The annual benefit includes the presentation of the Champion and Make Your Mark Awards and showcases the global impact of Tillman Scholars as the next generation of leaders committed to service beyond self.
On Nov. 8, we’re proud to honor late Arizona Sen. John McCain and Mayor Adrian Perkins of Shreveport, Louisiana for their remarkable leadership and commitment to service.
The Champion Award
The Champion Award celebrates Pat’s legacy and belief that we should always strive to be part of something bigger than ourselves, by recognizing an individual for remarkable civic contributions, extraordinary fortitude and spirit of service.
Senator John McCain
2019 Champion Award
For his lifetime commitment to leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation is proud to posthumously award Sen. John McCain with the Champion Award which will be accepted by his family on his behalf.
The son and grandson of distinguished Navy admirals, McCain served as a naval aviator for 22 years, including in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party’s nominee for president in the 2008 election. Over the course of his career, McCain served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and most recently, Armed Services.
In his commitment to the American people, Sen. McCain’s life of service offers an incredible example to the Tillman Scholars as they, too, strive to impact their communities through humble leadership and dedication to service.
2018 Champion Award
Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly
2017 Champion Award
2016 Champion Award
2015 Champion Award
The Make Your Mark Award
The Make Your Mark Award celebrates Pat’s legacy and belief that we should always strive to be part of something bigger than ourselves, by recognizing a Tillman Scholar for embodying the values of service, scholarship, humble leadership and impact in their work and daily life.
2019 Make Your Mark Award
Adrian Perkins was born in the Cedar Grove neighborhood of Shreveport. He is grandson of a sharecropper and the youngest of three boys raised by a single mother.
After 9/11, Perkins felt compelled to join the Army. He accepted a nomination to West Point, where he was the first African American cadet elected class president in school history, and subsequently fought multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After serving, Adrian graduated from Harvard Law School where he was elected its student body president. While a law student, he focused his scholarship on criminal justice reform and the importance of innovation in small and mid-sized cities. While in law school, he assisted Governor John Bel Edwards on criminal justice reform.
Perkins announced his candidacy for mayor of Shreveport on April 26, 2018. During the campaign, he stressed policing reform, economic development, and smart-city initiatives. Perkins was installed as the 56th Mayor of Shreveport on Dec. 29, 2018.
2018 Make Your Mark Award
2017 Make Your Mark Award
2016 Make Your Mark Award
2015 Make Your Mark Award
Service to School:
Tim Hsia & Khalil Tawil
2015 Make Your Mark Award
Make Your Mark Talks
As part of the Tillman Honors program, three Tillman Scholars are invited to present on their work and research. The Make Your Mark talks highlight the range of fields and communities in which Tillman Scholars are making an impact.
Pushing Body Armor into the Next Generation
In his Make Your Mark talk, Zeeshan will explain the current state of the body armor industry, the challenges and roadblocks it faces, and the potential for innovation in the field thanks to new materials and technologies.
Zeeshan Parvez is a 2018 Tillman Scholar and a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at UCLA focusing on materials chemistry. He served in the United States Marine Corps with the Marine Special Operations Command as a critical skills operator, now known as the “Marine Raiders.” He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, with a mission focus of unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense. He is an active member of the veteran community and is focused on making a positive impact on the protection of our service members who are deployed in harm’s way.
How to Change Your Fate
In her Make Your Mark Talk, Katie will discuss her work on epigenetics, the study of the biological mechanisms that govern gene expression, and the way this field is changing our understanding of the nature vs. nurture debate.
Katie Piston is a Navy spouse and third year bioengineering Ph.D. student at Syracuse University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University and has six years’ work experience in the medical device industry. Katie’s one overarching goal is to make a measurable impact on world health through both scientific innovation and teaching. In 2019, Katie was selected to receive the highly competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She served two years as a teaching assistant resulting in nomination for Syracuse University’s “Outstanding Teaching Assistant” award. In addition, she has worked as a research mentor for over 20 undergraduate and masters’ students. Katie’s commitment to teaching transcends the classroom as she also shares her passion for health as a fitness coach.
Answering Trauma with Compassion & Connection
Rae Anne Frey-Ho Fung
In her Make York Mark talk, Rae Anne will outline her role in developing an intensive trauma recovery program for children in the Milwaukee area and the personal experiences that raised the stakes for this project’s success.
Rae Anne Frey is a 2013 Tillman Scholar, an Army veteran and a licensed psychologist who specializes in the use of evidence-based interventions to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and co-morbid mental health conditions at Rogers Behavioral Health Hospital in the greater Milwaukee area. Rae Anne’s interest in trauma psychology emerged from her time as an urban teacher and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has since treated survivors of interpersonal violence, sexual assault, physical abuse, community violence, combat, motor vehicle and industrial accidents, among other traumas. Most recently she was tasked to combine her experience as an urban educator and her knowledge of trauma psychology to develop an Adolescent Trauma Recovery Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Program for Rogers Behavioral Health. She currently supervises that program, as well as Adult Trauma Recovery and Mental Health/Substance Use Residential. Rae Anne currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband, Charles, two children, two cats, puppy and about 100 fish.
2018 Make Your Mark Talks
Tara discusses how innovative rural and urban planning can be used in post- conflict refugee resettlement.
Jameson explains how data collection on and by Native American people can be leveraged by Native communities to combat invisibility and its subsequent consequences.
Emily explains how her research on drug-resistant bacteria, also known as “super bugs”, fits into the current drug discovery pipeline.