2012 Student Veterans/Military Members and Friends of Students Awards
2012 Outstanding Student Veteran/Military Member Award
Presented to Tyler J. Baranowsky for demonstration of excellence in leadership, scholarship, and personal integrity applied unselfishly to benefit members of the Weber State University campus and community.
» Tyler J. Baranowsky
Tyler served our country in the U.S. Marine Corps from Sept. 2004-Dec. 2008 including multiple combat tours in Iraq. He received the National Defense Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze star, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
As a student at Weber State University, Tyler serves student veterans in the Veterans Upward Bound office on campus. He works to make the transition from military life to university life as smooth as possible. Tyler is an engineering major involved in student leadership organizations for engineering students.
He also volunteers with youth in “Lego League,” a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds. Tyler serves as an example to youth as well as his fellow students demonstrating high standards of personal conduct and integrity. It is our pleasure to present this award to Tyler Baranowsky as recognition and appreciation for his service to our country, our community and our campus.
2012 Outstanding Student Veteran/Military Member Award
Presented to Jacob A. Pipkin for demonstration of excellence in leadership, scholarship, and personal integrity applied unselfishly to benefit members of the Weber State University campus and community.
» Jacob A. Pipkin
Staff Sergeant Jacob A. Pipkin has served in the U.S. Air Force since February 2007 and currently serves on active duty at Hill Air Force Base. SSgt Pipkin volunteered to deply to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom from January to May 2011. He supported an aircraft fleet of 24 B-1 bombers ensuring the safety of the bomber crew members during 144 sortie missions. He delivered supplies to Air Expeditionary Forces which guaranteed aircrew defensive capabilities and also led a six-man team during the build-up in support of Qatari Air Forces Operation Oddyssey Dawn. SSgt Pipkin was awarded the Air Force Achievement medal due to his exceptional leadership actions during his deployment.
He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering and plans to complete a master’s degree in civil engineering in the future.
SSgt Pipkin volunteered at a local junior high school playing a key role in the “Reality Town” exercise to help 8th graders gain vital life skills. He also serves as the point-man for the Squadron Combined Federal Campaign drive to raise funds for fellow airmen in need and is an Airman Against Drunk Driving advocate.
SSgt Pipkin is a true mentor to his peers and subordinates as he leads by example both on and off duty. His greatest attributes are his dedication to duty, education, and most of all his pride in being a father to his daughters. It is our pleasure to present this award to SSgt Jacob A. Pipkin as recognition and appreciation for his previous and continuing service to our country and his example to all those he associates with on and off campus.
2012 Friend of Student Veterans/Military Members Faculty and Staff Award
Presented to Dr. Bruce Davis For demonstration of outstanding professional qualities and willingness to go above and beyond standard expectations to enhance the quality of WSU student veterans and military members educational experience.
» Dr. Bruce Davis
After graduating from Roy High School in 1972, Bruce served as a Navy Corpsman with the U.S. Marines and Naval Amphibious Forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. After returning to Utah in 1976, Bruce attended college on the GI Bill, earning a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Weber State in 1979 and an MBA from Utah State University in 1980. He later received a PhD from the University of Utah. After the attacks of 9-11, Bruce served for three years as the Key Volunteer Coordinator for Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines. Bruce’s son, Terry, and son-in-law, Aaron, have served in combat with the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bruce recalls that the supportive environment at Weber was one of the keys to success for veterans returning from the Vietnam War, and has worked with university colleagues to create such an environment for veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bruce has served student veterans in many capacities throughout his academic career in the John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics; as the director of the WSU Davis Campus serving active military, veterans, and civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base; and as Vice Provost and Dean of Continuing Education offering evening, online, and off-campus programs. Dr. Davis is a proven advocate and accomplished leader within Weber State University, providing a high level of support and services for student veterans and military members, as demonstrated by his founding and leadership of the WSU Military Outreach and Veteran Education (MOVE) Council to coordinate educational services and support to veteran and military students across the campus and in the community. It is our pleasure to present this Friend of Veteran and Military Students award to show our appreciation and recognize the dedicated service of Dr. Bruce Davis.
2012 Friend of Student Veterans/Military Members Non-University Employee Award
Presented to Jennifer Comer For demonstration of ability and willingness to go above and beyond standard expectations in support of WSU student veterans and military members.
» Jennifer Comer
Jennifer Comer served in the United States Army from June 2002 until May 2007 including two tours to Iraq and many military missions in 32 different countries around the world. She worked with multiple Special Forces and Delta Force teams as the only female where she held the title of “cultural support soldier”. Her mission was to do the things her male counterparts could not - to search female locals. Jennifer’s job quickly turned into providing emotional support for locals and in turn gaining their trust in efforts to progress forward with cross-cultural relationships. Eventually, her male co-workers gave her the nickname GI JennyBear because of her tough girl ways but motherly instincts. The way she takes on life has not veered much since leaving the military.
In the fall of 2009, Jennifer enrolled here at Weber State and quickly became known as a tenacious advocate for student veterans and military members. Currently, she is serving as the Veteran Student Senator and the Student Veteran of America (SVA) Weber State University Chapter President as well as the Vice President of the Weber State University Social Work Club. She has been an advocate for the creation of a student veteran’s center on campus, provided over three years of leadership for WSU student veteran activities, and assisted in the transition of students entering into the academic environment and reintegration into civilian life.
Jennifer is also a mentor for veteran Law Enforcement Academy cadets and the liaison for all veterans attending the WSU Police Academy. She worked with the Veterans Administration to create a process for cadets to purchase needed personal equipment costing upwards of $2,000, which previously had been denied. Her efforts created a model within the National VA system that is currently used in over 50 police academies in the U.S., ultimately making the course more affordable for student veterans. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in student veterans in law enforcement academies across the nation.
She also serves as a Veterans Affairs volunteer and a member of the WSU Military Outreach and Veteran Education (MOVE) Committee. She is a full time student nearing graduation as a dual major in Social Work and Criminal Justice. Over the recent years, she has gained many titles including advocate, student leader, and veteran. But the titles she is most proud of are the ones few people get to see; those titles are wife and mommy.
Jennifer has worked exceptionally hard in the past three years. Her determination has made Weber State more aware of the amount of military and veterans within the student population. Her goal has been to improve the graduation rate of military veterans at WSU. This is a goal that she has, without a doubt, accomplished. She is well deserving of the 2012 Friend of Student Veterans and Military Members award.
2012 Friend of Student Veterans/Military Members Support Organization Award
Presented to Department of Workforce Services Wasatch North Regionfor demonstration of ability and willingness to go above and beyond standard expectations in support of WSU student veterans and military members.
» The Wasatch North Region - Department of Workforce Services (DWS)
The Wasatch North Region - Department of Workforce Services (DWS) provides priority service to veterans and eligible spouses including community resources related to career planning, job search techniques, resume writing, interviewing skills, training and preparation, vocational counseling, and job referrals. In conjunction with Governor Herbert's initiative, DWS is spearheading a program to help veterans get credit for their military work when they seek state licenses or higher education. The Accelerated Credentialing to Employment (ACE) Program assists service men and women to match military training and work experience to comparable civilian employment, college credits, and certification or a trade license. DWS representatives serve on the Weber State University Military Outreach and Veteran Education (MOVE) committee and collaborate with other campus and community organizations to assist veterans. The DWS counselors in the Weber and Davis counties have been pro-active in working with the Weber State Veteran Services office and Veterans Upward Bound to extend transitional support and educational resources to student veterans. With recognition of great support services provided to Weber State University student veterans, we are pleased to present the 2012 Support Organization Friend of Student Veterans and Military Members to the Wasatch North Region Department of Workforce Services team.