Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 05/21/2021

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.

Adam Popp, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Adam Popp brought home a bronze medal in the World Triathlon Para Series opener in Yokohama, Japan.

After losing his leg to an IED in Afghanistan, Adam spent 18 months recovering at Walter Reed. During that time, he was able to meet and learn from others recovering from a wide range of injuries and individual challenges. He saw the myriad ways that people handled the process of recovery, many using sport to not only overcome this new adversity, but to rise to a higher level of functioning in the aftermath of trauma.  Adam received his master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University in 2018, and his main focus now is to pursue a degree in Sport & Performance Psychology, which will enable him to work with athletes and others to help overcome mental health challenges and improve their performance on and off the field of play.


Marco Segura, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Marco Segura was a guest on KFOX 98.5 for a special segment on Mental Health Awareness Month.

Marco wanted to give back to his country by enlisting in the military, however, his immigration status did not allow him to do so. But Marco persisted, and after years waiting to become a U.S. citizen, he was finally able to carry on the familial legacy of service by joining the U.S. Navy. Marco’s relentless pursuit to impact people’s lives pushed him to start law school full time even while serving in the military. With this goal in mind, Marco has been acquiring skills and gaining personal experiences that will serve him well while representing sailors. Marco understands that everyone in uniform and their families deserve the chance to be effectively represented by caring and capable lawyers. He is pursuing a JD at Santa Clara Law School.


Johnnie Gilpen, 2017 Tillman Scholar

Johnnie Gilpen spoke on a panel called “COVID-19: Lessons Learned from PAs on the Frontlines” for the Society of Emergency Medicine PA’s (SEMPA) annual conference.

Johnnie first served as a helicopter crew chief in the Oklahoma National Guard, then as a U.S. Navy Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman. Through these experiences, he came to appreciate what it means to be part of a team, dedicated to a purpose much larger than one’s self. As a Corpsman, he found his passion in medicine. As a PA, Johnnie plans to work within the VA healthcare system; he wants to be a transitional conduit for veterans as they move from the military to the VA. Currently, Johnnie works as an Emergency Medicine PA at OU Medical Center.