MVAA and MCAN name new Michigan Veteran Education Initiative program director

Michael Lee will start his new role advocating for veterans’ postsecondary education on Jan. 17

Jan. 17, 2017 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency (MVAA), in partnership with the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) named retired Colonel Michael Lee the new program director for its Michigan Veteran Education Initiative (MVEI). He will begin the new position on January 17. MVEI is focused on helping veterans transition to civilian life and pursue their postsecondary degrees. 

“We want to make the adjustment to civilian life as seamless as possible for our nation’s veterans,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN Executive Director. “With his immense military and human resources experience, Col. Lee will play a crucial role in helping Michigan service members and veterans transition into higher education after they have served our country.”

Michael Lee enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard in 1983 as a construction materials analyst. He earned his commission from Northern Michigan University in 1988 and served the next four years on active duty at Fort Hood, Texas. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991. He was promoted to colonel in 2009 and in 2010 and2011 he served as the Chief of Staff for the 46th Military Police Command during its deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lee holds master’s degrees from Northern Michigan University in public administration and the US Army War College in strategic studies. Lee is a graduate of the US Army Engineer Officer Advanced Course and the US Army Airborne and Rigger Schools.

“Acclimating from the battlefield to civilian life is a challenging mission,” said Michael Lee, program director, MVEI. “As a veteran and college graduate, I understand the specific needs veterans have when returning home and enrolling in postsecondary education. I’m confident my experiences will help MVEI reach more veterans, and offer increased opportunity through higher education.”

Lee will oversee MVEI’s 12 Veteran Resource Representatives at 15 Michigan colleges and universities. Veteran Resource Representatives are veteran advocates throughout the campus and surrounding community. Veteran Resource Representatives help veterans:

  • Complete benefits applications
  • Apply for financial aid
  • Participate in activities with Student Veterans of America
  • Conduct conversational interviews to discuss postsecondary experience

Visit to learn more about MVEI.


About Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. For the sixth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit  

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Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: Sarah(a)
Cell: 313-355-4078

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