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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Speakers, Panelists Named for Veterans Summit at UCM Oct. 9

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Oct. 2, 2015) – The University of Central Missouri’s Office of Military and Veteran Services has announced the keynote speaker and names of panelists serving at the Veterans Summit on campus Friday, Oct. 9, along with other opportunities available through the Veterans Resource Fair and the Veterans Vision Project. With the exception of the Veterans Vision Project, all activities take place in the Elliott Student Union, and will focus on needs that are shared by military service members and veterans as well as opportunities for participants to interact with businesses, service providers and organizations dedicated to those who serve their country.

The Veterans Summit, from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Union 240, begins with welcoming activities. The keynote address at 8:45 a.m. is related to reintegration, refocus and resiliency among veterans, and will be presented by
Ron Pierce, senior director of the PBS Veteran Initiative. Pierce currently serves on the PBS Station Services team, leading the planning, coordination and implementation of PBS’ “Stories of Service” initiative in support of veterans and military family members. This includes working closely with member stations, CPB, NPR, and other public media partners, and veterans groups across the country.

Pierce’s remarks will be followed by a panel discussion designed to empower individuals to help themselves and others by providing them with knowledge about a number of issues, and how to obtain assistance. Those attending will have an opportunity to interact with experts and share their experiences during question and answer sessions at the Veterans Summit, as well as during the Veterans Resource Fair, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 236-238.  Approximately 40 resource vendors will host informational tables. Resource vendors will provide information on a variety of topics to include personal security, transition adjustment, mental and health care issues, domestic violence, employment, financial, and sexual assault/trauma. Several veteran-friendly employers will host informational tables and are seeking employees to fill positions.

Veterans Summit panelists include Doug Meyer, director, Veteran Services Program, Missouri Veterans Commission; Yulonda Swanson-Moten, Kansas City Veterans Administration, Family Counseling Services; Seth Kastle, an Army combat veteran, professor of leadership studies at Fort Hays (Kan.) State University,  and author of the book, “Why Is Dad So Mad”; Jon Sabala, director, Veterans Services, Missouri Department of Mental Health; Col. Gary Gilmore, chaplain, State Joint Services, Missouri National Guard; Devin Mitchell, founder/photographer, Veteran Vision Project; Gregg Ganshaw, president/board chair, Return With Purpose; John Schwent, executive director, Camp Valor Outdoors; Charles Ambrose, president, UCM;  Brig. Gen. Randy Alewel, Missouri National Guard, and Todd Nicely, U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

Also available throughout the day will be an exhibit of Devin Mitchell’s photographs of veterans in the UCM Gallery of Art & Design. Mitchell will conduct VIP tours after 2 p.m.  Through his photos, Mitchell shares the unique, double-sided visual stories of men and women who have served in the military.  Learn more about this photo initiative at

Visitor parking will be available at the west lot of the Multipurpose Building. UCM will provide a small shuttle to transport individuals to and from the Multipurpose Building lot to the Veterans Summit and Veterans Vision exhibit from 7 to 10:30 a.m. and from noon to 2:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Nichols at 660-543-8977 or To learn more about the Veteran Vision Exhibition, contact Christian Cutler, director of the UCM Gallery of Art and Design,
at 660-543-4498 or

The following is a list of vendors for the Veterans Resource Fair:

Air Force ROTC DET 440 – University of Missouri

Airman & Family Readiness Center, Whiteman Air Force Base

American Legion Post 131– Warrensburg

American Legion Post 189 – Lee’s Summit

Camp Valor Outdoors

Catholic Charities

Central Missouri Police Academy

College of Health, Science, and Technology

Department of Work Force Development

Edward Jones

Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve

Harper Transport Services Inc.

Homes for Heroes

Kansas City Power and Light

Kansas City VA Medical Center

Kansas City Vet Center

Kastle Books

Manna Harvest

Military One Source

Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency Support Services for Veteran Families

Missouri Veterans Commission

Missouri Veterans History Project

Office of the Secretary of State, Missouri Security Division

Office of U.S. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Office of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

Return With Purpose

Society of American Military Engineers Warriors Transition Team, KC Post

Student Military Combat Systems/UCM Student Veterans Organization

Team Red, White, and Blue

UCM Admissions

UCM Counseling Center

UCM Military and Veterans Services

U.S. Army

Veterans Education & Training – Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

West- Central Independent Living Solutions (WILS)

Whiteman AFB NAF Jobs