Skip to Content
Resource Articles //

Walden Military Pride: Meet Jeremy Van Tress

For this doctoral student, serving others has always been a high priority.

Jeremy Van TressAt age 19, Jeremy put his education and collegiate running career on hold to serve as a missionary in Chile for two years. Each day, Jeremy comforted people in pain, shared faith-based messages, and gained an appreciation for humanity and the goodness that comes from sacrificing his interests to benefit others.

Those formative experiences inspired Jeremy’s decision to become a social worker. He was the first in his family to pursue higher education, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Brigham Young University–Hawaii (2007) and a master’s in social work from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (2009).

He later became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and served honorably for six years, including in a special operations unit. He then separated from active military service with the goal of becoming a physician and providing medical care to vulnerable populations. During his first semester of medical school, however, he experienced unexplained neurological symptoms later diagnosed as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease.

Jeremy is a 2019 Pat Tillman Scholar and has served in various leadership roles throughout his academic career. He is honored to serve his fellow military veterans as Walden University’s Student Veterans Association president. In addition to conducting resilience research with ALS patients, Jeremy plans to teach and advocate for public assistance programs on behalf of those with ALS. He is also the founder and president of Smile Inside Inc., a fully accessible online ALS counseling program that provides counseling and advocacy to others with ALS. Jeremy resides in Corvallis, Oregon, with his college sweetheart, Courtney, and their six children.

Ready to Join an Academic Community That Understands Your Commitment to Military Service?

Walden University provides support to military students and their families through collaboration, education, and advocacy. We welcome all military students and offer comprehensive services in many areas, including tuition and financial assistance. Many of our degree programs dovetail with military roles, such as counseling, management, psychology, education, public health, public administration, and human services.

Walden is an accredited university that offers a range of academic programs online, along with specialized support for military students and their families. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,