Deputy Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Visits FSU During National Social Worker Conference

Date: March 11, 2024

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.  The Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Hon. Tanya Bradsher, visited Fayetteville State University during a conference for VA social workers and case managers on March 7 in the Rudolph Jones Student Center. 

Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary, Tanya Bradsher, shaking hands with conference participants.

The C.O.N.E.C.T. or Creating Open Networks Encouraging Comprehensive Teamwork Conference hosted by the VA’s Mid-Atlantic Healthcare Network of North Carolina and Virginia convened nearly 200 VA social workers for professional development and network opportunities. By partnering with FSU’s School of Social work, faculty and students were able to strengthen the established relationship. 

“We are sincerely grateful to FSU for helping us take care of veterans and their families by providing 50% of Fayetteville VA’s master’s in social work trainees over the past 10 years,” said Bradsher. “Continuing to bring together VA social workers and FSU faculty and students will strengthen, diversify and support the portion of VA’s workforce responsible for supporting Fayetteville veterans and their families in their greatest time of need.”

The VA is the largest employer of social workers in the nation and is emphasizing its relationship with local minority serving institutions like HBCUs. Allowing FSU students and faculty to build relationships with the VA, an organization that provides paid internships and high-paying, in-demand career opportunities for graduates, is a priority for university.

Far left to right, Dr. Dennis Corbin, Interim Associate Dean for the School of Social Work, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Michael Alexander, Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Military Relations, Deputy Secretary Bradsher, and Dr. Marcus Cox, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

“Hosting the C.O.N.E.C.T. Conference was a tremendous opportunity for the School of Social Work to highlight our program excellence, students, and faculty to one of the largest employers in the United States,” said Marcus Cox, Ph.D, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Fayetteville State University.

Much of the conference focus on the healthcare needs of veterans and the military community. With Ft. Liberty about 6 miles away from campus, the military-connected population is close to one-third of FSU’s total enrollment. FSU’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Military Relations participated in the conference.

Deputy Secretary Tanya Bradsher

“The School of Social Work and our institution is committed to strengthen our partnership with organizations and support of the soldiers at Fort Liberty and the vast population of military veterans in the Sandhills region,” Dean Cox said. “We are also honored to have the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Veteran Affairs visit Fayetteville State University to inspire and uplift the conference attendees and our students with words of encouragement and support.”

Appointed by President Joe Biden, Bradsher is the 10th Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. She’s also the first woman and minority to serve as the second highest official in the department. Bradsher is a combat Veteran who served for 20 years in the United States Army. To learn more about the Honorable Tanya Bradsher, visit

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