Shippensburg student earns national veterans award

Shippensburg University senior Joshua Lang is the recipient of the 2012 Student Veterans of America (SVA) Student Veteran of the Year award. 

langFounded 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.