Experienced manager, Army officer takes military affairs helm

Contact: Jeanne Baron

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A U.S. Army veteran with more than 25 years of experience managing and working with diverse people and teams has been hired to head the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at Western Michigan University.

Joyce M. Busch took up duties Sept. 8 as director of the office, which is in WMU's Center for Academic Success Programs. She replaces Tracey Quada, who in June became director of Career Services at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

"Joyce brings a wealth of military, business and higher education knowledge to WMU. She's well aware of the needs that current, reservist and dependent military members have," says Dr. Randy W. Ott, director of the Center for Academic Success Programs. "Her positive attitude and unwavering commitment to help students make her a wonderful addition to WMU."

Joyce M. Busch


Joyce M. Busch

A certified elementary teacher in Virginia, Busch comes to WMU from the University of Phoenix, where she had been a facilitator since 2009. In that role, she implemented curriculum for a cultural diversity class, working with Phoenix staff members such as academic advisors, disability advisors and academic affairs personnel.

Busch joined the U.S. Army in 1987 and has deployed to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bahrain. She attained the rank of colonel and now serves in the Army Reserves.

"I'm hoping to combine my military experience with my teaching background to benefit the student veterans of Western Michigan University," Busch says. "These vets and their families have made extraordinary sacrifices, and Western has a demonstrated history of taking care of their military students. I'm honored to be part of that tradition and I welcome the opportunity to serve the student veterans and families of Western Michigan."

During her 27 years in the active army, Busch held several leadership and staff positions with responsibilities that included planning, training, budgeting and conducting operations as well as supervising administrative, security and logistics functions. That experience included working closely for a decade with the Chrysler Corp. and for years with a leading information technology contractor for government agencies such as the Department of Defense.

Busch earned a Bachelor of Science in French and German from the U.S. Military Academy in 1987 and a Master of Arts in elementary education teaching from Western Governor's University in 2007. In addition, she has completed two military-related degrees and is working on a Doctor of Philosophy in public policy and administration.

Military and veterans affairs at WMU

The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs serves more than 600 veteran students, the greatest number of veterans enrolled at a public university in Michigan. The office was established in 2009 to support veterans, service members and the family members of veterans. It provides guidance and mentorship in academic, benefit, and other areas as well as general information about WMU and its services, the campus community, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The University strives to create a smooth and seamless transition from service to student, and its efforts in that regard have garnered national recognition. Military Times EDGE magazine for the past four years has named the University one of the country's best institutions for military veterans pursuing higher education.

WMU has earned such rankings by offering in-state tuition status to veterans since 2007 and to veterans' dependents since 2008, assisting with obtaining GI Bill benefits, providing tailored academic and career counseling, offering disability services, and having a chapter of the Student Veterans of America. In addition, the University has housed a VetSuccess on Campus program for southwest Michigan since 2012 with two partners—Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Kellogg Community College. This was the first VetSuccess program the V.A. authorized in Michigan.

For more information, contact Randy W. Ott at randy.ott@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4411.

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