Veterans face many challenges in our culture – including those among our students, faculty, staff, and local community. The annual Expert Panel invited local and national experts to share their thoughts about current veteran’s issues and local solutions and resources that are making a difference.

The divide between military and civilian has effected the current generation of veterans more so than it has in the past. 44% of post-9/11 veterans say their readjustment to civilian life was difficult. By contrast, just 25% of veterans who served in earlier eras say the same. Whereas during WWII 15% of the population served only 1% of the population has served during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. At its core, this divide seems to indicate a focus on some the challenges but no regard for the advantages of military life.  Developing a personal code of ethics, strength and resilience, the communications skills, leadership experience, team building, cutting edge technology are all things that the military provides service members.

The Expert Panel discussed the increase in suicide among veterans, veteran homelessness, increase in women serving in the military, PTSD, and the disconnection between military and civilian life.


 Click the photo to read more about the event!



The Experts

Moderator: Priscilla Kalagian, Mission United director at the Heart of Florida United Way



  • Angeline Bushy, Professor, Bert Fish Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Nursing
  • Lisa Martel, Women Veteran Program Manager at Orlando VA Medical Center
  • Paul H. Viau, Jr. Ed.D., Director of Veterans Academic Resource Center at UCF
  • Lisa Garner, UCF student veteran


Expert Panel Mission

Inform our university community about issues that impact our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors, with a focus on resources, solutions, and donor impact to promote awareness of and participation in the university’s United Way Campaign.


Previous Expert Panel Topics

  • 2015:  NO MORE: An intentional conversation to end relationship violence
  • 2014: How homelessness impacts university communities