Our week of podcasts focused on student Veterans is coming to a close. On Monday, we spoke with Student Veterans of America president Jared Lyon. Then, Tuesday through Thursday we had a conversation with three groups of Student Veteran of the Year finalists. Today, we feature the 2018 Student Veteran of the Year, Alexandria Sawin. Alex is the president of the UNLV Rebel Veterans Organization at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She speaks with us about her service in the Air Force, becoming a leader in her community, organizing a ruck march across the state of Nevada, and her best practices in her student Veteran chapter.
Alex spent seven years in active duty Air Force from January 2010 to November 2016 as an aircraft mechanic at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton Virginia and Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. She transitioned into the reserves at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada in from December 2016 to December 2018. During that time, she was a full-time student pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with the aspirations of becoming a primary care physician within the next ten years. She served as the Rebel Veterans Organization chapter president and a Peer Advisor for Veteran Education (PAVE) where she advocated for the academic success of approximately 1,600 transitioning military service members and their families attending UNLV. Throughout her time at UNLV, she successfully managed her full-time course load, motherly responsibilities, Air Force reservist duties, and the presidency of the UNLV Rebel Veterans Organization. Even with the tremendous responsibility of leading my organization she has been on the Dean’s List every semester of the last two years for her ability to maintain a 3.78 GPA. In her personal life, she enjoys hanging out with my family, running, working out, and competing in obstacle course racing. She recently placed third in her age group in the Las Vegas 8-mile Spartan Race and ninth in her age group at her first half-marathon in March.