GV Director of The Military & Veterans Resource Center wins National Chapter Advisor of the year


Courtesy / GVNext

Isabelle England, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s director of The Secchia Military & Veterans Resource Center, Jill Hinton Wolfe, was named Chapter Advisor of the Year by Student Veterans of America.

Wolfe and GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella were accompanied by a group of students to the award ceremony. Each year, the award is given out to help honor the hard work and dedication of the SVA chapter advisors and celebrate their work throughout the year. 

Wolfe originally attended GVSU in 1994. After her freshman year she decided to pause her education to join the United States Military. Wolfe served from 1995 to 1998, then came back to GVSU to finish out her degree in advertising and public relations, graduating in 2001.

“A few years later I returned to teach as an adjunct and after a few semesters, left again to build a business,” Wolfe said. “Then I returned to take this job working with veterans. Maybe there’s something in the air in Allendale, but I just can’t seem to stay away from this place.”  

As Director of The Secchia Military & Veterans Resource Center Wolfe works closely with veterans on campus to help them transition back into a school setting. The Military Veterans Resource Center helps with everything from their GI Bill, scheduling classes, financial aid and mental health services. The center also offers a sense of community to veterans on campus. 

The award, which helps to honor the hard work and dedication of the SVA chapter advisors and celebrate their work throughout the year, was presented to Wolfe on Jan. 6 in Orlando, Florida. President of Laker Vets, an on-campus organization focused on establishing a sense of community for veterans, Travis Snyder was also among the group who was able to join Wolfe in accepting the award.

“Winning this award was the pinnacle of my career,” Wolfe said. “It stands for everything I’ve worked hard to accomplish these last few years. But honestly, the real honor is seeing my students inspired to go after their dreams. As long as I live, I will never forget the tears in their eyes or the hugs they’ve given me just for showing up for them. It’s absolute magic.”

The event helped to recognize Wolfe’s strong contribution to the community of veterans on campus as well as nationally recognized GVSU for the institution’s commitment to helping veterans continue their education.

Wolfe continues her work this year dedicating time to working with Veterans on the newly-introduced program: GVSU Veterans Advance: Progressive Work-Based Learning. The program was previously announced on Veterans Day, which aims to help currently enrolled Veterans “catch up” with their civilian peers in the workforce. Wolfe helps to place veterans in degree-appropriate fields and helps to further the value experience their education brings. 

Wolfe can be found in the Peter Secchia Military and Veterans Resource Center or reached by email at [email protected] for more information about the work she does with veterans on campus. 

“This school has transformed me,” Wolfe said. “I am, in my heart of hearts, a Laker.”