MTSU in January as Senior Advisor for Veteran and Leadership Initiatives.
Bringing Huber to campus is just another example of the university’s commitment to its approximately 1,000 student veterans. The university was named one of the “Best for Vets” by Military Times magazine for the last four years, and was the only four-year school with an on-campus representative from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Huber’s initial task has been to survey current veteran students and affairs.
“It’s different for me to walk around and shake hands with veteran students,” Huber said. “Men and women who have stood in uniform have a bond already.”
“In my survey of the students, there have been no recurring needs mentioned that the school wasn’t already equipped to handle,” Huber explained. “The biggest thing up until this point has been finding a way for students to contact the administration to get things fixed. That’s why I’m here.”
At The Military Center for Veteran Success on Campus, located in the Keathley University Center, veterans can receive mentorship, help with understanding and applying for VA and healthcare benefits, job placement and assistance with the often complex and daunting task of registering for classes. Heather Conrad, a full-time vocational rehabilitation counselor, acts as a liason between the university and the national VA office.
The school hosted an event back in January to welcome and introduce Huber. He has since been pursuing students across campus so that he can hear their needs.
“I’ve been just going into classrooms and giving brief descriptions of what I’m doing,” Huber said. “Every veteran needs to know that I’m here to listen, even if that means I have to find them on campus and tell them.”
Huber says his initial assessment of the university’s veteran needs is coming to an end.
“At this point, after reading the survey answers and meeting the students I’ve met, the most important thing I can say is I’m here to listen and I am here to help,” Huber said. “The administration is incredibly open to my assessment and eager to help, students just have to know that they can come to me to bridge the gap.”
Huber urges veterans to reach out to him if they need anything through the school. His office is located in Cope Administrative Building room 111 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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