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FEB 2017

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60 G.I. JOBS | FEBRUARY 2017 | GIJOBS.COM THE SCHOOL RUTGERS UNIVERSITY– CAMDEN Established: 1766 Location: Camden, N.J. EDU SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT SEVEN YEARS AGO, a large group of student veterans at Rutgers-Camden approached Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Mary Beth Daisey, requesting that the school allocate an individual to help them navigate the often-complicated process of coordinating their veteran educational benefits. Daisey, then associate chancellor for student affairs, took action and ultimately hired Frederick Davis, who quickly established the Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA) at the New Jersey state university. Davis was appointed the campus director of veter- ans affairs, a title he's held proudly ever since. Thanks, in large part, to Davis and Daisey's efforts over the past seven years, Rutgers-Camden was recently named a Purple Heart University – the first school in New Jersey to re- ceive the prestigious designa- tion for its service to veteran students. Joseph Belardo, New Jersey state commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and a Viet- nam veteran, presented Rutgers-Camden with the award during the school's annual Veteran's Day cer- emony in November 2016. "When I look at enti- ties that should receive the Purple Heart, I look for the best a veteran can get. I have total respect for the entity I'm giving it to, total respect for those who support not just Purple Heart recipients, but all veterans," explains Belardo. "It's clear that the Rutgers program is invaluable from the way the students talk about it." HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING A Navy veteran and former detective sergeant with the Camden Police Department (retired after 29 years), Davis threw himself into his new role the moment he started at the university and hasn't stopped since. He's grown the OVA and its suite of programs to include a wide range of truly useful, tangible services and supports to veterans. Working quickly, Davis es- tablished a veterans' lounge at the students' request, and today the inviting space fea- tures workstations, places to relax and hang out, and even a refrigerator. It's well used by veterans on campus, who get to spend time with fellow vets, enjoying a renewed sense of camaraderie they often miss when they leave the military. Rutgers University-Camden named first Purple Heart University in New Jersey. PURPLE HEART U. BY ANDREA LOVAS "I have so much passion for helping these young men and women returning home." Frederick Davis Campus Director Of Veterans Affairs Rutgers University–Camden Navy veteran

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