Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 06/08/2022

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.

Cait Haner, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Caitlin HanerCait Haner was recognized by MIT Sloan, discussing her experiences as a student, veteran, and parent.

In search of a way to have a greater personal impact, Caitlin applied to join Special Operations Civil Affairs. She graduated the qualification course at the top of her class and specialized in the Indo-Pacific region, creating a distinct opportunity to serve the last three years as a civil affairs team leader on missions throughout six different countries. Most recently, Caitlin was selected to serve as the Pacific augmentation team leader and lead U.S. Special Operations liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal.

After completing eight years of service in the Army, Caitlin will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology to earn her M.B.A. She is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with her fellow students on furthering aerospace projects from the business management perspective. Upon graduation from M.I.T., Caitlin plans a career as a leader in the aerospace industry where she hopes to continue serving society by advancing the life-changing technologies that result from the pursuit of aerospace objectives.

Thomas Bishop, 2011 Tillman Scholar

Thomas Bishop’s op-ed, My Father’s Prison Became Mine, I Won’t Let It become My Son’s, was published by the Baltimore Times.

As platoon leader, Thomas led and conducted over 150 missions, including joint operations with Marines, British and Afghan forces in Kandahar and Helmand provinces. His platoon had multiple engagements with enemy forces to include IED clearances, strikes and ground force. For his efforts, Thomas was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge, among other honors in Afghanistan.

He then returned to the University of Arkansas to complete his M.A., later working as an associate research director for Media Matters for America, before returning to the Army as a project engineer with missions in the Netherlands, Germany, Korea and Central America. He also worked as an operations officer for USACE during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Recently, Thomas was granted admission into Harvard’s Kennedy School to pursue an MPA and continue his service as a military strategist.

Dave Prakash, 2017 Tillman Scholar

Dave Prakash joined C3 AI to build new opportunities for enterprise AI/ML in healthcare.

Dave was a medical student living in Washington, D.C. when he experienced the attacks of 9/11. As an immigrant from India, the terrorist attacks on his adopted country resonated deeply. He resigned from his medical residency training to commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. Dave entered pilot training to serve in a combat role and became a bomber pilot.

Dave served in the B-52. His unique perspective as aviator and physician served him well as an operational test pilot. Dave tested new weapons and systems that increased the lethality of the venerable bomber. As a flight surgeon, he never lost sight of the human element as he cared for the same people that served beside him. He fought to improve the human-machine interface in future bomber platforms and initiated a program to modernize B-52 ejection seats that will save lives and reduce life-cycle costs.

Trillitye Paullin, 2014 Tillman Scholar

Trillitye Paullin was a part of the Stem for All Engaging and Retaining Female Veterans in the STEM Workforce programming.

Trill attributes her recent and future career success to her military service. To Trill, the military uniform is not simply working attire, but rather, it speaks to the tenacious work ethic, leadership skills, and service to others that have existed since the military’s inception. Discovering when she was fifteen that her mother was plagued with ovarian cancer was a massive hurdle for her financially limited family. As Trill helplessly watched her mother struggle through chemotherapy and surgery, she decided that she was going to dedicate her life to eliminating this horrendous epidemic.

Through training and deployments, the Army taught Trill to never give up and to believe in something bigger than herself. Mastering attention to detail allows her to design efficient experiments while her leadership experience has enabled her to become a skilled instructor and researcher.