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Student Veterans Conference

Featured Event


Student Veterans Conference

Stairway to Success: Utilizing Your Resources
November 22, 2013
Ted Constant Convocation Center


Throughout the country, service members are returning home and deciding to obtain their higher education degrees. While many schools have increased efforts to support these military connected students, there has been a need for greater collaboration and coordination across institutions. In an effort to increase best practices across the state in serving our veterans in Virginia higher education institutions, Old Dominion University will host the first state-wide student veteran's conference. The conference will build collaboration between student veterans and also those who work to serve them in all of our state higher education institutions. This conference will be directly in line with Governor McDonnell's goal to have an active Student Veterans Association chapter at every college and university in Virginia.


Facilitate a one day conference for student veterans and administrators to collaborate and share best practices to make our campuses more military supportive.

  • Objective 1 - Gain appreciation for the unique needs of veterans in higher education to be able to better target and meet the needs of this unique population
  • Objective 2 -Learn how to better recruit and retain student veterans to campus
  • Objective 3 - Explore best practices from well-established Student Veterans Associations and administrative supporters
  • Objective 4 - Assist schools without formal organizations to build a student group on their campuses

Conference Agenda

Thursday night:
Networking Event - ODU Men's Basketball Game
ODU v. Presbyterian
7:00 P.M. at Ted Constant Convocation Center

8:00 - 9:00 A.M.
Registration / Resource Exhibits / Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:05 A.M. Welcome by ODU President John R. Broderick
9:05 - 9:35 A.M. James Hopper, Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, Commonwealth of Virginia and D. Wayne Robinson, Executive Director, Student Veterans of America
9:35-10:35 A.M. Panel Discussion - SVA students
10:35 - 10:50 A.M. Break
10:50 - 12:05 P.M. Breakout Sessions (students and administrators separately)
12:05 - 1:00 P.M. Lunch & Keynote Speaker (Jason Redman, President and Founder, Wounded Wear)
1:00 - 2:00 P.M. Report on Breakout Sessions
2:00 P.M. Closing Remarks followed by Post Conference Exhibitor Reception

Resource Exhibits available until 4:00 P.M.

Keynote Speakers


James Hopper
Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security

Jim Hopper was appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell on February 25, 2010 to be the Deputy Secretary for Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, and subsequently, effective September 23, 2013 to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. He previously served in the Office of the Attorney General as section chief of two (2) major sections of that Office. Prior to service in the Office of the Attorney General, he was engaged in the private practice of law in the Richmond area. He deployed as a member of the United States Army as a part of the surge in the number of American troops deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad City and Province, Iraq. He headed the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team Governance Section in support of the Multi-National Divisionâ€"Baghdad and the Multi-National Corps-Iraq in the establishment of civil governance in the Province and City of Baghdad, Iraq.


D. Wayne Robinson
Executive Director, Student Veterans of America

D. Wayne Robinson served in the U.S. Army for 26 years and rose to the pinnacle of enlisted ranks as a Command Sergeant Major. During his career he held many leadership positions in Artillery, Special Operations, and Recruiting and graduated from every enlisted leadership course offered by the Army. One of the highlights of his career was serving as the Liaison and Operations Sergeant for the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta (Delta Force). He has over 39 awards recognizing his valuable contributions to multiple units, as well as actions taken during combat including the Order of Saint Barbara, the Glen E. Morrell Medallion, and the Meritorious Service Medal (6th award), and has served in more than 12 countries around the world.

Mr. Robinson is an MBA graduate of the world-renowned Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago, where his team won the Global New Venture Challenge, a business competition consisting of top teams from around the world. He is also a graduate of Wall Street Warfighters, a program that helps high-potential veterans transition into finance roles. A native of Mobile, Alabama, he holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Trident University and has previously attended New York University (NYU) to further his expertise in the principles of investment banking.

D. Wayne Robinson was also a Partner and Head of New Business Development at Drexel Hamilton Investment Partners, a veteran-owned Wall Street firm that provides investment advisory and management services to clients through a variety of equity funds. His keen business acumen and ability to communicate with investors were instrumental in the explosive growth of the company to over $230 million in less than three years.


Jason C. Redman
President and Founder, Wounded Wear

Former LT Jason Redman joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and spent 11 years as an enlisted SEAL. Jason headed to Old Dominion University in August of 2001, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management. He completed his time with the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC as Student Battalion Commanding Officer before he was commissioned in May of 2004 as a Naval SEAL Officer.

In May of 2006, he graduated from the grueling US Army Ranger School and deployed to Fallujah, Iraq the following year. In September of 2007 while acting as Assault Force Commander to capture an Al Qaeda High Value Individual, LT Redman's Assault Team came under heavy machine gun and small arms fire and he was severely wounded in the ensuing firefight.

While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, LT Redman hung a bright orange sign on his door, which became a statement for wounded warriors everywhere. This sign gained national recognition and now hangs in the Wounded Ward at the Bethesda Medical Center. After 37 surgeries, Jason uses his positive attitude to motivate others and to continue to raise awareness of the sacrifices of America's military forces and their families. This drive led him to create Wounded Wear, a Non-Profit organization designed to provide clothing kits and clothing modifications to America's wounded warriors, and to promote awareness throughout the country of the sacrifices that wounded service members have made in the name of freedom.

In Jason's spare time he speaks across the country spreading his message of life, inspiration, and shedding light on the sacrifices that enable the Freedoms of our country. He has spoken to many great organizations including the Marriott Corporation, the NFL Cincinnati Bengals, and even giving a speech to the US Men's 2010 Olympic Hockey team prior to their first game. He was recognized in November of 2009 by his alma mater Old Dominion University with their prestigious Alumni Service Award and was a 2010 recipient of the Hope and Courage award.

In July 2010, Jason joined three other wounded service members and reached the summit of Mount Rainier as a testament to wounded warriors and all Americans that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome if you have the drive, the determination, and the tenacity to rise above.

His personal military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (five awards), and Combat Action Ribbon (two awards).

In November 2013, with the help of acclaimed writer John R. Bruning, Jason released The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader.


S.B Ballard Construction

sbballard logo.jpg

Exhibit tables and sponsorships available. Please contact Kathleen Levingston at klevings@odu.edu for more information.

Reception Sponsor



Host Hotel Info

A block of rooms has been established at the SpringHill Suites in Old Dominion University Village. Reservations can be made by calling 757-423-4100 and using the group code ODSO by November 6. THIS BLOCK IS NOW FULL.

An additional room block has been established at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside. Reservations can be made until November 20 by calling 1-800-325-3535 and stating you are with the Student Veteran Conference.

Financial assistance is available for out of town students. Please contact Ashley Puvogel for more information (apuvogel@odu.edu or 757-683-3151). You must make arrangements for financial assistance no later than November 14.

Spring Hill Suites Website

Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Website

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