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Brenau University Receives Seven Seals Award for Support of Guard and Reserve
Brenau President Ed Schrader receives the Seven Seals Award from the Georgia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve from retired Maj. Gen. David Bockel, left, and Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Marietta. - photo by AJ Reynolds/Brenau University

The U.S. Department of Defense organization that nurtures the support of military reservists from their private- and public-sector employers presented Brenau University earlier this month with a Seven Seals Award for its encouragement and support for reservists.

Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Tavilla, who is human resource adviser for the 134th Air Refueling Wing at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tenn., nominated the university for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve award. Tavilla is also office manager and administrator for the Brenau physical therapy doctoral program in Gainesville.

Tavilla, who first came to Brenau as an undergraduate, said she frequently had to ask professors for accommodations for some aspect of her military duty.

“They always worked with me without any difficulty,” she said. “Now that I’ve been an employee for four years while continuing my military service, I can speak for two groups of veterans that Brenau is supportive of men and women of service.”

Tavilla, a 26-year military veteran, completed her undergraduate degree in conflict resolution and legal studies with honors, which earned her the Cora Anderson Hill Award for the Brenau Women’s College graduate with the highest grade-point average at the 2015 commencement ceremony. A few months later, she was promoted to the Air National Guard’s highest enlisted rank.

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