2011 Tillman Scholar

Robert Niezwaag Jr.

University of Wyoming

After graduating high school in Riverton, Wyoming, Robert enlisted into the Wyoming Army National Guard. Upon completion of basic training and AIT, Robert knew that he wanted to serve full-time therefore he enlisted into active duty. After serving for several years in the US Army, with a tour to Iraq serving mostly in the Diyala Province and throughout the Sunni Triangle in 2003 and 2004, Robert discharged from military service after serving for 14 years.

Upon returning home to Wyoming, Robert began to work for the Wyoming Department of Corrections where he found that the was having difficulties readjusting to life away from the military. During this transition period, Robert learned that he had symptoms of PTSD.  In addition to overcoming the symptoms of PTSD, he also knew and met other veterans who also were having difficulties readjusting to non-military life and the hardships and experiences associated with combat. Robert learned that many veterans were not being understood by many of the civilian therapists that they sought care from which motivated Robert to enroll into college to become a therapist.

Robert attended Central Wyoming Community College in Riverton, Wyoming and then transferred to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming where he attained a Master of Social Work Degree focusing on mental health counseling in 2013. Robert is a 2011 Tillman Military Scholar Alumni. Being a US Army veteran and a Tillman Military Scholar, Robert desires to continue to serve his nation through the profession of social work to help individuals, families, and communities through the difficult times that sometimes occur. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming, Robert has worked in community mental health facilities in Laramie and Casper, Wyoming.  

With the same motivation that he had while in the US Army that guided him to excel in college, this same motivation guided Robert in becoming certified in several treatment modalities post-college which allowed him to provide services for patients in need of all ranges of mental health and substance abuse treatment. Robert is currently working again with the Wyoming Department of Corrections providing services for individuals placed in their care.