Welcome back to the 2021 Tillman Scholars Spotlight! Here we will be highlighting the extensive reach of fields our amazing scholars are making an impact in. From social issues like diversity and inclusion to groundbreaking medical advancements, these 60 individuals continue to serve to make for a better tomorrow.
Our second group of scholars are pursuing various careers in psychology. With the values of Pat Tillman instilled in them, they are furthering their knowledge in psychology to become leaders in their individual fields:
“MAY MY MILITARY LESSONS—PURPOSE NEVER DULLED BY FAILURE, REGRET NEVER ACCOMPANIES SELFLESS SERVICE, BONDS BETWEEN WARRIORS NEVER SEVERED—GUIDE ME IN REDUCING VETERAN SUICIDE AS A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST.”
Kat is enrolled in Seattle Pacific University as a doctoral student in the Clinical Research in Self-Injury and Suicide Laboratory. She hopes to become a clinical psychologist specializing in unique research techniques honed from her analysis career to optimize veteran suicide prevention efforts while administering evidence-based therapies for treating veterans endorsing suicidal thoughts and behaviors, as well as other mental health disorders and illnesses.
After leaving the service, Josh has volunteered with various veteran causes but noticed that there was a lack of military cultural understanding within the mental health field. He now seeks to bring that experience and NCO skills to helping other veterans within that field. Currently, he is finishing his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of South Florida and then intends to continue onto a Ph.D. in counseling psychology with a focus on researching and treating combat veteran mental health.
“CARING FOR A FAMILY MEMBER WITH AUTISM OPENED MY EYES AND GAVE ME PURPOSE. AS A PSYCHOLOGIST, I DEDICATE MY LIFE TO EMPOWER PEOPLE WITH NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES TO LIVE A DIGNIFIED AND FULFILLING LIFE.”
Fiona became increasingly engaged with the issue of developmental disabilities when her only nephew was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of two. She realized that children with disabilities face enormous struggles—stigma, discrimination, isolation, and barriers to healthcare and education—from a very young age. Fiona is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of North Carolina; envisioning starting a clinic that serves children with autism and other disabilities in underserved communities with her degree.
After earning her degree, Emerald returned to civil service as a Public Affairs Officer. She became a speechwriter for the commander of Air Combat Command, and routinely infused mental health themes into communications at every level. Remembering her early dreams of being a mental health care provider, she is now pursuing a doctorate in psychology. She plans to focus on military trauma, and how to increase post-traumatic growth, rather than post-traumatic stress, in our service members who experience trauma, both deployed and at home.