» Director of Veteran Affairs: Blas Villalobos

Blas VillalobosBlas Villalobos currently serves as Director of Veteran Affairs at Chapman University, where he addresses the unique needs of student veterans, military personnel and military families. Mr. Villalobos is responsible for certifying U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, California Department of Veterans Affairs education, and vocational rehabilitation benefits for eligible students.

As part of Chapman’s strategic plan, Mr. Villalobos also provides enrolled military personnel, veterans, and military families with information and referrals on academic, career, personal, financial, and social matters, and will implement strategies to monitor and increase the retention and graduation rates of students while organizing events and functions to create a military community at Chapman.

Responsible for developing and maintaining essential communication and outreach activities for the VRC with both internal and external constituencies, Mr. Villalobos will provide training and workshops to faculty, staff, and students to help them better understand and respond to the needs of military personnel, veterans, and military families.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Villalobos served as Veterans Affairs Manager for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Veterans Affairs. Under this position, Mr. Villalobos was responsible for the development, and implementation, of Mayor Garcetti’s strategic vision to leverage private and public resources to assist veterans and their families reintegrate into civilian life. Mr. Villalobos also served as the Executive Director of Community Programs and Veteran Services for U.S.VETS, where he managed/supervised the Outside the Wire program, the Career Development Initiative, and Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

Mr. Villalobos served in the United States Marine Corps from October 1999-October 2003. During his military service he was deployed to Iraq during the invasion in March 2003, and served as a Squad Leader during combat operations. After his military service, Mr. Villalobos attended Long Beach City College, then graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA degree in Psychology, and received a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning and Administration, and a sub-concentration in Military Social Work. Mr. Villalobos is currently a Doctor of Social Work candidate at USC.

In 2010, he was selected as the Veteran of the Year for California’s 54th district, and was recognized at the State Assembly by Bonnie Lowenthal. In 2013, he was recognized as the Alumni of the Decade for the 2000’s by Long Beach City College.