2019 Tillman Scholar

Carrie Mayer

Ohio State University
J.D. | MPA

“We made it home. We have a duty to honor those who didn’t by helping our communities live up to our nation’s ideals.”

Carrie decided to serve her country when she was 15, devastated and confused by the Sept. 11 attacks. Through ROTC, she commissioned as an officer in the Army after college, then deployed to Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan. Each deployment exposed her to new cultures and life-changing experiences. After seven years on active duty, Carrie transitioned to the reserves and moved her family to Zambia. There, Carrie served as the lead for a solar-powered refrigeration project, working hand-in-hand with subsistence farmers in East Africa. Through her time in the Army and life as an expatriate, Carrie spent years making a difference in communities across a broad spectrum of need. Those experiences taught her two things: being born an American is a gift, and real change takes time.

Now, Carrie will pursue a law degree at The Ohio State University to improve her home community and her family. She wants to continue her service to the country by living and working in the city of Columbus to achieve long-term progress. Carrie’s husband works for the Division of Police, and she plans to help the department by establishing a relocation support network to attract qualified recruits throughout the country.

As a lawyer, Carrie wants to use her degree to serve the most vulnerable members in her local community. She sees a career as a public defender as a continuation of her oath to uphold the Constitution, ensuring that everyone receives their sixth amendment right to counsel, regardless of circumstance.