2022 Tillman Scholar

Tim Shively

Virginia Tech

“A 2000-mile hike helped me reflect on my military service, inspired me to become a student of our ecosystems, and led me to pursue effective stewardship of our natural resources.”

Tim graduated from West Point in 2010 and was commissioned as an Infantry officer. He had the defining experience of being present for the Presidential announcement of a troop surge in Afghanistan as a cadet, then deploying in 2011 in direct support of it.  In Afghanistan, Tim helped ensure the recruitment and sustainment of local police and security forces from a remote outpost. He continued in the Army for eight years, and within days of finishing his military service, he set foot on the Appalachian Trail. His “thru-hike” of the entire 2190.9 miles from Georgia to Maine offered the opportunity to reflect on his experiences and transition into another form of service.

As a Ph.D. student in environmental science, Tim endeavors to discover new tools to manage ecosystems in the wake of human disturbance. He is indebted to those who research and sustain our natural world, making his thru-hike and countless other resources and opportunities possible. He hopes to pursue a lifetime of service in the government or non-profit land management and conservation sector. Ultimately, he aspires to give others the same benefit of a healthy environment he has always enjoyed.