About Us

How University Veterans Services supports veterans, our staff, School Certifying Officials, things we do, our history, and how to contact us.

Our mission is to support the Wisconsin Experience of military-connected students by fostering personal transitions and pursuit of academic success.

What we do

We serve military-connected students in three key focus areas.

Education benefits

We certify both state and federal GI Bills, advise students on the use of education benefits, and assist with applying for new benefits.

Student veterans learning more about University Veterans Services

Student success

Students often need more than financial assistance to succeed academically. We develop programming to build community among our military-connected students and campus as a whole, including peer support programs.
* PAVE is currently paused.

A veteran talks to members of University Veteran Services


As subject matter experts on the needs and interests of the students we serve, we educate the campus community and act as a resource for faculty/staff. Through local, regional and national partnerships, we advocate for the best student experience.

Students placing flags to honor veterans

Who is a military-connected student?

We use the term “military-connected student” to describe students who are:

  • Veterans of the U.S. military.
  • Currently serving in the U.S. military (active and reserve).
  • Children and spouses of current or former members of the U.S. military.

This term does not include all ROTC students, but cadets and midshipmen may also identify as former military or family members.

Meet the staff

Joe Rasmussen

Position title: Director, University Veteran Services

Amanda Venske

Position title: Education Benefits Specialist & School Certifying Official

View Amanda's Starfish Schedule

Mike Panaro

Position title: VA School Certifying Official

View Mike's Starfish Schedule

Student staff

Grace Lemke

Position title: Certifying Assistant

Lily Hannibal

Position title: Certifying Assistant

Sierra Andrae

Position title: Certifying Assistant

Campus Partners

Pade Thao

Position title: Financial Aid, Federal Awards Administrator

Email: pade.thao@wisc.edu

Phone: 608.262.4987

Maggie Z.

Position title: Financial Aid, Verification Specialist

Email: federal.aid@finaid.wisc.edu

Phone: 608.262.3060

Michael Mohr

Position title: Access Consultant, McBurney Resource Center

Email: michael.mohr@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-6232

Brian Bischel

Position title: Assistant Director, Cross College Advising

Janine Yeh

Position title: Career Services, Recruiting and Events Coordinator

Our history

UW-Madison has employed a Certifying Official since the creation of the first GI Bill after World War II. In 2007, the former Division of Student Life hired an Assistant Dean for Veterans. The Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center (VSMAC) opened in 2014 with an office in 333 East Campus Mall as a joint effort between the Division of Student Life and the Office of the Registrar, housing both the Assistant Dean and Certifying Official.

In 2019, the VSMAC was administratively moved to Student Affairs as part of the Identity and Inclusion theme. The name was changed to University Veteran Services effective November 1st, 2019.

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    University Veteran Services
    school certifying officials

    Call us at:

    Email us at:

    Location pin for University Veterans ServicesUniversity Veterans Services
    333 East Campus Mall
    10th floor, Suite 10320
    Madison, WI 53715

    Monday - Friday
    9:00am - 4:00pm


    Drop-ins are always welcome, but appointments are encouraged.

    Please visit our About Us page to make an appointment with a member of our staff.