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Iraq vet to offer a trans veteran’s perspective at IUN

Army veteran Rhiannon Carlson will discuss “A Trans Veteran’s Perspective” in an upcoming lecture at Indiana University Northwest Indiana.

Army veteran Rhiannon Carlson, an Iraq veteran, will discuss “A Trans Veteran’s Perspective” in an upcoming lecture at Indiana University Northwest Indiana.

Carlson, who’s now a veteran program coordinator and counselor at IU South Bend, will discuss “Advocating for LGBTQI Rights at IU and the State of Indiana” at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Rooms 205/206 in the Savannah Center at the IUN campus on Broadway in Gary.

“Carlson is a transgender woman who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the 2003 conflict in Iraq,” IUN said in a news release. “In 2016, she shared her experiences with Indiana legislators in a presentation titled 'A Trans Veteran’s Perspective.' At IU Northwest, Carlson will build on these remarks by discussing how she draws upon her personal journey to support and advocate for LGBTQI rights across IU and the state.”

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The Elkhart Memorial High School graduate enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1999, volunteered for the Airborne Infantry and earned the rank of sergeant.

Upon returning home, she founded the Purdue Student Veterans Organization and was active in other veterans groups.

“As a graduate student, she shifted from outreach to research, overseeing a three-wave longitudinal study comparing factors that contribute to, or are barriers to, academic success for student veterans versus their civilian peers,” IUN said in a statement. “Continuing this work at IU South Bend, Carlson says that assisting veterans in transition back to the civilian world is a passion for her and she is happy to have returned to this accepting community to continue to serve.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.