Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 01/04/2022

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.

Mark Ebeling, 2013 Tillman Scholar

Mark has taken over as the Director of Critical Care and ECMO at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. As an ICU nurse by trade, Mark used his experience earning his healthcare MBA to secure this position.

Mark is an Army veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He received his MBA in Health Care Administration & Management from the University of St. Thomas – Opus College of Business and is a board certified nurse executive.


Melissa Thomas, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Melissa was featured by the Baylor Business Review discussing her service and journey into becoming a medical professional.

Inspired by her first visit to West Point, Melissa was in awe when she saw a group of cadets playing ultimate frisbee when the cannons sounded for reveille and they all stopped in the middle of their game to salute the flag. That moment got Melissa hooked on the discipline, respect, and honor she craved to be part of, instilling in her a lifetime of service to the nation. Following 9/11, Melissa put her medical school plans on hold so she could deploy with her fellow soldiers – learning leadership skills, along with having opportunities that give her confidence, experience, and perspective today. Throughout her service in the military, including two deployments to Iraq and working as a hospital administrator, Melissa learned to stick to her instincts when making unpopular decisions and that there is no substitute for realistic training, but there are people who you can count on that you put your trust in.

Christopher Bellaire, 2021 Tillman Scholar

Chris, along with a group of student veterans, published an editorial in the Journal of Special Operations Medicine on the Yellow Ribbon Program in US medical education.

From his experiences in the Marine Corps, Chris took to heart the human consequences of war and poverty and the disparities in global healthcare access. Following his service, Chris attended Columbia University’s post-baccalaureate pre-medical program before starting medical school at Mount Sinai. Chris is committed to advocating for veterans’ health in his medical training and future career as a physician, and he hopes to increase awareness within the medical community about how military service can affect veterans’ physical and mental health later in life. Chris volunteers with the educational non-profit Service to School to encourage veterans to pursue careers in medicine, and he is the leader of the military medicine and veterans healthcare group at Mount Sinai.