CAMDEN — A Millville woman was named Rutgers–Camden’s outstanding female student veteran for 2018.

Anina Tyler was one of two Rutgers University–Camden student veterans selected by their peers to receive the top student award from the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at Rutgers–Camden.

“I am shocked and humbled to earn this award,” said Tyler, an undergraduate social work major who serves as public relations officer for the student veterans group at Rutgers–Camden. “All I’ve done is care for and want to help my fellow student veterans, which is what I hope that others do, too.”

Her classmate, Drew Bendler, of Pennsauken, Camden County, was named male student veteran for 2018. The honor is bestowed annually during Rutgers–Camden’s annual Veterans Day observance.

Although she came to the college in 2016, it wasn’t until 2018 that Tyler joined the student veterans group. She quickly decided to take on a leadership role. Tyler now creates all promotional materials for events and is working on enhancing the group’s social media presence.

“I went from being a fly on the wall to wanting to be involved as much as possible,” said Tyler, who plans to earn a doctorate in social work and work with children or veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Tyler wants to help other student veterans at Rutgers-Camden make the transition from active duty to civilian life.

“For me, that transition was difficult,” said Tyler. “I am not a traditional student; most of us aren’t. School is something that we have to fit in with many other responsibilities in life. It’s important that other student veterans, especially those who are in situations like mine, know that resources and guidance are available.”

— Claire Lowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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