Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 07/06/2021

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.

Emily Balog, 2018 Tillman Scholar

Emily Balog’s startup UzeLink, a mobile application that allows users and others to receive notifications when there is a change in health and activity patterns, was accepted into the Tampa Bay Wave 2021 TechDiversity Accelerator program.

During her six years in the Air Force and her deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she encountered a wide range of individuals in a variety of contexts. This afforded her the ability to confidently translate her military experiences to practical applications and prepared her for continued leadership. Her interest lies in a concept called “aging in place” which allows older adults to successfully age in their homes and communities, preventing institutionalized care. Armed with a Ph.D. in Translational Health Sciences from George Washington University, Emily plans to use new knowledge and past experiences on a new mission, one in which she will connect science and research to translate knowledge of aging in place and implement programs to impact the collective health and meaningful aging of older adults in our communities.

Keidrick Roy, 2017 Tillman Scholar

Keidrick Roy spoke at the Auschwitz Jewish Center as a panelist for a program he participated in as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in 2008. The program was designed for a small group of future military leaders comprising the nation’s service academies to study the Holocaust and travel to concentration camps near Warsaw and Krakow in Poland. “I still remember walking the grounds of Auschwitz and an extermination camp called Treblinka,” said Keidrick. “This gut-wrenching experience and the knowledge I gained throughout my studies helped me better grasp the catastrophic consequences that emerge when we make space for the existence of racial and ethnic hierarchies.”

Keidrick spoke about the impact of his experience at Auschwitz and how he’s finalizing an exhibition that he is curating for Harvard University’s Houghton Library entitled: “Remembering the Racial State: Fascism, Nostalgia, and Purity of Blood in Nazi Germany” set to go live January 2022. It will explore how leaders in the Third Reich created racial, ethnic, and political *others* and incorporate some materials that have yet to appear in public. It will include display cases that explore, among other things, the role of Nazi women and Nazi youth, the nature of propaganda, and documents from the Nuremberg trials. Around the cases of original material, he is adding contemporary images that make explicit connections between the symbols and tactics used in Nazi Germany and the neo-Nazi movements of our present day. “By drawing these links in the wake of the uptick in violence against Black people, Asian people, and Jewish people, I hope to show how the Holocaust is not something we can walk away from and never think about again,” Keidrick said. “Instead, we have to stay awake to injustices and *actively* preserve our institutions so we do not repeat our past mistakes.”

Angela Layfield, 2019 Tillman Scholar

As an intern at a local crisis support agency through her MSW program, Angela Layfield was given the opportunity to run a virtual Music Therapy Support Group for In-Home Seniors this past spring. The group participants came together weekly to share how they were doing and offer support and encouragement. This was especially beneficial to the group members because so many were experiencing isolation due to the pandemic. The goal of the group was to reduce isolation, and bring peace, joy and connection to group participants through the act of making music together. Over half the group members noted reduced anxiety and depression and improved overall well-being after participating in the group.

Angela’s experience as a foster parent has inspired her to pursue a vocation providing trauma-informed care and therapy to children and adolescents who have experienced abuse and neglect. She graduated with her Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University, exploring how a holistic approach of providing trauma survivors the right therapy for their needs, along with helping them find joy, passion and connection to family and community can move them toward a life of peace and health.

Andrea Goldstein, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Andrea Goldstein joined the Biden Administration as the Assistant Director – Force Resiliency at the Department of the Navy.

As a Navy officer, Andrea spent nearly seven years of active military service in naval intelligence, including three years with Naval Special Warfare. In that role, she was able to draw attention to challenges faced by other female service members that her male peers were unaware of, but were happy to resolve. This experience led her to shift her focus of public service from broad admiration for American ideals to a strong conviction that the U.S. can and should lead the way when it comes to empowering women to lead, particularly in non-traditional fields.