Tillman Military Scholars

2016 Tillman Military Scholars

Adam Popp

Yearning to be part of something bigger than himself and walk a path of purpose and service that would test every facet of his being, Adam entered the United States Air Force in 1997, becoming motivated and inspired everyday. The most important lessons Adam learned during his 12 years in the service came during his recovery at Walter Reed after losing his leg to an IED in Afghanistan. During his 18-month recovery, Adam had the opportunity to learn from others recovering from a wide range of injuries and disabilities, witnessing first-hand the ways in which individuals handle the process of healing. Most importantly, Adam learned how important mentors, healthcare providers, and support networks are to a successful recovery. By the end of his stay, Adam had made the pledge to himself that he would serve to empower veterans in every way possible.

Having had the privilege of spending 19 years working within the military community, including the most recent nine years working with men and women battling both invisible and visible injuries, Adam’s main focus now is to pursue a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University. This program will enable him to become a Rehabilitation Counselor focused on veterans with disabilities, with the goal of working with military or private hospitals, the VA, non-profits, or other treatment centers. Adam knows when he combines his hard-won experience with a formal education, he will be even better equipped to assist others in overcoming their challenges, accomplishing their goals, and maximizing their potential.

 

2014 Tillman Military Scholars

Tricia Robinson

Katherine Steele

Tricia Robinson

After emigrating, at age fourteen, to the Unites States from Jamaica, I completed my high school education in New Jersey.  I pursued my undergraduate education at Franklin and Marshall College (F&M), where I completed a Special Studies major titled ‘The Sociological Approaches to Cultural History.’  As both a high school and college student, I was quite involved in a variety of activities and sports, such as playing varsity tennis, running track and field, and writing for the college reporter.  In addition, I always embraced opportunities where I could volunteer.  Community service has always been a part of my life and I especially relished opportunities where I could serve alongside friends.  For example, during college I returned home to Jamaica to serve with a number of friends from my former high school, Immaculate Conception, at a camp called Moorlands, which was dedicated to reaching middle and high school students.  Serving has led to many opportunities, where I have been able to build life long friendships with others because I have crossed paths with people who are passionate about caring for others.

My passion to serve and have an impact on others culminated in my decision to pursue a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary after graduating from F&M.  Once I completed my masters, I worked in a few different settings as both a family and individual therapist.  It was in 2002, while visiting a college friend in Hawaii, that I felt the call to serve in the U.S. Army.  Luckily, I had the great opportunity to involve friends who had previously served in the military to be a part of my decision-making process.  My prior involvement in ROTC during my senior year in high school also helped give me a snapshot of the camaraderie that I was soon to find while serving in the U.S. Army. 

During my seven year in the military, I have encountered many Soldiers who took their commitment to serve seriously.  To decide to serve during a time of war is not something many take lightly at all.  Regardless of their motivations to join the military, those who served always desired to grow both professionally and personally.  I am honored to have met some great leaders along the way.  As I embark on pursuing a different direction in my career path, I hope to inspire and give back to the military community and those who support them.

 

Katherine Steele

The life I have led the last 15 years as a working military spouse has not hindered me, but rather aided my growth as a teacher and been a compass for my future travels as a professional educator. Every campus that I have had the privilege to work on has helped me become a better teacher, allowed me to touch more students, and given me opportunities to see what does and does not work in creating successful schools. Each move, initial interview and recertification exam has given me a clear vision of where I want to travel next.

I don’t think my goals would have been as clearly delineated if I had not been moving my family every few years. Perhaps I would have settled into a school, in the same state, with the same friends and been happy in that life. However, I have settled and re-settled in state after state and that has made me a competent and driven teacher that strives to impact all corners of our country with my teaching.

The road map of my life has taken me from Seattle Pacific University where I earned my undergrad degree in Education, to the University of California San Diego where I received a Reading Specialist Certification and now has led me to George Washington University. I have a unique vision for a system of charter schools located near active duty military bases specifically engineered to meet the unique requirements of military dependents. My life experience as a military spouse and mother, professional qualifications as a teacher in K-12 school systems across 8 states, and professional experience securing a DODEA grant partnering a technology firm with a local  charter school created this vision for the future. This vision, empowered by a degree in Administration and Leadership from George Washington University, will afford me the qualification required to design and create a replicable, standardized, and quality education system for military families. 

The Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and spouses financially which is incredible, but it does far more than just fund educational dreams, it connects Scholars to a community of learners that have a desire to serve others. As a Tillman Scholar I will now be surrounded by a cadre of individuals that have a sense of vocation coupled with a commitment to positive change through hard work and dedication. I admire Pat's call to action, I remember 9-11 and watching my own military spouse go to work that day and wondering what the future held. The legacy of Pat that is the heart of this foundation is one of giving back. As a military spouse we serve in such a different capacity than our service members, and like Pat's spouse Marie, we are able to now reach our potential as leaders and take our own spirit of service and share it with others. 

 

2013 Tillman Military Scholars

Heather Pahman

Danielle Scalione

Laura Butler

Meaghan Mobbs

Heather Pahman

Heather Pahman is an Air Force veteran, currently living in Okinawa, Japan with her husband and two kids.  She served on active duty at Ellsworth, AFB assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron and 28th Maintenance Operations Squadron as B-1B aircraft mechanic.  After leaving active duty in 2007, she served with the 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Maxwell AFB, as a C-130 aircraft mechanic.  Heather deployed to Diego Garcia, B.I.O.T., Andersen AFB, Guam, and Al Udeid AB, Qatar in support of the Global War on Terrorism. 

While stationed at Maxwell, AFB, Heather enrolled at Troy University-Montgomery to complete her B.S. in Political Science.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2011.  In 2012, Heather enrolled in the George Washington University’s School of Political Management.  She received her M.P.S. in Strategic Public Relations this summer. 

Heather currently works as a Family Readiness Support Assistant for the Army.  In her capacity, she works to promote resiliency among military families throughout the deployment cycle by providing community resources and facilitating events to increase esprit-de-corps.  

Danielle Scalione

Danielle Scalione was born in Syracuse NY on November 4, 1984.  .  She is a 2003 graduate of Liverpool High School.  She received her B.A. from Fordham University in History and Economics in 2007 and is currently in her third year at the George Washington University Law School. 

Danielle served as an active duty military intelligence officer in the United States Army for five years before starting law school.  She served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) located at Fort Campbell, KY and deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Her positions included HUMINT platoon leader, company executive officer, collection manager, and brigade assistant S-2 before she switched to the Army Reserve in order to continue serving while attending law school.  She was an engineer battalion S-2 and a career manager before finally leaving the Army all together to focus on school. 

After law school, Danielle hopes to use her experiences from her time in the Army to work for agencies which promote human rights equality especially for women and minorities both abroad and domestically. 

Danielle lives full time in Washington, D.C. with her fiancé Andrew and their rescue dog, Everest. 

Laura Butler

As a young college student, her volunteer efforts began with a single visit to Walter Reed to provide basic needs to service members facing life-altering injuries. Nearly eight years later, Laura Butler is now an advocate for wounded service members and their families. Her years of commitment to serving our wounded military led her on a humbling journey of self discovery. On this journey, she met CPT Ferris Butler who was recovering from injuries sustained in an IED attack while deployed with the 10thDivision. Their friendship blossomed into the love of a lifetime, a love that has endured the elective amputations of both feet, the end to a military career, and reintegrating into civilian society.
 
Laura has devoted the last two years to working with a non-profit that builds handicap accessible homes for severely injured veterans. Through this experience, she has learned the importance of having a home that provides emotional and physical freedom from disabilities. She is committed to pursuing her passion of accessible design by seeking a Masters Degree in Interior Architecture and Design at George Washington University. She hopes to fulfill her ultimate dream of business ownership, so she may set a new standard of accessibility for the disabled community and design industry. 
 
Alongside her husband, she continues to mentor fellow injured service members and their families. She intends to build upon her current role as a peer mentor by becoming an advocate for advancing the career and educational resources for her fellow military spouses.

Meaghan Mobbs

An Army brat, Meaghan Mobbs grew up knowing and loving the military. Her admiration for those in uniform led to her attendance at the United States Military Academy at West Point where she graduated with the class of 2008. Commissioned as an Army quartermaster second lieutenant, Meaghan attended the Basic Officer Leader Course at Ft. Lee, Virginia, where she graduated as the top member of her class. Meaghan reported to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, as an aerial delivery officer and was given her first platoon. With over 130 members, at the time, her platoon was the largest in the Army. Successful completion of Jumpmaster school and the Joint Airdrop Inspector course led to her selection as the Detachment Commander of an aerial delivery detachment. She deployed to Afghanistan where she led her detachment to achieve excellence in the aerial delivery of supplies to remote combat outposts. The detachment packed, rigged, and loaded millions of pounds of food, water, ammunition, and engineer supplies breaking the air drop record for most supplies delivered in a combat theater of operations. Unsatisfied with the way the Army handled the reintegration of soldiers upon redeployment, Meaghan realized her passion lay in the mental health field. Currently a second year graduate student in the Forensic Psychology program, Meaghan will apply to clinical doctoral programs this Fall. Meaghan hopes to earn her PhD and rejoin the Army as a clinical psychologist. Meaghan is married to CPT Mike Mobbs, a fellow West Point graduate. A company commander in 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Mike is currently on his fourth deployment and his third to Afghanistan.. They have two daughters Pepper (2 years) and Madison (1 year).