Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 09/20/2022

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.

Timothy Berry, 2021 Tillman Scholar

Timothy Berry appeared on NPR, discussing his concerns for the Afghan people a year after the Taliban takeover.

After serving in the 101st Airborne Division, Timothy returned to his alma mater as a diversity admissions officer and was part of the team that ushered in the most racially diverse class in the Academy’s history—witnessing the educational disparities and lack of representation of Black and Hispanic officers in the military. Timothy created Collaborate and Graduate (CAG), a non-profit focused on helping Black and Hispanic students applying to service academies or selective ROTC programs pay for SAT/ACT preparation classes.

Now, in the private sector, Timothy has seen the impact of that compound opportunity debt that accelerates through a lack of education credentialing and has worked to spread economic opportunity through people programs and global business policy. Timothy continues to be a vocal advocate for racial justice issues. He has written or been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, U.S.A Today, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, The Root, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Huffington Post. He is currently pursuing a master’s in business administration at NYU Stern, where he is focused on strategy.

Heather King, 2013 Tillman Scholar

Heather King joined Catch a Lift Fund’s Coaches Corner podcast to discuss the practice of healing through yoga.

Stemming from a long line of veterans, Heather was born to serve in the military. At 19, she enlisted in the Air Force as a B-1B aircraft mechanic. Heather’s career spanned 9 ½ years with deployments to Diego Garcia-BIOT, Guam, and Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism. She separated from active duty in 2007 and served as a full-time reservist at Maxwell AFB, AL as a C-130 Aircraft Mechanic. The changes in culture and the military in the aftermath of 9/11 sparked Heather’s interest in storytelling and political communications. Heather enrolled at Troy University-Montgomery, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S.in Political Science. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations from the George Washington University in 2014.

The Air Force’s core values of Integrity, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do laid a strong foundation for life after the military. Heather’s love of storytelling and service has led her to undertake several different roles where she has dedicated herself to improving the lives of service members, Veterans, and their families. Her current endeavors utilize her communication skills to shape addiction and treatment policy in a corporate setting.

Michael Luu, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Michael LuuMichael Luu co-authored a major publication, On-Orbit Servicing System Architectures for Proliferated Low-Earth-Orbit Constellations in the Journal of Space and Rockets.

Michael is a first-generation American who was born to a family of Vietnamese refugees. Throughout his life, he has constantly sought opportunities to serve others. He served as a volunteer emergency medical service (EMS) first responder and firefighter for more than seven years. During the troop surge of 2009, he felt compelled to fulfill military service, joining the George Mason University Army ROTC program. Upon graduating from George Mason with a B.S. in physics, Michael was commissioned as an infantry officer and sent to Vicenza, Italy, where he served as a Ranger-qualified paratrooper and rifle platoon leader. He deployed once to the Middle East, and throughout Eastern Europe conducting counter-Russian aggression operations and NATO ally reassurance missions.

During his travel and deployments around the world, Michael saw how underdeveloped nations suffered from a lack of access to infrastructure and broadband internet. Recognizing this issue, he left the military to pursue a career in aerospace engineering to help change the world for the better. Space-based internet is currently being developed and tested, and Michael is interested in helping to enable that technology and make it accessible for all.