Dr. Stacey Dixon has been appointed director of military and veteran services at Kennesaw State University (KSU).
Dixon was the first science officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. She did work in meteorology and oceanography, and served in the branch for 20 years. She retired as Chief Warrant Officer 3, a high-ranking position considered to be advanced in both technical and tactical areas of leading in the field.
“I turned 18 in October, and I was on a bus to boot camp in December,” Dixon said. “There was no turning back after that, but it was difficult. This was in the ’80’s, so as a woman – a Black woman – in the Marine Corps, it was hard. Very, very hard.”
Outside of the armed forces, Dixon was a financial adviser, taught Junior ROTC, and served as veteran and military program coordinator at National Louis University.
Her goals in her new position include improving tools used to connect students to Military and Veterans Services and establishing training for faculty and staff on how to best teach and interact with student veterans.
“We know students may not open all their emails, so we want to engage with them through social media or monthly in-person events,” Dixon said. “Our task is to communicate who we are, what we do, and what we offer. It’s building camaraderie, being around people who have had similar experiences. Our goal is to help these military-connected students have a life outside of the classroom.”
She said she wants students to know KSU provides mental health services, health and wellness, school advising, help with housing, Social Security Administration help, and community engagement.
“I want students to tell their stories,” Dixon said. “It’s hard for us, for veterans, to talk about ourselves and what we’ve done, especially if it’s been traumatic. I especially want female veterans to tell their stories. Often, they are forgotten about, or their service is diminished. I want them to talk about what they’ve accomplished. I want all our military-connected students including our student veterans, active duty, reservists, national guard, spouses, and children to have a voice and tell their stories. That’s my mission at KSU.”
Dixon holds a master’s degree in business administration from National University in San Diego and an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Argosy University.
“The hardest part is seeing students not getting what they need and not knowing there are resources available to them,” Dixon said. “We have more than 1,700 military-connected students at KSU, and they need to know we are here. That’s my mission.”