UNC System Military Affairs

The University of North Carolina System is proud to support our military and is committed to the mission of educating members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. The UNC System military affairs team provides coordination and strategy for all UNC System institutions and acts as a single point of contact for external partners.

The UNC System and the Committee on Military and Public Affairs are committed to increasing enrollment, retention, graduation, and post-graduation success for all UNC System military-affiliated students. Together, we are working to grow North Carolina’s economy, support the missions of military base leaders, and ensure that all service members, veterans, and their families living in North Carolina have a high quality of life.

Through Systemwide programs, initiatives, and partnerships, the UNC System is committed to ensuring that we offer military supportive policies; flexible online degree programs; strong external partnerships with national and statewide stakeholders; and academic credit for military training.

Awarding Academic Credit for Military Training

The UNC System and the North Carolina Community College System have established a joint initiative to grant academic credit based on relevant military training and experience. This statewide effort respects and recognizes the validity of American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military formal training and occupational experience and supports a faculty-driven process for decisions regarding award of academic credit.

Reducing Barriers for Military-Affiliated Students

The UNC System Military Affairs Working Group meets monthly to share best practices and reduce barriers for military-affiliated students. The group is comprised of military affairs directors, military student support specialists, registrars, VA Certifying Officials, and other staff serving military-affiliated students at each of the UNC System’s 16 institutions.

Engaging State Leaders in Critical Conversations

The UNC System continuously engages in external outreach with North Carolina Congressional Delegation.

Increasing Military Cultural Awareness

The UNC System hosts a variety of training opportunities for faculty and staff to increase military cultural awareness and military student success.

Recent News

UNCW Opens New Veterans Hall
UNC Wilmington | September 15, 2022

New Ranking Places ECU Among Top US Schools for Veterans
East Carolina University | September 12, 2022

PAVE Comes to UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte | February 14, 2022

Information for Prospective Military-Affiliated Students

The UNC System offers a variety of resources to support military student success. Each of North Carolina’s 16 public institutions hosts a website that is specifically tailored to serve military-affiliated current and prospective students. Get to know our UNC System institutions or visit our page for military transfer students to learn more about how you can transfer to a UNC System institution from the military.

Military-Affiliated Student WebsitePoint of ContactEmailPhone
Appalachian State UniversityBethany Gonzalezgraysonbl@appstate.edu828-262-2722
East Carolina UniversityJeff Neztnikvets@ecu.edu252-737-2018
Elizabeth City State UniversityRay Broughtonveteran@ecsu.edu252-335-3289
Fayetteville State UniversityVeronica Alexandermilitary@uncfsu.edu910-672-2963
North Carolina A&T State UniversityCol. Joshua Jonesjtjones3@ncat.edu336-398-8651
North Carolina Central UniversityHepston Henryveteransaffairs@nccu.edu919-530-5000
NC State UniversityNick Drakencstatevets@ncsu.edu919-515-5041
UNC AshevilleAmanda DeWeeseadeweese@unca.edu828-251-6574
UNC-Chapel HillRob Palermorpalermo@email.unc.edu919-843-9551
UNC CharlotteBill Wilsonveteranservice@uncc.edu704-687-5488
UNC GreensboroChris Gregorymilitary@uncg.edu336-334-5632
UNC PembrokeJasmine Colemanveterans@uncp.edu910-775-4438
UNC School of the ArtsVickie Simmonssimmonsv@uncsa.edu336-770-1305
UNC WilmingtonBill Kawczynskimilitaryaffairs@uncw.edu910-962-2933
Western Carolina UniversityBriana Fordblford@email.wcu.edu828-227-2135
Winston-Salem State UniversityFeleta Mortonveteransaffairs@wssu.edu336-750-3333
Banner with text: "Nine to the front, six to the rear, time to start your college career."

Information for Partners

The UNC System invests in military-affiliated students.

  • Military students have a strong desire to pursue post-secondary education. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that nearly 50% of all service members transitioning from active duty enroll in an institution of higher learning.
  • Military students are high performers in the classroom, offering leadership and diversity of thought and experience to our universities.
  • Military students often pursue and complete high-demand programs like STEM, business, and health.
  • Many military students have the technical skills needed to fill critical workforce gaps in North Carolina like cyber defense and IT.
  • North Carolina has one of the nation’s largest military footprints (nearly 1 million active, veteran and reserve) and a defense sector that contributes over $66 billion dollars annually to the state.

Current Partnerships

The UNC System partnered with the PsychArmor Institute to provide Systemwide military cultural education for UNC System faculty and staff.

The PsychArmor Institute is a national nonprofit that provides military cultural competency training developed and delivered by subject matter experts. This partnership ensures consistency of quality training through a flexible and convenient delivery platform.

Explore available courses for faculty and staff.

The UNC System partnered with Bunker Labs to increase the number of businesses in North Carolina that are owned by veterans and military spouses.

Bunker Labs is a national nonprofit that helps grow military entrepreneurship. This partnership provides UNC System military-affiliated students with access to premier trainings, professional development, and networking opportunities to support their entrepreneurial goals.

The UNC System has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program to enhance visibility and recruitment opportunities for UNC System institutions.

This partnership creates post-graduation employment opportunities for military-affiliated students and provides the UNC System direct access to executives of corporations who are looking to hire qualified veterans and military spouses.

The UNC System partnered with the Defense Alliance of North Carolina to support growth of our state’s military economy.

The UNC System has an Educational Partnership Agreement with the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to support UNC System STEM education and research. 

The UNC System was awarded a five-year contract of $6 million from the U.S. Army to fund a range of research and development projects supporting US Special Operations Forces (SOF).

If you would like to support one of these initiatives, contact Kathie B. Sidner or Bradley Wrenn.

Our Team

Kathie Sidner
Director of Military Partnerships | ksidner@northcarolina.edu

As Director of Military Partnerships, Kathie Sidner connects UNC System capabilities and resources with military needs, Department of Defense entities, federal and state agencies, and industry partners. Ms. Sidner manages a portfolio of collaborative research projects and a UNC System internship program with local military commands. She also supports UNC System economic impact initiatives and serves on the UNC Economic Transformation Council.

Ms. Sidner earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia and her MS in Chemical Engineering from NC State University. Prior to joining the UNC System, she worked in the U.S. Intelligence Community as a chemical/biological weapons and counterterrorism analyst and supported two U.S. Army university-affiliated research centers in nanotechnology and biotechnology as a contractor at the Army Research Office.

Bradley Wrenn
Program Manager, Military and Veterans Education | btwrenn@northcarolina.edu

As Program Manager for Military and Veterans Education, Bradley Wrenn serves as a liaison between the UNC System Office and the staff who work directly with military-affiliated students at North Carolina’s public institutions.

Mr. Wrenn earned his undergraduate degree in International Business from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and began his professional career as a Business Development Project Manager at the Center for Creative Leadership. Later, he earned a master’s degree and a post-master’s certificate in Higher Education Administration from East Carolina University. Prior to joining the UNC System, Mr. Wrenn served as the Director of Military-Affiliated Services at UNC Greensboro. He also served as an enlisted member of the North Carolina Air National Guard, where he served as a Combat Meteorologist.

Dr. Thomas Walker
Senior Advisor, Economic Development and Military Affairs

Dr. Thomas A. Walker, Jr. serves as Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Military Affairs. Prior to this role Walker served as President of Wayne Community College. His numerous leadership roles in higher education have also included Dean of Student Services and Enrollment Management at Davidson County Community College and founding Executive Director of KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) St. Louis. He also served as a tank officer in the United State Marine Corps.

Dr. Walker earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a Master of Public Administration and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from The University of Memphis. Throughout his career, he has been involved in several noteworthy executive development programs including Harvard University’s Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education and New President Institute. Dr. Walker was also an inaugural member of the Aspen Institute’s Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.