The Office of Military and Veteran Engagement recently celebrated graduating student veterans and military-connected students during the annual “Hail and Farewell” ceremony in Hendrix Student Center. During the celebration of May and August graduates, the office also handed out two major awards to individuals who have positively contributed to the experiences of the student veteran and military-connected community.
John Matta was named Outstanding Student Veteran for 2021-22. The award goes to an enrolled student veteran who has displayed remarkable impact on veteran services, exhibited admirable leadership to peers and advanced the mission of Military and Veteran Engagement by building a purposeful, engaged and veteran-inclusive campus.
“John facilitated a welcoming community in the Student Veteran Center,” said Peyton Bade, former graduate assistant for Military and Veteran Engagement. “He regularly participated in study groups with fellow veterans both as an active member and in leadership roles. By participating and leading these groups, he ensured not only his own success, but also that of many other student veterans at Clemson.”
Emily Bloxdorf was this year’s recipient of the Veteran Impact Award, which is presented to an individual who has dedicated significant time and effort to leave a positive impact on the student veteran and military-connected population. She serves as a VA certifying official within Clemson’s Department of Records & Registration. In her role, she provides critical enrollment, payment and educational advice to more than 1,000 veterans and military-connected students and their families.
“Emily’s efforts have improved access to education for veterans and military-connected students,” said Aubrey Steele, current graduate assistant for Military and Veteran Engagement. “Coupled with her enthusiasm to reduce barriers and increase success for these students, she has truly impacted our population in a positive way.”