Arizona State University and the Pat Tillman Foundation are pleased to announce two students have been selected as Tillman Military Scholars for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Chad Waltz, a member of the Air National Guard, is currently working toward a master’s degree in social work at Arizona State University. A proud supporter for advocacy and education among the military community, Waltz currently assists with an organization specializing in peer support for veterans who may have experienced mental trauma while in combat. Through his partnership with the Tillman Foundation, Waltz is looking forward to serving as an example for others who may be considering getting an education.
Casaundra Wallace, a United States Army veteran, will study at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in the fall. She is considering focusing her studies in the public policy arena on either environmental law or Indian law. Wallace, a student worker in the Pat Tillman Veteran Center, sees the Tillman Military Scholar designation as an opportunity to give back the veteran community.
ASU is one of 14 campuses serving as a Tillman Military Scholar University Partner for the 2012-2013 academic year. University Partners are selected based on their innovative servicemember-specific support services and proven culture of community for military families.
As a University Partner, each institution conducts outreach to its veteran and military spouse student population and actively participates in the Tillman Military Scholar selection process. Upon selection of Tillman Military Scholars on campus, each then supports the building of community among these students, strengthening their academic and personal experience.
“As part of ASU’s initial screening committee, we had the very tough job of going through 42 applications, and forwarding only the top 10 to the Pat Tillman Foundation for final selection. We were very excited to hear that Chad and Casaundra were chosen – they both stood out as exceptional candidates,” said Christian Rauschenbach, Veteran Services program manager.
In 2008, the Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program to support educational opportunities for servicemembers and military families by bridging the financial gaps left by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Military families face numerous challenges during the transition from military to civilian life and have unique needs that often prevent successfully completing a degree. As a result, Tillman Military Scholars receive financial support to not only cover traditional study-related expenses such as tuition and books, but also other needs, including but not limited to: housing, transportation and childcare. In providing this support, the Pat Tillman Foundation aims to remove obstacles that would otherwise prohibit academic success.
Over the past four years, the Pat Tillman Foundation has awarded more than $3.2 million in scholarship funds to 230 Tillman Military Scholars pursuing education at every level from freshmen undergraduates to PhD candidates. Overall, Tillman Military Scholars represent 71 different institutions across 34 states.
“We received 1,280 applicants this year and, with support from our selection committee, narrowed these applicants down to 59 outstanding candidates to join the fourth class of Tillman Military Scholars,” said Hunter I Riley, director of programs at the Pat Tillman Foundation. “These Scholars represent leadership in the military, classroom and community and we’re proud to invest in their education and support them in making a positive impact into the future.”