“Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse” took place from April 14-15, 2013 at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. The goal of the conference was to call attention to the emerging research and growing need for interdisciplinary efforts relating to all aspects of veterans’ experience, from access to higher education, healthcare, and employment; the efficacy of psychological and medical services; veterans' identity, diversity and inclusion; higher education; to veterans' engagement with civil society.

In the years since 9/11, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of veterans, particularly those with combat experience. With Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war in Afghanistan drawing to a close, our troops returning home and finding their places in society. As a result, the topic of veterans’ reintegration into society has become both a key priority and a challenge for federal and state governments and educational institutions of all types. Scholars and researchers conducting research related to veterans’ reintegration into society were the intended audience for VSC2013. This audience includes university professors, doctoral students, and researchers affiliated with institutions of higher learning. Research tracks are:

  • Depicting veterans through films, memorials, and public discourse
  • Listening to and studying language about women veterans
  • Healing the wounds of war: motive, motivations, and interventions to assist veterans
  • Teaching and learning: pedagogical strategies and programs for veterans
  • Integrating veterans: an investigation of veteran-specific needs and policies
  • Connecting spheres: veteran engagement with their communities

To date, no other university has convened an academic conference solely focused on veteran related research. The VSC2013 planning committee envisioned this conference as an annual event and the first step towards making Virginia Tech the leader in the emerging field of Veterans Studies.

Recent Submissions

  • Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse - Conference Overview 

    Pencek, Bruce (Virginia Tech, 2013)
    The attached document describes the activities, presentations, and speeches that took place during the "Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse" conference, which was held from April 14-15, 2013 at the Inn at Virginia ...
  • Writing War: Veterans in the College Writing Classroom 

    Hart, D. Alexis; Thompson, Roger (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    As writing classrooms may be the primary locations where students' military experiences are shared, writing instructors bear special ethical responsibility when teaching veterans. A discussion of research conducted with ...
  • Defense to Degree: Accelerating Engineering Degree Completion for Military Veterans 

    Soldan, David L.; Gruenbacher, Don; Schulz, Noel; Hageman, William B.; Vogt, Blythe; Natarajan, Rekha (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    This paper will focus on the accelerated track for military veterans into bachelor's degrees in engineering. It is important to have contact with the military veteran prior to their arriving on campus to begin their ...
  • Military Experience and the Arts: Bridging the Gap Between Military and Civilian Cultures Through Creative Expression Scholarship 

    Martin, Travis L. (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    This paper considers the arts as a means of engaging veterans' military experiences, to help in reframing trauma and helping veterans use their pasts to move into positive futures. The author provides motivations and ...
  • Examining the Motives for Veterans Writing Workshops: Is It Clinical, Political, Instructional, or All the Above? 

    Morris, Paul J. "Skip" (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    This paper surveys some of the issues involved with forming a veterans writing group. There appear to be three reasons for starting a veterans writing group: therapy, politics, or instruction, and these intentions often ...
  • Stolen Valor: Supporting and Defending Another's Right to Lie 

    Slater-Chandler, Neysa M. (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    The United States Supreme Court's recent decision (plurality) in U.S. v. Alvarez (567 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 2537) has met with derision in some circles and support in others. The Court stated, "content-based restrictions on ...
  • A Sample of Best Practices to Support Veterans in Attending and Completing Engineering Degree Programs 

    Kasarda, Mary; McCrery, Ennis McNeer; DePauw, Karen P.; Byrd, Carson; Mikel-Stites, Max; Ray, Victor; Pierson, Mark; Brown, Eugene F.; Hall, Simin; Soldan, David L.; Gruenbacher, Don; Schulz, Noel; Vogt, Blythe; Hageman, William B.; Natarajan, Rekha; Olson, Rick; Kramer, Kathleen; Lord, Susan (Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse; Virginia Tech, 2013-04-15)
    This paper describes some sample best practices identified by three institutions, Virginia Tech, Kansas State University, and the University of San Diego to support the recruitment, transition, and retention of veterans ...
  • Veterans and Broadband Access in Virginia: Implications for Healthcare Planning and Policy 

    Dunkenberger, Mary Beth; Lo, Suzanne; White, Nancy (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    The paper summarizes results and ongoing research into the implication of broadband access and utilization as a means to improve veterans' health care services and coordination. The study examines (a) broadband access, ...
  • Moving Words / Words that Move: An Analysis of Discursive Practices Plaguing U.S. Servicewomen 

    Grohowski, Mariana (Virginia Tech; Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse, 2013-04-15)
    Through a rhetorical analysis of three terms commonly used in military culture to describe servicewomen, this paper aims to inform instructors of the influence repeated exposure to visual/verbal practices (Fleckenstein; ...