Kastle receives veterans advocate award


Dr. Seth Kastle of Fort Hays State University is the recipient of a national award. He was recognized by the National Association of Student Affairs Personnel Administrators (NASPA) with the 2020 Veterans Knowledge Community Ally and Advocate Award. Kastle is an assistant professor of leadership studies and the director of military program innovation at FHSU.

The leading voice for student affairs professionals, NASPA drives innovation and evidence-based, student-centered practice throughout higher education – nationally and globally.

The Veterans Knowledge Community Ally and Advocate Award recognizes the outstanding work individuals do to support and advance military-connected students. It is awarded to non-NASPA members as the VKC acknowledges that great work happens across different lines of work and organizations, which may include non-NASPA practitioners.

Kastle was nominated by his colleague, Dr. Phillip Olt. In his nomination, Olt stated, “Seth Kastle gets big things done due to his tireless efforts, passion, and reputation.”

Olt went on to identify several reasons Kastle was deserving of the award. He was one of the main driving forces behind the creation and funding of the Transfer & Military Center on campus. This relatively new organization is committed to making the transition to college seamless for service members, veterans, and their families who often bring prior college coursework, military training, and professional experience that merits consideration for credit toward a degree.

Kastle was also instrumental in revitalizing the Student Veterans Association on campus. That organization fosters the kind of support that network members of the military count on during their time of service.

Kastle also was the driving force behind bringing the Kansas Army National Guard (KSARNG) office and new Officer Candidate School program to the FHSU campus. The OCS program is one of the U.S. Army’s main training programs for prospective Arm Officers and is open to qualified enlisted service members, Noncommissioned Officers, and civilians who have completed at least 90 credit hours. Candidates who successfully complete this rigorous training receive their commission in the KSARNG as Second Lieutenants.

“It is a little overwhelming to be recognized at this level,” said Kastle. “It is important to note that it has taken the entire FHSU community to make much of this happen. I truly believe that I would not have been as successful anywhere else as I have been here in moving the military connected community forward.”

The program also established six courses which do not require any level of commitment to the KSARNG. These courses allow students to “test” the military experience and empower underclassmen to gain experience with the KSARNG community as early as their freshman year. To learn more about the Transfer & Military Center and the Officer Candidate School at FHSU visit //fhsu.edu/transfer-and-military

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