VSC Staff

Fa'a Taupa'u, Director, Veterans Support Center

Fa’a was born in Western Samoa and raised in Hawaii. He has served more than 23 years in the enlisted and officer ranks of the United States Army. As a Field Artillery Officer, he served in multiple assignments such as Battalion and Brigade Operations Officer, Company Commander, Brigade and Battalion Fire Support Officer and Deputy Mission Crew Commander. Fa’a is currently serving in the Army Reserves as the Brigade Fire Support Officer and was working at the U as the Associate Director of Dining Management from 2018. Fa’a earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Southern Utah University and a M.A. in Management and Leadership from Webster University. Fa’a is married with three children and two dogs. He enjoys time with family and friends.

Angela Brink, Office Manager

Angela, the daughter of a WWII veteran, was born in Virginia and raised in Michigan. She moved to Utah, with her son, to begin working at the University of Utah with the National Center for Veterans Studies on February 1, 2019 and has now joined the VSC team as of July 1, 2020.  As a non-traditional student, Angela earned a BS in Business Administration – Management from Emory & Henry College and a MBA in Management and Leadership from Milligan College.  She brings with her many years of administrative experience within the academic arena with faculty, staff, and students which also includes experience working with veterans as well as active duty military.  Angela is an action movie connoisseur who also enjoys playing traditional board games, cooking, and singing (in her car or even karaoke).

Brittany Lambert, Program Coordinator

Brittany was raised in Minnesota and moved to Utah in 2013 after serving as a Persian/Dari Linguist in the Airforce. A U alum, Brittany got her undergraduate degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and History as well as her Master of International Affairs & Global Enterprise degree right here at home. Brittany loves living in Utah, especially the mountains and the people. She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her awesome kids and amazing partner outside in the mountains and inside playing games and watching movies.

Brett Gaffney, Career Coach

Jason Carter, VA Benefits Counselor

Jason is a Utah native. He has a BS in Psychology from Utah State University along with a Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from Utah State University.  He has worked for the VA for 12 years as a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor.  He started out working in Colorado Springs, Colorado and transferred to Salt Lake City in 2013.  Jason is married and has four children.  His father was a Veteran of the US Air Force in WWII.   He comes to us as part of the Vets Success on Campus program sponsored by VA.  He is available to provide guidance and support to student Veterans using VA educational benefits.

Aaron Ahern, VA Health Counselor

Aaron was born in northern California. Although his family moved quite a bit during his early years, in part due to his father’s service in the Navy, he grew up primarily in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  He attended Brigham Young University as an undergraduate majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish. He speaks Spanish fluently and has had the opportunity to live in two Spanish speaking countries. He completed his master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology at Utah State University. He has experience working in a wide variety of clinical settings including the VA hospital.  He is excited to serve veterans at the U by providing counseling and facilitating access to VA health programs.  He enjoys exercise, playing soccer and basketball, both listening to and playing music, and reading.

VA Educational Benefit School Certifying Officers

The VSC also hosts the Registrar’s School Certifying Officers, who certify the enrollment and changes in enrollment for students eligible for VA educational benefits at the U.  They can be reached at vetservices@sa.utah.edu or 801-581-6945.