To our military-connected community:
If I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you – Hi, I’m Jolene! I started full-time in University Veterans Services (UVS) in 2019, and I’m a UW-Madison alum. I’ve also served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard as a Human Resources Specialist for nearly 12 years.
Like many of you, I was activated in 2020 during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I served in a variety of roles as part of the pandemic response and full-time with my prior unit before returning to UW-Madison on July 1st, 2022. Not surprisingly, returning to campus has been an adjustment. Adapting to how things have changed since 2020, connecting with old (and new) colleagues, and remembering how to write emails in “civilian” has occasionally felt overwhelming. However, the opportunity to be back on campus supporting all of you is well worth it.
My experience returning to campus after such a long break is a fresh reminder of how I felt a few years ago as an undergraduate student. I deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq within a 3-year time frame, causing a significant break in pursuing my degree. That experience was very rewarding yet challenging on many fronts. Because of this, improving the experience of our students who currently serve was a priority of mine when I started a few years ago. I intend to continue those efforts and find more ways to support our students who currently serve.
I truly can’t express how excited I am to be back at UVS! I’m looking forward to connecting with many of you during our fall events and football games (did you see the email on free tickets?) – including a restart of the Women Veterans’ Coffee Club.
Cheers to a great fall semester!