Student Veteran Organization

The purpose of SVO is to provide PAU's military veteran students with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation; to provide veteran and non-veteran students with information on veterans' issues, including behavioral health related research and military/veteran cultural concerns; and to link veteran and non-veteran students with the local veteran community through events and volunteering opportunities.

SVO is open to anyone interested in the unique issues facing service members and their families – we do not require that you be a service member, only that you have a passion for, or curiosity about, veteran support, services and research.

The Student Veteran Organization is an official Chapter of the Student Veterans of America


2019-2020 Officers:

President of PAU Student Veteran Affairs: Samantha Erickson
President of PAU Military/Veteran-Related Careers: Jennifer Miller
Vice President: Erik Wendell Rice
Secretary: Jacie Brown
Treasurer: Kyle Rosales
Public Relations Officer: Abby Brady
Faculty Advisors: Matt Cordova, Ph.D. and Matt Yalch, Ph.D.
Staff Liaison: Lisa Harris 
Program Counselors:
William Snow, Ph.D.   
(831) 246-2440
Matthew Cordova, Ph.D.
(408) 430-8300


Fall 2018 Needs Assessment Survey

Funded by a PAU Unity Grant, the Student Veterans Organization conducted an evidence-based assessment survey in Fall 2018 to all current PAU Student Military/Veteran students and student family members that reviewed student Veteran programs, and asked detailed questions regarding the needs of this population.  The results of the assessment, presented to the Palo Alto Community, is below and is being used to develop a strategic plan and collaboration with community Veteran Service Organizations.


Welcome Home: Understanding the Complex Transition and Unique Needs of Military Veterans Academic Life – a presentation by Dr. David M. Joseph, Director of the Oakland Vet Center and follow up discussion featuring a panel of PAU Student Veterans.



Incoming Students:

If you are an incoming student and would like to talk with a student about their experience, please contact:

            Undergraduate students: J.T. Bikul -

            Graduate students: Christina Rincon -

SVO Travel Awards

The Student Veteran Organization would like to announce our annual student travel awards. The SVO is not just an organization that advocates for student veterans. We are also committed to expanding education on topics related to military and veteran psychology. Part of this education includes research into these relevant areas. In the spirit of this commitment, the SVO is offering three awards as incentive towards research related to military and veteran populations and to help offset the cost of sharing this research with other professionals.  These awards are open to all PAU students. To be eligible the applicant must have been accepted to present at a conference that requires the applicant to travel a distance greater than 150 miles. Only one applicant per poster or presentation. Applicant must be the presenting author.

Kevin Coughlin Student Travel Award (1 award for $250)

SVO is proud to offer this travel award in memory of PAU undergraduate student Kevin Coughlin, who passed away in March of 2013. Kevin was a proud Marine and a Vietnam War veteran who was dedicated to helping his fellow veterans in need. After graduation from PAU, Kevin planned to serve his fellow veterans by becoming a chaplain for the Veterans Administration Health Care system. This award is designated for student veterans or for research into areas that Kevin was most passionate about.

To be eligible the applicant themselves must be a veteran, or their research must be on the topic of trauma, substance abuse/use, and/or spirituality and they must use a military sample (Active, Reserve, Guard, Dependents, Veterans).

SVO Student Travel Award (2 awards @ $250 each)

To be eligible the applicants must use a military sample (Active, Reserve, Guard, Dependents, Veterans) or the applicant themselves must be a veteran.

To apply please submit your CV, poster abstract or a summary of your presentation, proof of acceptance, and a short statement of why your research is important to  Please identify the award you are applying for in the subject line.  Applications are due by 5pm on May 16. The recipients of the SVO travel awards will be presented with their awards at the SVO Spring Meeting the first week of June.

SVO Pacific Research Symposium Award:

The SVO is happy to offer an award for Research in Military Psychology at the Annual Pacific Research Forum. To be eligible for this award the student must use a military sample (Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Veterans, or Dependents).

For more information contact