Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 04/28/2023

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.

Trice Burkes, 2021 Tillman Scholar

Trice Burkes will announce the 226th pick of the NFL Draft, honoring Pat Tillman’s draft number, on April 29.

Trice served as the Professor of Military Science at Lincoln University (LU) of Missouri. During this assignment is where his over twenty-years of leadership experience was tested. Trice and his team of cadre were charged with revitalizing the program through recruitment, training, and organizational culture. He quickly connected with LU alumni, the greater Jefferson City community, and university leadership to develop a strategic plan for program growth. As a result of Trice’s collaborative nature, learned in Ranger school, his cadre of instructors improved the enrollment and graduation rates of Lincoln’s ROTC program.

As a professor of military science and department head, Trice reconnected with the civilian community and solicited their support with recruitment, scholarships, and fundraising in order to revitalize the ROTC program. During this assignment, his proudest moments involved awarding ROTC scholarships to students whom could not attend college without financial assistance. As a result, he is pursuing a  Ph.D. in order to improve college access for low-income minority students.

Jonny Kim, 2012 Tillman Scholar

Jonny Kim was featured in an article Task & Purpose discussing his career growth from a Navy SEAL doctor and astronaut to becoming a naval aviator.

Jonny Kim found his calling in the service of others. His desire to protect those who cannot protect themselves galvanized him to enlist in the Navy at age 18. He found his passion in medicine during his service as a Naval Special Warfare Medic in the Iraq War, where he was inspired by the skill and devotion of the physicians who saved his teammates’ lives. In 2012, Jonny received his commission and graduated with a B.A. in mathematics from the University of San Diego. In 2016, he received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and then completed medical internship at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Jonny’s commitment to science and his desire to inspire future generations led him to apply to the NASA Astronaut Corps. In 2017, he was selected by NASA to join the next Astronaut Candidate Class as a Navy Lieutenant.

Jonny was awarded the Naval Special Warfare Medic of the Year in 2006 by the Special Operations Medical Association, as well as the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor for his combat actions and medical service in Iraq. Inspired by the sacrifices of his fallen teammates, Jonny is driven to lead his life in a way that may leave a contributing mark in this world.

Maryn Taylor, 2021 Tillman Scholar

Maryn Taylor recently presented research on Student-to-Student Mentoring in Ph.D. Programs at the Academy of Human Resource Development Conference.

Maryn earned an MBA and a master of science in human resource development, along with the SPHR, PHR, SHRM-CP and SHRM Foundation’s Veterans at Work certifications. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in human resource development with a focus on the effects of gender bias on organizational development. This research-based degree gives her the space to combine her expertise as an HR practitioner and her curiosity as a scholar to create evidence-based solutions for workplace issues. As a lifelong volunteer, Maryn has served with AmeriCorps and with local and national organizations supporting women and families. She and her husband Steve have opened their home to dozens of children experiencing crisis through the Safe Families for Children program.

In a complement to Steve’s service on the Academy Board of Texas’s 24th Congressional District, she provides support to the families of students attending our nation’s military academies. She mentors HR students and professionals through Dallas HR Association. Maryn takes joy in her work as the senior director of people and culture for an international women’s organization. She is a military spouse, devoted mom, voracious reader, and a proud member of the University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band.

Brad Snyder, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Brad SnyderBrad Snyder was featured in an article from NPR discussing the Paralympics TikTok account controversy.

After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in 2006, Brad spent seven years on active duty with the U.S. Navy as an explosive ordnance disposal officer. In 2011, Brad suffered complete vision loss as the result of  a combat injury in Afghanistan. Within a year, however, Brad earned a spot on Team USA, and swam to gold in the London Paralympics. Brad stuck with Team USA through the Rio Games, and currently owns five gold medals and a world record. He is training hard with the hopes of qualifying for his third Paralympics in Tokyo, this time in the sport of triathlon.

When he’s not training or competing, Brad serves as a fellow in the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at his alma mater USNA. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy with the intention of becoming a tenured professor in the leadership and ethics department. In this role, Brad hopes to leverage his personal experiences along with his developed expertise to inspire future generations of leaders and warriors. Brad also serves as an athlete representative on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Board of Directors, and is the advisory board chair for the Navy Special Operations Foundation.