Alumna receives Veterans’ Voices “On the Rise” Award
Lindsey V. Erdmann, BSW ’17, was one of 8 recipients of the 2017 Veterans’ Voices “On the Rise” Award (for ages 40 and younger), presented in a ceremony at the University of St. Thomas on September 11. These actively engaged former and current military service members are recognized for outstanding community contributions.
These awards are part of the Minnesota Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices program that draws on the power of the humanities to call attention to the contributions, and often-missed stories, of Veterans. This program empowers all Minnesota Veterans to speak in their own voices through storytelling, art, theatre, discussion groups and more -- amplifying the voices of Veterans throughout our state.
Below is Lindsey’s award bio, retrieved from https://mnhum.org/vets/award/on-the-rise-awardees
Lindsey Erdmann is a fighter. She joined the Marine Corps in 2010 from her hometown in Janesville, Wisconsin. Her uncle was a Marine, and she deployed to the Middle East, Albania and Spain, in a combat logistics battalion from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She served as a supply administrative clerk and fiscal chief and received a Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2013 for her dedication to duty.
Her fight – which has carried over into civilian life – is influenced by her experience of sexual harassment in the Marine Corps. Lindsey is passionate about advocating for women who have faced discrimination as well as for all who have experienced injustices.
Lindsey is a recent cum laude graduate from the University of St. Thomas’s School of Social Work. There she was awarded a competitive grant to design and carry out a research study on the impacts of stress on caregivers in relation to free, healthful meals provided by Open Arms of Minnesota. The results showed that those meals are crucial in providing a stable support system and reducing levels of emotional and financial stress.
Lindsey volunteers at East Side Neighborhood Services in the Family Violence Program. She facilitates educational groups for perpetrators of domestic violence, focusing on improving communication skills, developing empathy and breaking down stereotypes of women.
A St. Thomas professor says, “Lindsey distinguished herself in class by publicly objecting to any curriculum that lacked diversity of perspectives. Lindsey stands up and speaks out when other students remain silent. She listens and will change her mind; she is tenacious but diplomatic.”
“I understand the privileges I have,” Lindsey says. “I want to help others live the life they want. People shouldn’t be deprived of human dignity.”
Lindsey joined the Veterans Affairs Mental Health Council at the Minneapolis VA Hospital through a connection from the Humanities Center’s Veterans’ Voices program. She has since become secretary and co-organized the Council’s participation at Stand Down, a homeless Veteran outreach event.