Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 10/19/2022

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.

Jeff Mueller, 2012 Tillman Scholar

Jeff Mueller published a white paper on Value Investor Insight with a colleague at Polen Capital on the philosophy guiding their ethical investment decisions.

While flying combat missions in Iraq, Jeff was honored to have the opportunity to play a guardian angel-type role to the men and women on the ground. The ability to be in a position to truly tip the scales in a firefight while protecting the bravest men and women of his generation was and remains one of Jeff’s proudest moments as an active duty Marine.   

Inspired by a book he read in Iraq by Ben Graham, Warren Buffett’s professor at Columbia University, Jeff applied to Columbia Business School and was accepted. He graduated with Honors and Distinction in 2013. Jeff is eternally grateful for the support he received from the Tillman Foundation while in business school.

Jeff impacts his community through example and service. He is currently a partner at Polen Capital Management, an investment firm based in Boca Raton, Florida and teaches as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. Jeff also gives motivational speeches to high school students in South Florida on the importance of living a life of character, service and integrity. Jeff continues to serve his country as a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.     

Christina Ebersohl, 2022 Tillman Scholar

Christina Ebersohl is hosting an event at Southwestern College for musicians learning to understand the body. She will cover the five sections of body mapping as well as a master class to conclude the day.

For Christina, music also lays the foundation for change and harmony. As a classical violist, her performances offer to transport audiences far away from modern struggles and discomfort, and create a bridge for all to shelter under. Additionally, as a blind musician, Christina utilizes her concerts and public image as a platform for change, donating concert proceeds to the National Federation of the Blind and other charities, as well as raising her voice in advocacy for blind musicians and accessibility around the world.

As a Doctoral candidate, Christina’s  resources expand, providing opportunities to develop relationships with organizations internationally, and to continue advocating for accessibility, equitable opportunities, and visibility in the field. Through her performances, public speaking, and lectures, and through her publications as Editor of the Journal of the American Viola Society, Christina is actively working to diversify the classical music industry and promote the underrepresented voices of disabled musicians. Additionally, utilizing her platform and leadership, she has already begun laying the foundation to launch an innovative scholarship competition for musicians who have overcome physical hardship. Though Christina no longer uses her Arabic language skills to translate daily, her music continues to translate hope, empowerment, and peace to audiences near and far.

Daniel Walker, 2022 Tillman Scholar

Harvard featured Daniel Walker’s recent work with the Rwanda Space Agency and Rwanda Development Board.

Daniel started his career as an admissions officer and recruiter for the Air Force Academy. There, he was responsible for the counsel, mentorship, and intake of diverse students applying to USAFA from the Western United States and the Pacific territories. He served as a fighter pilot for the rest of his career, piloting the T-6, T-38, F-16, and F-22 from 2011-2021. During his tenure, he led various units including the Alaskan Northern Aerospace Defense Region’s F-22 Combat Alert Cell. He is also one of six winners of the 2020 United States Air Force Academy’s Young Alumni Excellence Award.

Daniel is attending Harvard Law School as a Juris Doctor Candidate in the class of 2024. He entered law school to learn how to leverage capital and policy to directly support the advancement of historically disenfranchised communities. He aims to address economic deficiencies that stifle innovation, growth, and prosperity. While in school, he serves as a public defender with the Harvard Defenders, the External Vice President of the Black Law Students Association, a Harvard Center for Public Leadership Fellow, and as a Chayes International Public Service Fellow.

Natasha Ryan, 2013 Tillman Scholar

ABC 6 in Columbus, Ohio, featured Natasha Ryan on their “She Serves” segment, highlighting her life-saving mission as an Army Black Hawk Medevac pilot.

Natasha joined the Army in July 1999 as an Administrative Specialist and Postal Clerk. Early in her career, she deployed to Bosnia, Kuwait and Pakistan, where she supported humanitarian aid efforts through the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. But a chance meeting with two female Big Windy pilots motivated Natasha to pursue a new path in Army aviation.

In 2007, Natasha submitted her flight packet and started training. In her first assignment after flight school, she served with the 4th Infantry Division and deployed with A Co. 2-4 to Regional Command-North for a year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Immediately following the deployment, the unit was moved to Fort Bliss, TX and stood up 1AD CAB. There, Natasha served in C Co. 2-4 and deployed back to Regional Command-North for nine months where she evacuated injured service members.

Still actively serving, Natasha’s experiences as an aviation safety officer and as a military pilot have inspired her to do more to ensure service members have safe passage to accomplish their mission. With a graduate degree in Occupational Safety Management, she hopes to influence organizations such as the FAA and NTSB to research and lobby for safer protocols in civil and military aviation standards.

Nam Yong Cho, 2022 Tillman Scholar

ABC 7 in Los Angeles highlighted Nam Yong Cho as part of its coverage of UCLA—a PTF University Partner— being named the top public university for veterans.

Following his time as a combat medic in the Army, Nam started medical school at the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) and began working at the Cardiac Outcomes Research Laboratory (CORELAB) at UCLA. Through his research, Nam strives to advance healthcare at a systemic level. Beyond research, he has targeted gun violence, one of the leading causes of trauma-related death in the US. By implementing a gun violence prevention module and advocacy at DGSOM, Nam aims to reduce firearm injuries and deaths in his community..

After medical school, Nam plans to attain further training in treating trauma patients. Remembering the vulnerability of injured patients witnessed throughout his service, Nam wishes to help such a population through acute interventions. In particular, Nam hopes to work closely with the VA healthcare system to care for veterans who often experience long-lasting physical and mental traumas. In continuation of his community work and research endeavors, he aspires to improve the health of his community and beyond.