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AU Registrar Serving as First Woman Commander of Local DAV Chapter


July 6, 2011



Janet Roberson considers many of her fellow members of Archer T. Gammon Chapter No. 19 to be real heroes. Roberson has been a member of the Danville Disabled Veterans Chapter for several years. Earlier this year when the chapter was in danger of closing due to lack of attendance, phone calls and cards went out asking members for support. Roberson was one of the veterans who answered the call.

Thankfully, enough veterans responded and the chapter has been saved. The group held nominations in May for officers and Roberson's name was put on the ballot. To her surprise, she was unanimously voted in as commander - making her the first woman commander of Archer T. Gammon Ch. 19. Roberson will serve as commander for at least a year.

"I don't quite know how this happened," Roberson said with a chuckle. She works at Averett as the University's Registrar/VA Certification official/SEVIS official. "I'm looking forward to serving our local veterans as commander. I hope to reenergize and reinvigorate the chapter, getting new veterans involved and recruiting new members to help keep it going.

"This will also be another good thing for Averett and our continued work with veterans and members of the military."

As commander of the local chapter, Roberson will conduct the group's meetings, attend national conventions and most importantly be an advocate for disabled veterans in the surrounding area. As an advocate, Roberson will make sure veterans receive information regarding transportation to the VA hospital in Salem, and help them obtain a disability rating if they need one or a new rating if their condition changes and worsens over time.

"As an advocate for disabled vets, I will be able to use some of that knowledge in my work here at Averett," Roberson said. "We will have vets coming back with issues - not just physical but emotional and psychological as well, and I'll be able to help with those issues and direct them to the services they need."

Roberson has been instrumental in the University's work with veterans and active duty military. The University is part of the Post 911 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program as well as other GI Bill Chapters. It was recently named a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs Magazine, an honor which ranks the University in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to help America's military and veterans as students.

"We are very proud of Janet and are thrilled about her recent appointment to commander of the local DAV," said Dr. Steve Ausband, vice president for academic affairs. "As the VA certification specialist here at Averett, she has first-hand knowledge of the work that is involved in advocating for our veterans. This knowledge will help her as she now advocates for the local DAV chapter."