Following an extensive national search, Britt Conroy, ‘16, MPH ‘20, is Southern’s new Coordinator of Veterans, Military, and Adult Learner Services. Conroy succeeds Jack Mordente, M.S. ’77, 6th Yr. ’79, who recently retired after 47 years in the position.
From a young age, Conroy always knew she would join the military. After seeing the news coverage of Operation Desert Shield, she dressed herself as General Norman Schwartzkopf for Halloween — desert fatigues, pigtails, and all.
By the age of 16, she had already taken the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) exam, one of the first steps before enlisting.
To say she was steadfast in her determination is an understatement. But the year she graduated from high school, her dreams were unfortunately put on hold.
“I had planned to join the military immediately after graduating,” explains Conroy. “The only problem is, I graduated in 2001. When September 11th happened, my parents begged me to wait, and I did.”
As a stopgap, Conroy enrolled in courses at Gateway Community College. While she enjoyed her first semester of learning, the pull toward the military wouldn’t abate.
Conroy enlisted in in the United States Air Force, where she served as a diagnostic imaging technologist for over six years, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant.
When she finished serving, Conroy knew the time was right to go back to university. Being from Milford, Conroy had grown up familiar with Southern. What she didn’t know about were the many services the university provides for veterans.
“The Veterans’ Office helped me to navigate the complexities of applying for benefits and using my GI bill,” explains Conroy. “That support is one of the key reasons I chose Southern.”
Conroy earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016, followed by her Master of Public Health in 2020. While completing the latter, Conroy worked in the First-Year Experience Office as an academic advisor, an experience that was “instrumental” in her staying and continuing her journey at Southern.
“Southern’s amazing. I had such great experiences here as a student — to be able to continue to work here and to be one of those people that has a positive impact on students coming through is amazing.”
Conroy is determined to continue building on Mordente’s legacy of providing veterans and adult learners with a safe space and resource throughout their time at Southern. She’s also hoping to grow their visibility within the Southern community.
“Veterans bring a lot of experience and perspective to campus. Thinking of different kinds of creative ways to integrate and work that into the fabric of Southern is a top priority.”
Learn more about Southern’s Veterans’ Center and the services it provides here.