Veterans Resource Center

Auburn University

Staff

Paul “Puck” Esposito

Director
Captain, US Navy Retired

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.

Kim Evans headshot

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.

Vanessa Darden headshot

Vanessa Bauman

Veterans Affairs Compliance
Primary School Certifying Official (SCO)

Vanessa Bauman, a native of California, holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Valdosta State University, and a Master of Education in Biomechanics from Auburn University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Adult Education.

At Auburn, she directs all military-affiliated student enrollment services and ensures that both Auburn University and the Professional Flight program are compliant with Federal and State VA regulations. She works with campus partners to ensure successful onboarding for military-affiliated students, collaborates with the AU Career Center and Employer Relations to provide career opportunities upon graduation, and manages student enrollment during their time at Auburn. Additionally, she serves as a Co-Advisor of the Auburn Student Veterans Association (ASVA).

Outside of work, she is active in her community assisting veterans transition from military to civilian life, serves as a board member for the City of Opelika Parks and Recreation department, enjoys running and spending time with her family and dogs.

Michael Patterson

Veteran Programs & Services Specialist

Michael Patterson, originally from Crossville, Alabama, enlisted in the Air Force in 2008. After 9 years of active duty and reserve service, he separated from the military and began as a student veteran at Auburn University.

While attending Auburn, Michael worked as a student worker in the Veterans Resource Center and served as Vice President of the Auburn Student Veterans Association (ASVA). He graduated in Spring 2019 with his Bachelor of Science in Economics. He currently serves as Co-Advisor for ASVA.

Michael has a strong passion for service and supporting veterans.  Outside of work, Michael enjoys music and spending time with his 2 daughters.

Amber Grant

VA School Certifying Official (SCO)

Amber Grant, native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the Army in 2005. After serving 9 years in the Army, she transitioned to student veteran and has obtained two Associates of Science degrees, and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration-Management from Auburn University. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Administration.

While attending Auburn, Amber worked as a student worker in the Veterans Resource Center. As a student worker, she assisted her fellow student veterans with education benefit questions and issues.

Amber brings a wealth of knowledge which will assist our student veterans as they transition into higher education.

Maryshay Ray

VA School Certifying Official (SCO)

Maryshay Ray, native of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, joined the Army in 2011.  After her medical retirement, she obtained an Associates of Science from Central Alabama Community College in 2019, and then transferred to Auburn University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2020.  She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counseling.

Before attending Auburn University, Maryshay trained service dogs to aid her fellow veterans who battle with PTSD.  She possesses a passion in giving back to her brothers and sisters in arms, as well as their families; she is dedicated to their mental wellbeing and success.

Maryshay brings a plethora of knowledge and experience that will benefit our student veterans and their families as they pursue higher education.

Kythia Stofer

Administrative Support Assistant

Mrs. Kythia “Kat” Stofer is a native of Reeltown, Alabama.  Her career at Auburn University began in the Graduate School in January 2000. In June 2006, she moved over to the Naval ROTC department becoming the Administrative Executive Secretary for the Commanding Officer.

After working at Auburn for 18 years, she resigned in 2017, but returned to Auburn University in the Spring of 2019 to join the Veterans Resource Center team.

Last modified: April 23, 2021