Vanderbilt University welcomed lawmakers from the Tennessee General Assembly’s Veterans Caucus and representatives from the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services on Nov. 13 at the Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability (LASIR). The group got an overview of Vanderbilt’s programs that support veterans and of the university’s robust research partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and Fort Campbell.
During the visit, attendees were introduced to Vanderbilt’s SkillBridge program, which offers civilian job experiences to transitioning service members. Additionally, the group heard a presentation from Director Scott Brower about the Bass Military Scholars Program, which awards $30,000 scholarships annually to highly talented veterans pursuing graduate and professional degrees across five Vanderbilt schools. These programs underscore the university’s recognition of the outstanding leadership qualities and capabilities of veterans and transitioning service members, supporting their academic pursuits and fostering a culture of excellence.
Vanderbilt’s close relationship with Fort Campbell, a collaboration that has sparked innovative research projects supported by the Pathfinder program. The visit showcased various research projects, including the SABER exosuit, which is designed to prevent back pain and enhance endurance for those engaged in heavy and repetitive lifting. The group also learned how neuroscientists are addressing foreign language learning with the Army and how ophthalmologists and engineers are collaborating to assess how the environment of specialized aircraft affects soldiers’ performance and health.
“These types of visits are instrumental in fostering meaningful connections with our state partners,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for State Government Relations Daniel Culbreath. “These policymakers enjoyed learning about the ways Vanderbilt is making a difference in the lives of military service members and our ongoing commitment to veterans. We look forward to strengthening these collaborations that have a tangible impact in our state and beyond.”