MVP Program Specialists
My name is Brian Conkin. I grew up and went to school in Springlake-Earth, Texas. I have a Bachelor from Texas Tech in Marketing, and I am currently working on a double major to include Management. My goal is to attain my Masters through the Rawls College of Business MBA for Working Professionals Program. I served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2014 in the medical field. I have a five-year-old daughter named Hannah, and we both attend Trinity Church. I officiate football and basketball part-time, and, in my free time, I volunteer at the Trinity Outreach Center and enjoy watching the four major sports. I look forward to helping veterans and their families understand their federal and state educational benefits.
Philip Gaona grew up and went to school in a small town called Shallowater, Texas. Right out of high school, he spent four years in the United States Marine Corp infantry stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. Philip completed two tours of duty which included a combat tour to Helmand Province, Afghanistan (2009) and on the 26th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) in support of Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR (2011). Philip moved back to Lubbock after his time of service and decided to attend Texas Tech University. He is currently a junior and pursuing his Bachelors in Wind Energy with a Minor in Natural Recourse Management.
James was raised in the small town of Baird, TX, just outside Abilene. He joined the US Navy in 2006 as a Nuclear Electricians Mate. After 2 years of job specific training, he was assigned to the USS Key West (SSN-722), a Los Angeles class attack submarine stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI and Piti, Guam. There he served the majority of his 9-year naval career as a member of the engineering department, charged with the operation and maintenance of the on-board nuclear power plant. He participated in deployment during the Global War on Terror to the Pacific theater and local military operations in the Hawaiian Islands, including Pacific Rim joint exercises coordinated with many countries' militaries. He left the Navy in 2014, and is currently enrolled at TTU in pursuit of a BS in Physics.
In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and ultimate, skydiving, sci/fi and fantasy, gaming, and learning guitar.
Riley Buonamano is currently a sophomore studying Nutrition Health and Wellness at
Texas Tech. At the moment she is trying to get her Bachelor's degree in nursing, which
she can accomplish after she finishes her prerequisites for nursing school. Riley
hopes to get into Texas Tech's nursing program by next year. Riley was inspired to
become a nurse because of her mother. Her mother serves as a Nurse Practitioner in
Before coming to Texas Tech Riley traveled the world as a military brat. She was born in Fort Hood, Texas and from there she moved to San Antonio and then Galveston in Texas, Hawaii, Italy, and finally Maryland. Because of the amazing life experiences she had while living as a military brat, Riley chose to work at the MVP office to give back to the active duty service members and veterans.
In her spare time Riley likes to take naps with her two cats, Barry and Tuna.
Joe Raya is a work-study here at the MVP office. Joe served six years in the United
States Air Force as an Aerospace Ground Equipment mechanic. Was last stationed at
Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina as a Production Support NCOIC. He was charged
with tool management and purchases, ensuring (PMEL) Precision Measurement Equipment
Laboratory items were properly calibrated and building safety inspection completion
and oversaw hazardous waste inspections and disposal. He also received an Associate's
Degree in Applied Sciences from the Community College of the Air Force. He is a current
member of the (VATT) Veterans Association at Texas Tech. He is currently pursuing
a Nursing degree here at Texas Tech University.
Joe loves spending time with his wife Ashley and dog bandit. He is an avid football fan both college and professional. He is looking forward to answering questions and assisting in the transition of fellow veterans and their families in starting or furthering their education.
Caleb Cash served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman from 2013
to 2017. He deployed to Iraq/Kuwait twice. On his first deployment, he worked as a
security enforcer at the United States Embassy, in Baghdad, Iraq. On his second deployment
he worked in the country of Kuwait as part of a TRAP team (Tactical Recovery of Aircraft
and Personnel). That same deployment, he went back to Iraq for a month and resumed
his duties as a security enforcer; this time at Al Assad Airbase. He was honorably
discharged from the Marine Corps in July of 2017. Caleb is now a freshman student-military
veteran at Texas Tech University. He is currently majoring in Kinesiology. He hopes
to one day become a fitness trainer and own his own HIIT/Warrior gym. Caleb is motivated
about helping other veterans like himself, as he understands that transitioning from
the military to the civilian world can be quite challenging at times.
Caleb is a fanatic Texas Tech Football supporter, and a skilled tailgate preparer. He loves beer tasting, and going out to dinner/socializing with his friends. He is involved in the Texas Tech Greek system as a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He also tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as he runs 3 miles every other day, and performs HIIT based workouts on the side.
Donald Lane, who goes by Donny, was born in North Little Rock Arkansas and then grew up in Newton Falls Ohio. In 2012, he enlisted into the Marines and trained as an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter. His first duty station was in Okinawa, Japan for two years and then he traveled to the Philippines twice and also to Australia. After those two years in Japan, he was sent to MCAS Cherry point North Carolina until he was discharged in 2016. Currently, he is a sophomore at TTU for his Bachelors in Media Strategies in hopes to open his own business with his family. In his free time he bowls recreationally, enjoys lifting, cycling, distance running, and taking his dog to the lake and for runs as often as possible.
Cross Warnock mostly grew up in El Paso, Texas and graduated from Coronado High School in June of 2016. While in high school he did a range of extracurricular activities such as football, wrestling, broadcasting, and newspaper. Now, he is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Journalism at Texas Tech University and will later strive for graduate school. His father served in the military for 23 years with the Marines, then the Army. During those 23 years, Cross lived in places such as South Korea, Kansas, Georgia, and now Texas where his dad eventually retired in 2012 while being stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Brayden Orwick is a Senior Electronic Media and Communication major born in Colorado Springs, CO. Both of his parents served in the Air Force, allowing Brayden to live in various states, predominantly Texas. He grew up in Aledo, TX, where before graduating high school in 2014, he spent all his free time playing baseball. Brayden stays busy keeping up with sports, hunting, fishing, and tasting the country's finest beers.