2017 Tillman Scholar

Scott Swisher

Fordham University
Ph.D., Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research

“I feel obliged to help strengthen education by working to make it more inclusive.”

Scott honorably served in U.S. Army for four years. During his service, he supported airborne operations for elite units as a parachute rigger. In 2003, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving in Afghanistan, Scott became increasingly aware of the essential role that education plays within a given society. He was particularly struck by how the lack of equal access to education seemed to contribute to the generational poverty and political instability in the region.

After separating from the Army in 2004, Scott studied at Montana State University where he double majored in English Literature and Philosophy. He then pursued an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language at Gonzaga University. Scott then taught at Montana State University-Billings for a year, before volunteering for the Peace Corps. From 2012-2014, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kukes, Albania, where he taught English at a regional university and worked to improve the capacity of local Albanian teachers.

The values of persistence, selfless service, and integrity that the Army instilled in Scott more than a decade ago are still foundational to his work today. As a Ph.D. student in Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research, Scott’s research is focused on cultivating greater access to and equity within U.S. universities and colleges. As an educator, Scott strives to share his knowledge and experiences with his students to help them achieve their full potential.