Kelly Sweetman Honored


Ms. Kelly Sweetman, Marshall’s Director of Military and Veteran Affairs, is the recipient of one of only two Salutes Plaques awarded annually by the United States Air Force. These awards are bestowed to persons who have been nominated for their outstanding commitment and dedication to their military community.

In June 2010, Kelly began her tenure at Marshall. Since her arrival, she has developed a clear system for referral of resources, an advocacy program, a support program, and a students’ veterans group. In addition, Veterans Upward Bound joined Marshall last year to offer support and basic skills classes to veterans to prepare them to enter college. With an eye to the future, Kelly has begun planning for the 2012-13 academic year. She states, “We are developing our services further to include faculty and staff training in transitioning models. We will be going out into our schools to educate the community on veterans and their needs. We will also be kicking our military family program up a gear to bring our spouses into the classroom. We are supporting our military community by providing support and educational opportunities for our active duty, reserve members, and spouses.”

Kelly was born in New Zealand, but spent much of her life in Queensland, Australia. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from Massey University, and both a Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching and a Learning Masters of Professional Studies in Education from the University of Canterbury. In 2003, she was one of the foreign teachers recruited to the United States to fill faculty positions in the rural parts of North Carolina. What was supposed to be a one-year stint turned into permanent residency when she met her husband Kristopher.

Kristopher, a member of the United States Marine Corps, led them from Camp Lejuene in North Carolina to Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia to the Marine Corps Air, Ground, and Combat Center 29 Palms in the Mojave Desert. While in California, Kelly worked for the Copper Mountain Community College’s base programs and also served as the coordinator for the military spouse programs. After 3 years in the desert, Kelly, Kristopher, and their daughter Madison headed to West Virginia.