student earns national veterans award
University senior Joshua Lang is the recipient of the 2012 Student Veterans of
America (SVA) Student Veteran
of the Year award.
Founded in 2008, SVA
is a non-profit coalition of more 700 student veteran organizations on college
campuses globally to provide military veterans with the resources, support
and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation,
according to the group.
The annual award
is presented to the individual
who best exemplified the mission of SVA during the previous year.
Lang, a political
science major, said “It is
truly hard to believe where I have come over the last four years. From being
the founder of the Shippensburg University Chapter of Student Veterans of
America, being the Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator and to serving as a member
of the National Student Council. I have realized over that period that as I
move forward in my life, my purpose is to serve others. I'm truly blessed and
honored to be in the position I am to serve veterans in higher education. It is
my true passion and desire.”
Lang came to Shippensburg in 2009 after
serving in the U.S. Army from 2005 to 2008 with the 4th Squadron 73rd Cavalry
Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., including a deployment to
Afghanistan. He completed his active duty contract in 2008 and was a member of
the Pennsylvania Army National Guard from 2009 to 2011.
In 2009, he officially established a
Student Veterans of America chapter at Shippensburg. In 2010, he was sworn in
as the Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator for SVA, where he hosted Pennsylvania’s
first SVA state conference, advocated for veteran programs and services, and
provided a support network for student veterans across the state.
As the National Leadership Council’s
vice president, he seeks to make a positive impact for the veteran population
across the nation. His other accomplishments include serving as a personal liaison to the deputy
adjutant general for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on
policies and initiatives relating to veterans who are pursuing post-secondary
degrees; developed a Pennsylvania Best Practice Guide for college
administrators on tools and resources to serving military veterans;
He is working
with Shippensburg’s Office of Veteran Services and the Career Development
Center to host employment workshops in the spring. He
plans to attend graduate school to study public administration and eventually
work for the Veterans Administration.