The individuals below are your “Points of Contact” (POCs) for the second Military Experience & the Arts Symposium (MEA2) in Lawton, OK. To ensure that your question, comment, or concern gets to the right person, please review each representative’s areas of responsibility before making contact. Otherwise, we’d love to hear from you about how we can better serve and accommodate all those participating in the symposium.
Jason Poudrier, MEA2 Director
POC: Information about Special Events, Volunteering, Partnering & Sponsorships, Facility Specifications, items not covered by the staff members below.
Jason Poudrier is an Iraqi Freedom veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He is an instructor at Cameron University and has authored two poetry collections, Red Fields (Mongrel Empire Press, 2012) and a chapbook, In the Rubble at Our Feet (Rose Rock Press, 2011). In 2013 Red Fields was awarded the Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal, short-listed for the Hoffer Grand Prize, and awarded an honorable mention in the poetry category. Poudrier has been selected twice to participate in the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library’s Healing Through the Humanities event. His poetry has appeared in journals such as World Literature Today, CT Review, and New Mexico Poetry Review. Currently, he resides on a small 20-acre ranch in Rush Springs, Oklahoma.
Judy Britt-McNeely, MEA2 Participant Liaison
POC: Information about Registration, Room & Board, Meal Preferences, Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities, any and all special needs of our participants.
Judy grew up surrounded by Louisiana pine trees and books. As a child, she spent hours listening to the stories grown-ups told around the dining table and over copious cups of coffee. Consequently, Judy now has a fiendish passion for coffee and stories. She has taught writing and literature for many years (no, she would prefer not to say how many….) and is now a Collegiate Assistant Professor with University of Maryland University College in Asia. Judy holds a B.A. in English Education from Louisiana Tech University, an M.A. in English from McNeese State University, and a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of a WWII veteran, sister of a Vietnam veteran, and mother of a veteran of the war in Iraq.
Miette Wells, MEA2 Women Veterans & MST Survivors Representative
POC: Specific needs of Women Veterans and survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Dr. Miette Wells enlisted into the Air Force in 1987 and became a Law Enforcement K-9 Handler. At her first, and only permanent duty station, Dyess AFB, Tx, she was deployed three times with her Military Working Dog, Killer – B478. Her first deployment was to Panama in 1988, then again to Panama the next year in 1989, during Operation Just Cause. The final deployment was in 1990 during Operation Desert Shield/Storm to Saudi Arabia.
During her enlistment she endured continual sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and multiple sexual assaults. Her enlistment ended with her squadron threatening her if she spoke about the incidents, she would be discharged. She talked and consequently was discharged with a 39-10 Discharge, Under Honorable Conditions, and a mental diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder. Immediately upon discharge she petitioned to have her discharge upgraded and it was, to Honorable. Her diagnosis has been changed to service-connected PTSD caused by experiences of combat and military sexual trauma. During her enlistment she also experienced intentional and accidental head injuries (TBIs) causing post-concussion syndrome.
Dr. Wells is the author of several articles on Military Sexual Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as an award-winning author for her books on Military Sexual Trauma. Her advocacy for MST survivors began in 1989, while she was still enlisted and continues today.
Robin Brooks, MEA2 Public Relations
POC: Information about Media Coverage, Interview Requests, Cross-Promotion, and related print, radio, or web communications.
Robin Brooks is a former public affairs officer and veteran of the United States Navy, having retired from the Navy Reserve program in 2013. For the past several years, Robin has operated a boutique public relations consulting firm, Robin Brooks Influential, Inc., where she invests time advocating for, supporting and promoting social causes that are near-and-dear to her heart! Robin has a professional background in public relations, including magazine editorial and non-profit community relations campaign management; as well as healthcare/pharmaceutical sales and consulting experience. As a way to honor fellow veterans, particularly veteran-artists, and because of a long personal history of participation and dedication to the arts, including dance, music, creative writing and painting, beginning as a young child; Robin joyfully lends her expertise to Military Experience & the Arts, serving as our Oklahoma MEA 2 Symposium public affairs director/consultant.
Leah Coming, MEA2 Creation Station Manager
POC: Inquiries regarding the MEA2 Creation Station, One-on-One Writing Consultation, Art Supply Donations.
Leah Coming learned the joy of working one-on-one with writers at the Notre Dame Writing Center, where she tutored for almost three years. A fiction writer herself, she is continually amazed in the way that conversation with another person can enliven and enlighten a creative work and its maker, and is grateful to be able to work as a one-on-one writing consultant at the MEA Symposium.
Currently, Leah is an apprentice in hospitality, personalism, and conscience-formation in the Catholic tradition. With David’s Heart ministry to military, former military and family members, she participates in the Church’s healing and reconciling work, and is committed to learning how writing can be a part of this. She is also a live-in staff member at the South Bend Catholic Worker house of hospitality, a bustling community where almost nonstop meal preparation, dishwashing, laughter, gardening, prayer, music making, and chicken-raising make life joyous and unpredictable.
David P. Ervin, MEA President
POC: Inquiries regarding the MEA Parent Organization, Website, and Publications.
David P. Ervin is a former Sergeant in the US Army infantry and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. He graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in history in 2009. After working with disabled veterans for the WV Department of Veterans Assistance, David self-published a memoir about his time in the war, Leaving the Wire: An Infantryman’s Iraq. He has written and edited for Blue Nostalgia: A Journal of Post-Traumatic Growth and As You Were: The Military Review.
Travis L. Martin, MEA2 Workshop Coordinator
POC: Anything dealing with Workshops.
Travis L. Martin is twice an Iraq War veteran, a PhD candidate and instructor at the University of Kentucky, founding president of Military Experience & the Arts, and has published numerous creative and scholarly works about the psychological and social experiences of war and the veteran’s return home. Oddly enough, he spends his spare time as a buzzard.