Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog, Tillman Scholars in the News | 04/02/2021

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.

Bridgette Bell, 2017 Tillman Scholar

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III appointed Bridgette Bell to the the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military that he created on Feb. 26. The commission will focus on evaluating military policies, programs and processes related to sexual assault. It will also review and assess the best practices from industry, academia and other organizations. This 90-day task includes four lines of effort: accountability, prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support. Bridgette is a member of the Culture and Climate line of effort, which will address climate and culture regarding sexual assault. The working group will review the implementation of existing support policies and resources across the department. They will also propose new approaches to improve climate and culture that can better ensure all service members feel comfortable reporting sexual assault and using existing services.

Bridgette Bell found a passion for psychology while deployed in Iraq, where she dealt with trauma survivors first-hand as her Army unit’s primary responder for sexual assault victims. It was through this experience she discovered her natural ability to help victims cope and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Jackson State University. Since August 2020, she has worked as a Clinical Psychology Intern for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities while completing her degree. She hopes to specialize in trauma, grief, and writing/art therapy.

Matthew Miclette, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Matt Miclette, Executive Director of Action Tank, and his team released a short-form documentary titled “Feeding Philly” that followed the group in 2018-2019 on their mission to fight food insecurity in Philadelphia. Action Tank is a group of veterans who tackle tough problems by harnessing the experiences, skills, and relationships of service-minded citizens to improve the social conditions of the Philadelphia area.

Matt is an Army veteran who spent his service at WRAMC and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. he often received patients within five days of their initial injuries, most from Afghanistan, and witnessed up close the tragedy of war. He earned his master of public health and master of science in social policy, and now works on public health policies that improve behavioral health resources for Veterans and underserved populations, especially rural and impoverished communities.


Ali Kralick, 2013 Tillman Scholar

Ali Kralick and her family were featured by the Albany Times Union for hiking the tallest peaks in the Catskills. Ali, her husband, and her twin sons became members of the “3500 Club,” which requires hikers climb 35 mountains above 3,500 feet in the

Ali felt a calling to serve and entered the class of 2006 at West Point. Upon graduation, she commissioned as an Army intelligence officer, deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Philippines during her eight years of service. Throughout her military career, she was a part of the process in which terrorists were identified, found, and ultimately captured. As a Cultural Support Team (CST) leader, Ali’s interactions with the women and children on the battlefield opened her eyes to the need to balance punishment with compassion. 


Syed Faraz, 2019 Tillman Scholar

Syed Faraz was featured in Poets & Quants, where he reflects on the harsh realities he faced following his graduation from University of Texas-Arlington, the factors that influenced his decision to enlist in the Air Force, and highlights the basis of his current M.B.A. research at Stanford University. The article details the impact the GI Bill, Stanford and the Yellow Ribbon Program has made on him, spotlights Syed’s military service, and explains his initiative to create holistic leadership development programs for Stanford’s student veterans. 

Syed joined the Air Force in 2011 and served as his unit’s chief technology officer. During his service, he flew more than 630 combat hours, served in the Obama-directed rescue of 40,000 refugees, and led a campaign to deliver aid to 1,600 earthquake survivors. In his final three years, he worked on national security innovation as the chief technology officer for the U-2 spy-plane community