News Details

Female Veterans Share Personal Stories of ‘Coming Home’

Image of Catherine Revak, first-year DSW student at SP2.

Authored by: Jill DiSanto

Photography by: Eric Sucar

Student Life, Alumni


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Catherine Revak, a first-year doctoral student in clinical social work at the University of Pennsylvania, was seated comfortably toward the back of the room at the Penn Bookstore.

She listened intently as former military personnel shared their experiences during “Sacrifice and Service: When Women Come Marching Home,” a panel discussion on the obstacles involved with making the transition back to civilian life, particularly among female veterans. Some of those challenges involved the vast differences in workplace communication, becoming a parent and common mental-health issues among veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

A licensed social worker at Penn Hospice, where many of the patients are veterans, Revak earned her master’s degree from Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice in 2016.

The School “was a perfect fit for me. My master of social work degree was met with a concentration in veterans’ mental-health care, and my doctorate thesis will expand on veterans’ issues as well,” says Revak, who completed her bachelor’s degree in gender and sexuality studies at Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies.

She was also there for personal reasons.

At 17, Revak enlisted in the Air Force. She served on active duty from 1993 to 1997 and has experienced some PTSD symptoms firsthand.

Read the full story on Penn News here…