College of Human Ecology's Goff receives national honor for exceptional support of the military
Monday, Oct. 3, 2016
From left, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, is joined by recipients of the Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Medal — Briana S. Nelson Goff, professor of family studies and human services, and director of the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families at Kansas State University; Trace Adkins, country music singer and actor; John G. Bunch, founder of Operation Open Arms; and Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues — and Patrick J. Murphy, undersecretary of the U.S. Army. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Briana S. Nelson Goff was one of four Americans to receive the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the chief of staff of the U.S. Army on Sept. 15. The ceremony took place at the Pentagon.
Goff is the first Kansas State University faculty member to receive the national award, which honors civilians for exceptional support of the military.
As a professor of family studies and human services, and director of the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families in the College of Human Ecology, Goff said the recognition is an honor not only for herself but also for Kansas State University as a whole.
"Our work as a military-inclusive university is pivotal, across the board," Goff said. "We have many faculty and graduate students who are doing incredible work on behalf of military service members, veterans and their families."
The institute, which Goff launched in 2009, offers many programs for military families, including Seasons of Service, which unites university and community resources for local military and veterans' families; research on national veteran and spouse wellness retreats that include acupuncture, yoga, art therapy and post-traumatic stress disorder education; and reports that provide the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division's health promotion council with an academic and civilian perspective on current social issues.
"I have known and worked with Dr. Goff for over a decade and I have seen her shed tears of joy and sorrow as she works tirelessly in service to our military families and Kansas State University," said Art DeGroat, executive director of military and veterans affairs at the university. "She justly deserves this award just as an exceptionally valiant soldier deserves a medal for valorous efforts. What she does is above and beyond the call of duty."
As a fourth-generation student at Kansas State University, Goff started working with military trauma in graduate school. As a professor, she has dedicated her career to working with those affected by many types of trauma. She has focused predominantly on military-specific trauma for the past 12 years.
"In the end, we don't want to forget those who really deserve the recognition and the honor — our service members who continue going into battle, and their families who face the stresses of dealing with multiple deployments," Goff said. "This recognition for the work we do is wonderful, but ultimately the appreciation belongs to our service members and their families."
The other recipients of the award included Trace Adkins, country music singer and actor; John G. Bunch, founder of Operation Open Arms; and Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues.