Campus Life

Texas A&M System Names 2024 Student Veteran Excellence Award Recipient

Marine Corps veteran Janneth Najera, a graduate student at the Bush School, is honored for her service as an advocate for student veterans.
By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications June 13, 2024

(l-r) Monteigne Long, associate director, Texas A&M System Office of Veteran and Military Services, and awardee Janneth Najera, Bush School graduate student.
(l-r) Monteigne Long, associate director, Texas A&M System Office of Veteran and Military Services, and awardee Janneth Najera, Bush School graduate student.

Texas A&M University Division of Student Affairs


The Texas A&M University System has awarded Janneth Najera with the 2024 Student Veteran Excellence Award for her outstanding service in support of student veterans.

The award is given annually to no more than two students within The Texas A&M System in recognition of service to campus and/or community; exemplifying the core values of the campus or military services; and serving as an advocate for student veterans or veteran issues.

Najera is a Marine Corps veteran from Katy, Texas, who is pursuing a master’s degree in international affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. During her nearly eight years in the military, she served as both a mechanic and a Marine Security Guard, departing active duty as a sergeant in 2020.

“It is truly an honor to have been nominated by my peers to receive this award,” Najera said. “Since transitioning to civilian life, I have remained steadfast in my commitment to serving others. As a passionate advocate for veterans’ rights, I tirelessly work to ensure that the sacrifices of servicemen and women are honored and recognized. Through my involvement in various outreach programs, I provide invaluable support to my fellow veterans, offering a helping hand and a listening ear whenever needed.”

Following her stint in the Marines, Najera earned her bachelor’s in international/global studies from Texas A&M and served as president of the university’s chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA). She also worked closely with the staff of the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource and Support Center (VRSC), which helps transition Aggie veterans into college with peer leadership, innovative programs and resources aimed at facilitating academic and personal success.

“Janneth applies her leadership skills to strengthen and support our Aggie student veterans,” said VRSC Director Col. (Ret.) Gerald “Jerry” L. Smith ’82. “She effectively builds community through participation in Aggie traditions and community service. It is a pleasure to work with her and watch her live our Aggie Core Values every day.”

Najera said she chose to pursue her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Texas A&M because the university culture aligns with her values. “From a young age, I knew I wanted to serve my country, which led me to join the Marine Corps,” she said. “In the Marines, we deeply value traditions, and I saw that Texas A&M wholeheartedly embraces its’ as well. I was lucky to learn that Texas A&M places such a strong emphasis on caring for their veterans.”

Najera expects to graduate in May and plans to continue working in public service for the benefit of her country. “As I pursue my studies and engage in meaningful community service, I remain committed to making a positive impact in the world,” she said, adding she hopes all student veterans, dependents and military-affiliated students participate in their Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapters and the National SVA. “They go above and beyond for student veterans across the country, offering resources, research opportunities, and advocating for veterans in higher education,” she said.

For more information about SVA, visit Learn more about all Texas A&M has to offer student veterans at

View past winners of the Student Veteran Excellence Award from The Texas A&M University System.

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