Three military veterans who are enrolled as graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania, John Schippert, Jonathan Wood and Matthew Miclette, have been appointed as 2016 Tillman Scholars through the Pat Tillman Foundation.
This year, the Tillman Foundation will award $1.8 million to assist with educational expenses for 60 active duty military personnel, veterans and military spouses.
Schippert was selected as a Marine Congressional Fellow and appointed as the defense advisor to a member of the House Armed Services Committee. As a member of the Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs in the Pentagon, he was also a liaison to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
Today, Schippert is the president of Penn Law Veterans, an organization dedicated to promoting the recruitment and retention of veteran-admitted students and advancing their interests.
As a Tillman Scholar, Schippert will participate in a leadership summit and engage in community service.
For eight years, he served as an intelligence officer and shadowed emerging terrorist cells, monitoring Al Qaeda leaders’ trans-national networks and safe havens. He also spent time working with para-rescue units, assisting with medical planning, focusing on emergency medicine and mass-casualty triage, providing continuity of care during evacuation operations.
While pursuing his M.B.A. as a Tillman Scholar, Wood plans to shape smarter strategies for delivering high-quality medicine in low-resource environments, where crime and poverty have deterred others.
Currently, he lives in North Philadelphia, where he hopes to serve as a neighborhood physician, becoming a part of a national movement of service-minded clinicians who practice in underserved urban areas.
He started his career as a nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he witnessed the tragedy of war as he treated patients returning from combat within five days of their initial injuries, most from Afghanistan. He noticed that service members with physical injuries were provided with world-class healthcare, while those with less visible injuries were at times overlooked.
Miclette began working with patients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a behavioral health nurse and it solidified his dedication to serving veterans.
As a Tillman Scholar, Miclette hopes to improve behavioral health resources for veterans and underserved populations in rural and impoverished communities. He plans to identify local resources and barriers to care, as well as assess existing programs to improve or eliminate those that fail to meet performance objectives.
By working for the government, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for a non-profit organization focused on providing high-quality behavioral health services, Miclette hopes to use preventative medicine principles to reduce medical costs and improve overall outcomes.
Tillman Scholars are selected based on their strength in character, academic excellence and potential to applying the best lessons they’ve learned in life and the military to impact the fields of medicine, business, law, science, education and the arts.
More information about the Tillman Foundation, including the full list of 2016 Tillman Scholars can be found here.