Tillman Scholars in the News

Blog | 04/16/2021

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.

Ashley Nicolas, 2016 Tillman Scholar

Ashley Nicolas was selected to serve on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum Visionary Network Leadership Council. Ashley joins a nominated body of stakeholders and community members who are committed to engaging hundreds of Visionaries through Museum initiatives while individually contributing to the Museum’s mission. Here, she will give her time to ensure young adults and future generations have a deeper understanding of the attacks of September 11 and the ongoing consequences of the day. Ashley had this to say about the impact of 9/11 on her career path:

“I heard my generation’s call to serve and was determined to answer. In the sacrifices of the first responders, the selflessness of those lining up at military recruiting stations, and the humanity of the many Americans who found a way to grip hands with those in mourning, I found a motivation to spend my life in public service”.

A United States Military Academy and Georgetown Law grad, Ashley is currently the Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Clark Yuan, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Clark Yuan moderated a panel discussion with the Defense Innovation Ecosystem. Panel members discussed topics including national security, artificial intelligence and how the country can spur innovation in our defense technology.

Serving as Co-President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan Defense Technology Club, Clark will be leading another panel discussion, Panel On: The Cambridge Collection, on Friday, April 23. Topics will include Sloan School of Management’s history, current ventures, and future endeavors of the Defense Technology Club.

Clark is pursuing dual degrees in public policy and business administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and MIT Sloan School of Management. He and his family emigrated to the United States in 1996 following the aftermath of the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis. Clark hopes to use his degree and personal experiences to help foster growth in US-China relations and form a bridge between the two world powers. Clark is also the Co-Founder of Candelytics, a 3D data management and analytics software company.

Lance Decker, 2020 Tillman Scholar

Lance Decker is the project manager for Reveille Racing, Texas A&M University’s Indy Autonomous Challenge program, and announced a partnership with VETMotorsports. PTF is also partnering with Reveille Racing in this effort. 

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a $1.5 million prize competition among universities to program modified Dallara IL-15 race cars. Contestants will compete in the world’s first autonomous, head-to-head, high-speed race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2021. 

Throughout his service and after, Lance has been passionate about engineering, evident by serving as avionics technician repairing and maintaining electronic instruments for the Airborne Command Post. Leveraging his love for teaching, strong engineering background and sincere desire to help people, Lance is currently a Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Research Fellow and working on a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering at TAMU. To Lance, there’s nothing more thrilling than seeing the recognition of learning in a student’s eyes when a complex topic is suddenly understood or deep emotional pain is lifted from someone’s heart.