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Advisory Council

KCVS Advisory Council

The Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies Advisory Council

The Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies Advisory Council is comprised of veterans’ advocates, community leaders and other external stakeholders who meet regularly to shape the direction of the center. Each member has made a mark in their industry or their home community. They all offer unique perspectives and immeasurable talents. Eastern Kentucky University thanks them for their commitment to veterans and the success of KCVS.

David Albright, Ph.D.

Dr. David L. Albright is a distinguished research professor and the Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health Research at The University of Alabama.

LTC (Ret.) Whitney Allen

Whitney Allen is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and an advocate for veteran inclusion in the workforce.

Beth Avey

Beth Avey is vice president of the Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA), a community-based non-profit focused on promoting and protecting Fort Knox and growing defense-related business in the Greater Fort Knox Region.

Deborah Lynn Alexander, Ph.D.

Deborah Alexander is a former U.S. Department of State senior advisor. She retired to Kentucky in 2017 and now focuses on higher education philanthropy, local justice, housing, interfaith initiatives and women veterans.

Manuel G. Aviles-Santiago, Ph.D.

Manuel G. Aviles-Santiago is an associate professor of communication and culture at the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts and Director of the Office of Veterans and Military Academic Engagement (OVMAE).

Brigadier General (Ret.) Steven P. Bullard

Brigadier General (Retired) Steven P. Bullard works with and advises the governor, the general assembly and the Kentucky Congressional Delegation on military matters.

Michael Chen, Ph.D.

Dr. Michael Chen is the interim chair and an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Eastern Kentucky University.

Jennifer Dane

Jennifer Dane is a veteran of the United States Air Force and the executive director of the Modern Military Association of America – the nation’s largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.

Jacob Eleazer, Ph.D.

Dr. Jacob Eleazer (he/him) served in the Army National Guard for 12 years and was among the first actively serving transgender soldiers to come out publicly in 2014.

John C. Gregory, Ph.D.

Dr. John C. Gregory serves as executive director of the Kentucky Skills U (Adult Education), Education and Workforce Development Cabinet for the state of Kentucky.

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Ken Keen

Lieutenant General (Ret) Ken Keen is associate dean of leadership development and a senior lecturer in organization and management for Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Barbara Kent

Former Army Sergeant Barbara Kent serves as EKU’s director of military and veterans affairs, responsible for directing all aspects of programming and services for approximately 1,400 veteran and military students.

Leonard Lira, Ph.D.

Dr. Leonard L. Lira is an assistant professor of public administration and political science at San Jose State University.

LaSheka Mason

LaSheka Mason is the EKU student representative on the Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies Advisory Council. A veteran with many major Army awards, Mason plans to enter into government service as a logistician after her graduation from EKU.

Brett Morris, Ed.D.

Dr. Brett Morris is associate vice president for enrollment management at the University of North Georgia where he oversees undergraduate, cadet and graduate admissions as well as financial aid and the registrar’s offices.

Autumn Sherry McCane, Ph.D.

Dr. Autumn Sherry McCane serves as chief of the mental health service at Lexington VA Health Care System.

Jeffrey H. Norwitz

Jeffrey H. Norwitz has nearly five decades of law enforcement experience at the military, municipal and federal levels and as an author and educator.

Christopher Stanfield

Christopher Stanfield lives in Ohio and works for the Department of Veteran Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration as a military services coordinator.

James R. Tongate

James R. Tongate serves as the tenth state command chief master sergeant for the Kentucky National Guard. Chief Tongate is the key advisor to Kentucky’s adjutant general and his staff.

Catherine Trombley

As public affairs officer of the Lexington VA Health Care System, Catherine Trombley is responsible for the reputation of the health care system.


Stay tuned for the Fall 2022 schedule of events!


WEKU’s Corinne Boyer interviews Dr. Autumn McCane about the new KCVS Mentoring Program…

A pair of Eastern Kentucky University students made the day of veterans living at St. Andrews Retirement Community …

She’s a senior Occupational Therapy major, 28-year-old mother of two, and a non-traditional student…

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Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave. 
Whitlock 431
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3459

The Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies hosts academic programming for both veteran and non-veteran students. Learn about EKU support services for veterans and other military-affiliated students by visiting the Office of Military & Veterans AffairsDonate to Operation Veteran SuccessDonate to Operation Veteran Success