Student Veteran Recognized for Cross-Country Ride

August 5, following a cross-country cycling tradition, Kiersten Downs dips her front tire into the reflecting pool on the Washington DC mall at the end of her journey. Her journey started June 2 with a dip of her rear tire in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: Biking USA

August 5, following a cross-country cycling tradition, Kiersten Downs dips her front tire into the reflecting pool on the Washington DC mall at the end of her journey. Her journey started June 2 with a dip of her rear tire in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: Biking USA

An Air Force veteran and anthropology doctoral student who spent her summer Biking across America was named Student Veteran of the Year by the Student Veterans of America organization at its annual conference in Scottsdale, AZ on Saturday evening.

The National SVA recognized University of South Florida student veteran Kiersten Downs, a former president of the USF Student Veterans Association, for her cross-country trip that raised $50,000 for the organization as well as raising awareness of student veterans’ challenges and successes in higher education.

The current USF SVA President Ray Mollison accepting the award for Downs who was unable to attend the ceremony.

USF SVA President Ray Mollison (right) accepting the Student Veteran of the Year award for Kiersten Downs.

USF SVA President Ray Mollison (right) accepting the Student Veteran of the Year award for Kiersten Downs.

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