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NKU launches new program to help veterans return to workforce

The Veteran Leadership Minor program is the first of its kind in the region, NKU says. See Channel 19 News story here.


NKU to honor its military community with a Green Zone Brigade Takeover Day on March 23

“NKU continues to strive for unique and helpful ways to support our military, veterans and their families, and the Green Zone Brigade NKU Takeover Day is one such initiative,” Rusty Mardis, coordinator of NKU Veterans Resource Station, said.“We are opening up the campus to not only provide resources, training and fun activities, but to showcase the pride Norse faculty, staff and students have for our military-connected and veteran community. See full article here.


NKU training program helps staff transition students from military to civilian life

The Veterans Resource Station (VRS) at Northern Kentucky University implemented the Green Zone Brigade Training program to combat some of those challenges that military-affiliated students face when transitioning to civilian life. “We do a good job teaching them how to be a warrior,” VRS Coordinator Rusty Mardis said. “We do a terrible job teaching them how to be a civilian again.” According to, 76% of all military veterans say their transition was stressful. Mardis, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, said his transition to life outside of the military was awful.“I had a horrible transition. That’s why I’m so focused and passionate about doing transitional services,” Mardis said. “They’re transitioning that military mindset back into the civilian community. It’s an opportunity to be able to influence that transitional piece and make sure it’s successful.”In training, Mardis said he talks to faculty about military culture, what they went through, and what they must try to figure out again. He also offers tips and tools they need to succeed in their classrooms or offices. See full article here.


Vets welcomed to ease transition to civilian life and find work in a tight labor market

Veterans are not simply welcome in Northern Kentucky. They are actively encouraged to move here to make their homes as they transition from military to civilian life.  In its ninth year, the Veterans Resource Station at Northern Kentucky University is a one-stop shop that is helping close to 700 veterans succeed in academic life.

Besides offering meetings with the Veterans Administration staff and others to go over benefits and get career advice, the station gives veterans a sense of community within NKU, says coordinator Rusty Mardis.  Its “At Ease Lounge” is more than a place to fill out forms. It’s a “place to chill,” Mardis says, to enjoy a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito with fellow vets.

Ultimately, Mardis wants to broaden that mission to the community at large. Meanwhile, he is excited about a new effort by regional leaders to roll out the red carpet to veterans.  The new “Veterans Welcome in Northern Kentucky” website is a partnership with Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, the economic development accelerator, and the NKY Chamber of Commerce. See full article here.


War and poetry: NKU alumnus poet commemorates Veterans Day by Haven Wolfe, Contributor

"Christian Varney, a senior marketing major, is one of the many veterans on campus that have benefitted from the Veterans’ Resource Center. Varney served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years and enrolled in NKU in 2018.Varney said that the Veterans’ Resource Center helped to provide him with a sense of community. He appreciates that the center puts him in contact with people from a similar background as he believes their shared experiences help them to better understand one another." See full article here.


NKU again ranked among best colleges for veterans; Nov. 11 Veterans Day event schedule announced by NKU Tribune

“Being listed as a top-rated university for veterans is a tremendous honor as it recognizes all the hard work and dedication of NKU’s faculty, staff and students,” Rusty Mardis, coordinator of the NKU Veterans Resource Station, said. “It showcases the university’s commitment to support, provide programs and offer top-tier services to veterans. The Veterans Resource Station is here to guide, mentor and/or be a champion in their success for all our military affiliate, veteran and ROTC students.” See full article here.