Marywood University’s Student Veterans Alliance Awarded Student Veterans of America’s Chapter of the Year for 2014

SCRANTON, PA—Marywood University’s Student Veterans Alliance (SVA) was recently awarded Chapter of the Year for 2014 at the Student Veterans of America’s 7th annual national conference, which took place in San Antonio, TX. Twelve hundred chapters were in consideration for the award. Marywood University’s SVA received the Chapter of the Year Award for outstanding leadership and for setting a positive example for other chapters around the country.

Christopher Smith, Marywood University’s SVA president, accepted the award on behalf of the chapter. Mr. Smith said, “The conference offered me the opportunity to meet new people, veterans, and policy makers. I would like Marywood University’s SVA to influence policies, other institutions, and build up fellow veterans, no matter what school they attend in our state, and get them on the road to success.”

While at the conference, SVA students and administrators were asked to serve on several panels, including: Chapter Advisors/VA Certifying Officials; and Established Chapters:  Universities/Graduate Schools.

Vice President Joseph Biden; Shoshana Johnson, SPC, USA (Ret), first African American Prisoner of War; Mr. Robert McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Kyle Carpenter, Cpl USMC (Ret), Medal of Honor Recipient; and 1st SEAC, SGM William Joseph Gainey, U.S. Army, were among those who gave VIP Addresses.

Deanna Parker, Marywood University’s public relations officer for the SVA, was asked to join 1st SEAC, SGM William Joseph Gainey on stage as he gave his keynote address. SGM Gainey was the first person to call Ms. Parker “Marine” following graduation. Ms. Parker is a Marine Veteran who is pursuing her master’s degree in criminal justice at Marywood.

Marywood University’s SVA was formed in 2012.  This past year, the SVA, along with the Office of Military and Veterans Services, transformed Bethany Hall into the Student Veterans Resource Center, with the assistance of the University and grants from the Home Depot Foundation and Student Veterans of America. The space is open to the Marywood community and outside visitors from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and continues to be accessible to student veterans and their dependents from 5-9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For additional information on the Student Veterans of America’s 7th annual national conference, visit


Pictured left to right:  Christopher Smith, president of the SVA, Sr. Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D., president of Marywood University, Deanna Parker, public relations officer for the SVA, and Andrew Kudasik, co-founder of the SVA at Marywood University.