Raising the Profile of Rutgers’ Veterans

Raising the Profile of Rutgers’ Veterans

Ann Treadaway, new head of veterans’ services who spent two tours in Iraq, is up to the task

Ann Treadaway, Rutgers' director of veteran and military programs and services.

'Most people, when they think of veterans, think of men – and they think of old men.  But veterans are as diverse as the population.'  
– Ann Treadaway

Most college-age students don't know anyone who served in the military, a major shift from just a generation ago.

That's something Ann Treadaway, Rutgers' new director of veteran and military programs and services, wants to change.

"If you ask someone over 50 if they know someone who’s served, about 70 percent will answer yes, but if you ask someone of traditional college age, it drops down to about 33 percent,"  said Treadaway, citing a recent Pew survey.

As the former director of the veterans support services at the College of Staten Island, who served two tours in Iraq before receiving her college degree, she is well-equipped for the task.

“Most people, when they think of veterans, think of men – and they think of old men.  But veterans are as diverse as the population,” said Treadaway. “At Rutgers, I plan on introducing the campus to its veteran students and making people as culturally competent as possible about those who served.”

Treadaway – who dropped out of college to join the army in 2001 -- is hoping to shed light on the veteran community at Rutgers by doing some of the same type of outreach she did at Staten Island where she helped facilitate a living-learning community for student veterans and an educational poster marketing campaign featuring the images and service background of student veterans.

Her first task, following the successes of her predecessor, Stephen Abel, will be to introduce veterans to the rest of the campus community. Treadaway -- who  did administrative work,  drove trucks, and filled potholes so insurgents didn’t use them for roadside bombs -- knows how important comradery  is to former soldiers looking for support as they make their way back to civilian society.

To Mosul
At the beginning of her second deployment to Iraq in 2005, Ann Treadaway drove a five-ton truck from Kuwait to her unit's new base outside Mosul.
She remembers returning to school at Purchase College, part of the State University of New York, after she got out of the army, one of only 19 women in her company. Older than her classmates, Treadaway had seen and done things they could only imagine. She had been shot at by the enemy.  Five of her comrades were wounded by roadside bombs. One was killed in action.

Still, back at home, she found her younger academic peers idealistic.

“They were passionate and adamant about things they hadn’t experienced themselves,” said Treadaway, who graduated magna cum laude in 2008 and went on to get her master’s degree in American history. “Some people might have found that annoying, but I found it refreshing.”

In her new position at Rutgers, Treadaway will build on Abel’s accomplishment.  Rutgers has been widely recognized for its efforts to support veterans – offering volunteers and mentors and creating a Veterans House. Rutgers is also among only 65 universities in the country designated a VetSuccess location by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, placing  a full-time U.S.V.A employee on campus to assist the 1,500 student veterans and their 500 dependents, ROTC students and activity duty personnel.

“Steve and his team did a great job,” Treadaway said. “The staff is full of ideas and enthusiasm and I’m looking forward to building on the great things that have already been done.”

Media contact: Robin Lally, rlally@ucm.rutgers.edu, 848-932-0557, cell 973-270-3706