Everest College Phoenix – Mesa Campus recently celebrated the graduation of nearly 100 students. During the graduation ceremony, director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Joey Strickland, was recognized for his life-long commitment to serving his country and fellow veterans. He was awarded with an Everest College Phoenix distinguished honorary doctorate degree, doctor of humanities for public service.

Strickland was appointed to head the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services in July 2008 after serving more than 10 years as the deputy secretary and executive director of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Strickland, who is American Indian of Choctaw-Cherokee-Lumbee descent, also served as Louisiana director of Indian Affairs from 1996 to 2004. He has served on several state commissions including the governor’s military advisory board.

At the national level, Strickland has served as chairman of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans and is a past president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. He is currently a member of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee for Homeless Veterans.

In recognition of his continued service to the United States, Strickland was recently one of 11 veterans nationwide selected by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work with the veterans community.

• Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or bstidham@ahwatukee.com.

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