Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 03/25/2022

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.

Lisa Elijah, 2019 Tillman Scholar

Lisa recently started a fellowship in the office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

In 2013, Lisa joined the Air Force and began her career as a paralegal in the Judge Advocate General Corps. Lisa spent her days helping victims through trials and assisting in the prosecution of crimes. She found meaning in giving hope to others when they had none and willingly walked in the darkest parts of humanity so that others could see the light. Through her work, she realized she wanted to study law and come back in as an officer in the JAG Corp.

It was during one of the most life-altering trials of her career when she realized something was off with her health. Months of testing came back with the conclusion that she had a chronic illness and her future was left in uncertainty. She witnessed a change in how others treated her and started to feel like a burden to those around her. It was through this experience that she realized that she wanted to help others navigate their own illnesses and ensure they knew they were not broken, and they were not alone.

Matt Miclette, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Matt will speak and moderate the discussion “Behavioral Health: Addressing the Post-COVID Escalation” at the Population Health Alliance 2022 Summit.

Beginning his career at Walter Reed Medical Center, Matt often received patients within days of their initial injuries.  Witnessing the upclose tragedy war, Matt learned that it was the invisible injuries that were often overlooked and particularly challenging for those in his care.  This led Matt to the next phase in his career in 2013 as he started his career as a behavioral health nurse, working with patients suffering from PTSD.

Now with his MPH and MS in social policy, Matt is leading clinical initiatives at NeuroFlow working with organizations such as Stop Soldier Suicide, Wounded Warrior Project, US Naval Academy, and US Air Force. Matt is also leading the implementing the evidence-based integrated behavioral health models, such as psychiatric collaboartive care, into major health systems across the country.

Richard “Drew” Marcantonio, 2015 Tillman Scholar

Drew published an article recently on prewar conditions in Ukraine, and more recently another on the further unfolding environmental issues and how to think about them.

Having served a total of five years, during Richard’s first deployment to Afghanistan he was tasked with the responsibility of establishing local security working shoulder to shoulder with village leaders, uniting the Afghan leaders and raising quality of life. As a result of Richard’s team efforts, villagers took charge of their own security, scaring off IED emplacers attempting to target a newly repaired school.

Seeing the fruits of his labor first hand and ultimately becoming one of his life’s most defining moments, Richard plans to promote the proverbial ‘communal good’ by serving others, establishing sustainable security and economic stability in underdeveloped areas that are prone to violence due to a lack of livelihood, and to act as an agent of change instigating waves of systemic reform.

LeNaya Hezel, 2021 Tillman Scholar

LeNaya recently published an article about her research findings on diversifying how we serve the veteran community with the Bush Center.

LeNaya is a 2021 Stand-To Veterans Leadership Program Scholar with the Bush Institute. She is a classically trained soprano where her music background paved the way to use her voice to advocate and create DEI culture changes. Whether it is presenting to board leadership, facilitating a training seminar, or pitching an idea to potential collaborators, she uses creativity to build equitable communities. LeNaya has over a decade of experience as a higher education professional supporting underrepresented student populations.

Previous to George Mason University, she served as the inaugural Veterans Office Director at Georgetown University and a Certifying Official at The George Washington University. She holds an M.A. in higher education administration from the George Washington University and a bachelor of music in vocal performance from the University of Maryland, College Park. LeNaya is a proud military spouse to a U.S. Navy officer and mother to three spirited children.