Student Veterans of America

Slippery Rock University (SRU) offers the SRU chapter of the Student Veterans of America. It is a student-led networking and representative organization specifically for veterans, guard, reserve, ROTC, and veteran connected students. They organize and participate in various veteran-centered events, both on and off campus, in the hopes of inspiring esprit de corps (fellowship) among the university veterans. They meet regularly to discuss upcoming events and issues that arise throughout the semester.

If you are interested in joining, click the link below to join on the CORE page:


SRU SVA Service Dog Project

The Student Veterans of America (SVA) service dog program is a program developed by the Slippery Rock University (SRU) chapter of SVA. It allows for one student veteran a year to receive a service dog to help improve quality of life.


This project began with two veterans working at SRU’s Campus Recreation Center.   Matthew Lobaugh (Assistant Director of Recreational Sports and Adviser for the SRU’s chapter of SVA) and Jim Yeamans wanted to find a way to show appreciation for the veterans at SRU. Matthew Lobaugh is a former U.S. Army sergeant who served for 8 years, including a yearlong deployment during the Iraq War. Matthew states, “Having served in the military, I recognize the challenges our veterans face when they return home. They give so much to our country, so any resource or gesture we can provide them helps show our appreciation and enhances their lives.” With the help of very generous donations, a service dog has been provided to a veteran each year since 2017 (excluding 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

Mike Ditto and his service dog Justice.

 Mike Ditto and his service dog Justice.  

Application Process

Each year the SVA sends out an email to all SRU veteran and military-affiliated students making them aware of this great opportunity. If interested, veterans can submit a form on the SVA CORE page.  The SVA will then reach out to each veteran who submits this form to set up an interview to further discuss the program and determine if the veteran would benefit from a service dog. For each application period typically only one veteran is selected to receive a service dog. If there are multiple applicants, the service dog will go to the individual who demonstrates the most need.

New Hope Assistance Dogs

Currently the SVA has a partnership with New Hope Assistance Dogs Inc. which is located in Warren, Pennsylvania. This organization pairs the recipient with a dog and provides specialized training so the two can become a team. This organization provides custom trained assistance dogs for seizure, mobility, hearing, PTSD related issues, and a multitude of other disabilities for both children and adults.

For more information about the SVA service dog program contact Matthew Lobaugh at