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MORGANTOWN, WV -

Jerry McCarthy is the new director of West Virginia University Veterans Affairs.

He had been serving as the school's veteran advocate in an interim capacity since mid-2012. So far, he has helped more than 800 student veterans make the transition back to civilian life at WVU.

Before starting to work with vets, McCarthy worked in University College Advising for six years as the undergraduate academic adviser for the military community.

McCarthy is a 20-year active duty service veteran. He has helped improve veterans' academic opportunities and identify vets' challenges that are different from those of traditional students.

He holds a master's degree in public administration and a master's of legal studies, both from WVU. He is currently a doctoral student in the political science department.

WVU Veteran Affairs, a one-stop-shop, assists students with the G.I. Bill and helps students both on-or-off active duty. The office is involved in developing special programs and veteran organizations on campus and offers rehabilitation counseling, parent relations counseling and therapy for veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress. 

Special academic advisers work individually with students to craft schedules that accommodate students' drills and other programs. Earlier this year, WVU was named a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs Magazine for the fifth straight year.