Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 04/30/2021

We’re proud of these Tillman Scholars for continuing to make an impact on their communities. Read on to see how they continue to lead through action.

Amy Bowen, 2015 Tillman Scholar

Amy Bowen testified before Congress during an oversight hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee on accessibility for people with disabilities on National Parks and Public Lands.

Originally joining the military to serve individuals as a nurse and return patients to the best quality of life possible, Amy now strives to have a larger sphere of influence and address broken social systems by transitioning from active military service to attending Duke University in order to obtain her master’s in public policy.

Seth Kastle, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Seth Kastle was awarded the Max Gabriel Veterans Mental Health Award by NAMI —- New York State, and the Ally and Advocate Award by NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community. The Max Gabriel Award recognizes a veteran who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the mental health needs of other veterans. The Veterans Knowledge Community Ally and Advocate Award is meant to recognize the outstanding work individuals do with relations to supporting and/or advancing military-connected students.

After returning home from his second deployment in 2004, Seth struggled greatly and admits he was in denial for several years that the problems he was facing were related to PTSD.  His personal struggles, both as a veteran and parent to daughters who only knew a “post-war” father, led him to write the children’s book Why Is Dad So Mad? A Book About PTSD And Military Families.  The book – which explains PTSD to children – has made its way into a great deal of military family households.

Melissa Stroh, 2009 Tillman Scholar

Melissa Stroh was featured in the Volunteer Spotlight of Military Families Community News in Northern Idaho.

In 2006, Melissa’s husband, Eric, was injured and ultimately disabled from an IED explosion in Iraq. Melissa had a goal of going to law school and was on her way to achieving this goal. After Eric’s injury, goals were put on hold and the focus was helping him get better. Knowing that she was going to be the one working to support the family, Melissa obtained her master’s in business administration from the University of Idaho. She is a regional communication center manager for the Idaho State Police, managing one of two dispatch centers that serve the State of Idaho. In this position, she serves people in need, many on their worst days, with kindness and respect. Melissa is also active in several organizations and seek leadership and service roles to help support her community.


Mike McCarthy, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Mike McCarthy The Graduate School at University of Washington featured Mike McCarthy this month, discussing his military background, journey to graduate school and more.

After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Mike deployed as a member of the Washington Army National Guard where he served as an infantry team leader conducting patrols, raids and humanitarian relief missions in the heart of Baghdad. Mike was on the ground for the first democratic election in Iraq and witnessed the power of diplomacy and building community to create social change. Following another deployment to Iraq in 2009, Mike pursued a master’s degree and principal credential at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has since served as a school administrator and building principal working to eliminate achievement disparities and provide a voice, a dream and a bright future for all of the scholars under his care.

Dan Futrell, 2011 Tillman Scholar

Dan Futrell finished the 17th Annual Pat’s Run in 21:36, fast enough to earn first place overall. More than 20,000 people joined Pat’s Run from all over the world. Dan’s run served as a fundraiser as he went head-to-head with Pat’s Run Founder, Perry Edinger, in the first-ever Tillman Tussle. The Tillman Tussle raised more than $5,000 to support Tillman Scholars.

Upon graduating from Gonzaga University’s ROTC program, Dan served five years as a Ranger-qualified infantry officer and a platoon leader, company commander and aide-de-camp. His most notable deployment was for 15 months with 3-2 Stryker Brigade in 2006-07, where he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Post-military, Dan earned a master’s in public policy from Harvard University. He now serves as the CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation.