2012 Tillman Scholar

Joy Ohnstad

Air Force
University of Wyoming

Life for Joy Ohnstad began on a ranch in rural Wyoming, following a winding path from a GED to Doctorate. She paid her way through her undergraduate degree herding sheep and cattle. After graduation she worked as a corporate insurance underwriter. In 2007 she left corporate underwriting to serve her country by enlisting in the Army. After four years of enlistment with full time serving in the Army National Guard, she returned to the University of Wyoming to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmacy with a focus on rural healthcare. While in her Doctorates of Pharmacy program she transferred and commissioned in the 187th Aero Medical Evacuation Squadron where she continues to serve. 

During her time at the University of Wyoming, she experienced the many pressures of academic life that reduce reintegration, and graduation rates in women veterans. With the support of the University veterans center and women’s center. She was enabled to bring both the strengths and needs of women veterans to the University’s attention creating leadership and service opportunists. In 2014-2015 she had the honor of being the first veteran to serve on the National Student Council for AAUW which providing input and support for the NCCWSL 2015 providing leadership skills to over 1000 college women leaders from around the world. 

With nine years of service in the Wyoming National Guard, Joy graduated with a Doctorate of Pharmacy and Masters of Business Administration. She is currently on her first year of a pharmacy residency at Providence Medical Health Center in Anchorage Alaska and intends to complete a residency in oncology and spend the rest of her life destroying cancer.