2014 Tillman Scholar
Growing up as the son of an FBI agent and a nurse, Dave Welker learned that integrity, excellence and dedication to service before self is what distinguishes individuals. As a husband and the father of two vivacious young daughters, he hopes to pass on the tradition of service through a career in nurse anesthesia. Motivated by the horrific events of 9/11, Dave elected to enlist as a Pararescueman in the Air Force. Dave glimpsed first-hand parts of the world tourists never see. He witnessed the devastating effects of poverty on basic health care in South America and the hardships faced by the dedicated servicemen and women serving as peacekeeping forces in volatile areas of the world. In each situation Dave utilized the expertise and training gleaned through his military training to alleviate the suffering of others.
After serving in the Air Force, Dave sought to merge his education and military experience at the University of South Florida. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing while simultaneously gaining significant experience as a health care provider in the critical care setting and is currently enrolled in the University of South Florida’s nurse anesthesia program. His goal is to become a member of an anesthesia team providing health care services to underserved communities believing that what matters most is not what we learn, but how we put that knowledge and experience to use in the service of others.