SVA @ MTSU Officers
Vice President - Bennie Thompson
Ben Thompson is a native of Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1989, while pursuing an associate’s degree in Electronics, Mr. Thompson sought to endeavor a military career in medical while giving tribute to his diseased brother, Frank P. Thompson Jr, who lost his life near Fort Rucker Army Installation (now Fort Novosel) while serving in the US Army. As reservist, Mr. Thompson served as an infantry corpsman alongside Marine Infantry Group, Company “H”, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines from Montgomery, Alabama. During this time, the 2nd Marine Division, whom the infantry group belonged to, was called upon to liberate the city of Kuwait from the throws of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain, then President of Iraq. This effort earned several citations and merits, among them, the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
Always a passion of his, Mr. Thompson has long dreamed of building small and large structures and landscape features that “stand out” but, early on, didn’t necessarily have the educational guidance in place to aide his curious nature in construction and the natural world. A pandemic induced layoff in 2020, after a diligent 27-year focus in the telecom space, forced a considerable amount of thought about his passions this way, about his future earnings and how he could find the best harmony between them. Those things hard pressing and with a considerable degree of good fortune to his favor, he decided it was now, “with certainty”, a time to pursue interests that could really make those dreams a reality. As a transfer student from Nashville State Community College, Mr. Thompson entered MTSU with honors in the summer of 2022 and hasn’t looked back since. Having embraced the honors college and its challenges, many hurdles are yet to be overcome for Mr. Thompson who struggles with PTSD.
Notwithstanding, Bennie has taken advantage of and enjoy the many opportunities and gifts granted to him prior to entering MTSU and those adventures, towards higher education and the challenges they pose, are no different! Save the children and grandchildren, 6 and 3 in number respectively, this pursuit is likely his greatest adventure to date as they are his inspiration for returning. At 54, he has never been more inspired about his decisions to re-enter academia and looks forward to the next evolution of learning as He strives to encourage all others, in similar circumstance, age bracket or not, to never give up!
Bennie seeks a degree in Concrete Industry Management, Sales and Production concentration, with minors in Business and Honors and will defend a thesis on concrete sustainability. He plans to graduate in the fall of 2024, enter the work force then pursue long- awaited opportunities to restore some vintage vehicles, currently a ‘65 Impala SS and ‘57 Apache pickup, as slightly modified street cruisers. This endeavor, with a good friend, he also hopes to be the upstart of a new venture, Huntsville 1-Off, a pro-street, modern approach to classic vehicle restoration.
Secretary/Communications - Bill Lickman
Treasurer - Amy Ly
I am your Chapter Policy Liasion and a 2023 SVA Leadership Fellow. I am the one tasked with staying up to date on the things that SVA HQ is working on in regards to legislation for student veterans. If you have questions or concerns related to current or pending legislation, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will assist to the best of my ability. There are always a number of bills/topics being discussed, so if I do not know the answer, I will find out ASAP. I served in the TN Army National Guard with the 269th Military Police Co. from 2015-2022 as an MP. In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, I deployed with the 252nd Military Police Co. to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in continuing support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During that time, outside of my regular duties, I earned my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice from Purdue. Upon my return in 2021, I enrolled in MTSU as a Political Science major with a concentration in Pre-Law, as well as a minor in Criminal Justice. I have personally benefitted from relationships that I have established through our chapter, and have been in situations where had I not had SVA B.R.A.V.O and its resources, I would have had no idea how to handle things. I urge all student veterans to join SVA/B.R.A.V.O and enjoy many different opportunities that come with this community.
Veteran Senator (SGA) - Jacob Kimbrough
Disability Liaison- OPEN
Career Services Liaison- OPEN
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison- OPEN
Dr. Stephen E. Severn
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Doctor Steve Severn served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy from 1991 to 1996. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor’s of Science and Engineering (cum laude) in Systems Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Doctor Severn has been at MTSU since the Fall of 2018, when he was appointed as the Chair of the English Department. In this role, he oversees the operation of the largest academic department on campus and teaches courses that range from Freshman Writing classes up through Graduate-level seminars.
Prior to his arrival at MTSU, Doctor Severn taught English for thirteen years at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. During his tenure there, he served for five years as the Department Head of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages and prior to that assignment, he served as the Director of the Office of Writing Programs for six years.
Doctor Severn earned his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Pennsylvania. His first active-duty assignment was the Pentagon, where he worked for the Surface Warfare Branch of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Then, after successful completion of Naval Nuclear Power School, Prototype Reactor Training and Surface Warfare Office School, he served for three years as the Damage Control Assistant on the nuclear-powered cruiser USS ARKANSAS. During his time aboard ship, he completed a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and a nine-month dry-docking overhaul in Puget Sound Naval Shipyards. In recognition of his efforts in training the ARKANSAS’ crew in fire-fighting and flooding control, he was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal.
On the home front, Dr. Severn has been very happily married to Susan Severn since 2003. They have a son, William.
If you have questions, contact BRAVO@mtsu.edu