Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 05/16/2022

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.

HyeJung Park, 2020 Tillman Scholar

AZ Family in Tempe, AZ, highlighted HyeJung’s experiences in overcoming obstacles to pursue her Ph.D.

As a beneficiary of the California Dream Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, HyeJung has first-hand experience of the value of American democracy and the impact of American voters who exercise their right to promote equality, equity and justice. These experiences inspired her to pursue both military service and academic research to contribute to our community’s promotion of equitable opportunities for the next generation of young people.

Through her doctoral studies in developmental psychology, she examines promotive and protective factors that buffer life stressors while fostering growth among marginalized youth (e.g., adolescents residing in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, crime and other disadvantages, racial and ethnic minority youth).

HyeJung strongly believes in the power of community action. She aspires to be a collaborator/developer of empirically-supported legislation to promote resilient development for at-risk and marginalized youth. She hopes to be an effective liaison between the developmental research community and Congress, to inform public policy development, implementation and evaluation.

Ashley Whitlock, 2019 Tillman Scholar

The Washington Commanders promoted Ashley Whitlock to Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Since losing her husband, Ashley’s worked to discover the type of public service that utilizes her experiences and expertise for the greatest possible positive impact. In co-founding the Capt. Nicholas Schade Whitlock Foundation and working with organizations such as the Travis Manion Foundation and Kate’s Club, she has supported survivors of trauma and loss, as well as veterans and service-minded leaders. Furthermore, her twelve-year career at Edelman Public Relations has deepened her understanding of how to advance public service initiatives through integrated communications campaigns.

Ashley recently completed her Master in Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School in order to begin a new professional chapter focused on helping other women facing the shared challenge of starting over. She seeks to pair her strengths, passions and personal journey with a broader perspective of the breakdowns and barriers to connecting available services to those in need, equipping her to improve the outcomes of trauma survivors by helping them navigate personal crisis in a way that realizes their fullest potential.

Phillip Jones, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Phillip publicly announced his candidacy to run for Mayor of Newport News, VA.

After 9/11, Phillip resolved to follow in the footsteps of his family and attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he served as the brigade sergeant major and graduated as a Burke Scholar with a bachelor of science in history. Upon graduation, Philip was honored to be designated an infantry officer in the Marine Corps and led his Marines on deployments on multiple continents.

Returning home from his deployments, Phillip witnessed a widening economic disparity between his hometown and the rest of Virginia. He believes that the importance of local city governance cannot be understated and that critical economic issues must first be solved at the municipal level.

Phillip is currently pursuing a joint degree between the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School to facilitate his transition to a civilian leader with the ability to speak to private and public sector issues, as well as the marriage of the two. He remains a native son of Virginia who wants to play a part in constructing policies that will help to uplift the downtrodden.

Kevin Bubolz, 2020 Tillman Scholar

AZ Family profiled Kevin on his preparation for the 18th Annual Pat’s Run, presented by TEKsystems.

During a deployment, Kevin’s unit was accompanied by a service dog that brought comfort to soldiers, reduced loneliness and even flew in his helicopter wearing specialized hearing protection. This experience inspired Kevin to share the benefits of animal-assisted therapy to others. Upon redeployment, Kevin certified his golden retriever as a therapy dog and began volunteering in the local community. After visiting several schools, he witnessed firsthand the impact of animal-assisted reading programs on childhood literacy.

As a result of the pandemic, Kevin was no longer able to volunteer in-person with his therapy dog, Ellie, so he pivoted to social media as a way to help with others. During this process, he unexpectedly developed a global community passionate about his mission to spread smiles.