Staff

photo of veteran affairs staff

 

 
Johnny Green

Paul "Puck" Esposito
Captain, US Navy Retired

Director

Captain Esposito, USN (Ret.), native of Old Bethpage, New York, holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Siena College, and a Master’s in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. A 30-year Navy veteran and aviator, his career includes assignments with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 15, Canadian Forces' Maritime Helicopter Squadron 423, USS Nassau LHA-4, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 3, and as the executive and commanding officer of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 5.
Assignments to shore and staff billets include Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 1, CHSWL Weapons Training Unit, Head Officer Promotion Plans, Chief Staff Officer CHSWL, and Executive Secretariat for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. He also served as Commander Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, the largest and most diverse aviation wing in the U.S. Navy. Prior to taking over as director of the AU Veterans Resource Center, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Auburn Tuskegee NROTC consortium from July 2013 until August 2016.

Steve Barnard

Steve Barnard
VA Certifying Official

Steven Barnard, Assistant Director of the Auburn University Veterans Resource Center, used the Vietnam Era GI Bill and the VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program to return to school to attain one of his two Bachelors of Science in Education degrees from Auburn University. He also utilized VA educational benefits to attain a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Pepperdine University, and a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development from Troy State University.
Mr. Barnard has worked in several professional positions at Auburn University. Since 2000, he has been an Auburn University VA Certifying Official and a Financial Aid Advisor. As a retired Army officer, Mr. Barnard has held various command, staff, and instructor positions in different types of combat, combat support, service school, and stateside as well as overseas garrison units in the Far East and Europe.
As a disabled veteran and a resident of Alabama, before entering active duty, Mr. Barnard’s wife and two children have used the Alabama Disabled Veteran Dependent Scholarship Program to go to school and received their degrees.

photo of kim evans

Kimberly Evans
Special Assistant to the Office of Student Affairs
Former AU Head Women’s Golf Coach

Kim Evans, Special Assistant to the Office of Student Affairs and former AU Women’s Head Golf Coach, has her office co-located within the Veterans Resource Center. Coach Evans regularly works with the Auburn student veteran population, volunteering her time to head the annual Auburn Veterans Golf Classic, and offering them educational golf clinics.
Coach Evans has led the Tigers to eight SEC Championships, including number one rankings, top 10 finishes in the NCAA Championship, and 94 top-three finishes in 223 tournaments. In all, Evans has coached seven SEC Golfers of the Year, 13 All-Americans to 29 honors and 19 All-SEC recipients for a total of 57 honors. She has also coached seven SEC Freshmen of the Year and one NGCA National Freshman of the Year.
Evans was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May 2013, just before the Tigers were set to begin post-season play. She went through chemotherapy at UAB and has been cancer-free since September 2013.

photo of meg alexander

Meg Alexander
VA Certifying Offical/Outreach Coordinator

Meg (Ford) Alexander received a Bachelor of Arts in PR-Journalism and Speech Communications from Auburn University, a Certificate of Secondary English Education from Old Dominion University, and is pursuing a Master’s in Adult Education from Auburn University.
Mother to two, her eldest son is an AU alumnus and currently serves as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, with her younger son attending Auburn University as part of the class of 2021. As Army daughter to a WWII (POW) veteran, former Navy SEAL wife, Air Force sister, and Marine mom, Meg has the utmost respect for our nation’s service members and their families.
Previously working as a journalist in California, high school language arts teacher in Virginia, and business owner in Wisconsin and Florida, Meg returned to the Loveliest Village on the Plains in 2013 when she began working for Auburn University’s Office of the Registrar, joining the Veterans Resource Center in 2017.

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Vanessa Darden
VA Certifying Offical/VRC Coordinator

A native of California, Vanessa holds both a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Valdosta State University and a Master of Education in Exercise Science/Biomechanics from Auburn University.
Before joining the AU Veterans Resource Center (VRC) Team, she served for three years as a Financial Aid Assistant/Veterans Affairs Coordinator at Southern Union State Community College.
Outside of work, she is active in her community assisting veterans transition from military life to civilian life through exercise, serving as a board member for the City of Opelika Parks and Recreation Department, and participating with C.A.M.P (Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers) promoting both a healthy lifestyle and trail advocacy. Vanessa enjoys swimming, participating in half-marathons, and mountain biking.

photo of claudia Walden

Claudia Walden
Administrative Support Associate

Claudia Walden, Administrative Support Associate for the Veterans Resource Center, has over 10 years of administrative experience in the private and higher education sectors. She has worked as a medical secretary at Emory University, an administrative financial manager in Valdosta, Georgia, and an administrative support assistant at Luther Rice Seminary.
In between careers, home-schooling her three children was first priority. She experienced the military for 27 years as the spouse of an active-duty officer and was awarded the coveted Golden Rose Award for her volunteer service to Family Readiness programs.
Claudia holds an Associate’s Degree from St. Claire County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan, and has plans to further her education at Auburn University.

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