2019 Tillman Scholar

Katherine Quartaro

Marine Corps
Syracuse University

“There will always be danger in this world. I want to help shape national security policy that will mitigate and contain these dangers and enable people to thrive.”

Katherine (Katy) joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school in 2008, keen to help protect the United States and prove to herself that she had the elite fighting spirit of a Marine. She witnessed the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures while deployed in the Southern Philippines and took advantage of numerous opportunities to experience different facets of the Military Police field. Training as a Military Working Dog handler and conducting installation security, counterterrorism, and Presidential support missions, Katy sought opportunities for growth at every stage. In 2013, Katy became a Criminal Investigator for the Marine Corps.

Before her honorable discharge in 2016, Katy conducted and assisted in over one hundred criminal investigations. Coordination with federal agencies like the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation inspired her to once again seek to be a part of something bigger.

To prepare to make an impact on a federal level, she enrolled at Syracuse University and completed bachelor’s degrees in forensic science and psychology in 2018. In 2020, Katy earned an Executive Master of Public Administration with a focus on International and National Security Policy and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Security Studies from Syracuse University. After completing her master’s degree, she relocated to Northern Virginia and began work with the federal government. Katy hopes her work will help shape policies that make the world a place where all people can thrive, and where threats are detected and mitigated before violence can occur.