April 19–21, UW Tacoma will be the site of the third annual Pacific Northwest Regional Student Veteran Conference.
Hosted by the UWT Veteran and Military Resource Center and the Student Veterans of UWT, the conference brings together student veterans from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and western Montana.
The conference includes a series of keynote speakers and activities centered around veteran identity. In previous years, the conference has been held at Washington State University and Bellingham Technical College.
“We are very pleased to be hosting it here at UW Tacoma. Our campus has been designated a ‘military friendly campus’ for several years in a row now and that is a designation we are very proud of,” Chancellor Mark Pegano said.
While the conference is focused around veteran support services and advocacy, all are welcome to register and attend. Registration is free for UWT students, and $35 for nonstudents.
Eric Ballentine, senior and member of Student Veterans of UWT, has assisted in coordinating the event.
“There is this process of getting out of the military known as transition, and for a lot of people this process includes getting an education,” Ballentine said.
Offering coalitions and networking for student veterans is vital for reintegration after service.
“The purpose of this conference is to talk about transition, and the key aspect of that transition process is how it affects you as a student,” Ballentine said. “We have a variety of different panels that address student veteran issues, as well identity issues … So it’s a great way to bring a variety of different veterans that come from different backgrounds and places together.”
The conference will include activities such as volunteer work at UWT’s giving garden, a mixer at 7 Seas Brewery, a series of information sessions, creative therapy workshops and a banquet held at the Museum of Glass in downtown Tacoma.
Keynote speakers include Matt Kress from the Starbucks Veterans and Military Affairs, who will speak on choosing a career you are passionate about. Jared Lyon, president and CEO of the Student Veterans of America is also scheduled to speak at the banquet. The conference will end with a speech from Leroy Petry, this year’s Medal of Honor recipient.
For a more detailed agenda, visit
Or email Rosalynn Johnson, the associate director for Veteran and
Military Resource Center, at
Alyssa majors in urban studies and community development. She is interested in and concerned about issues in Tacoma that impact the community. She is obsessed with all things chocolate and piggies.