Posted on Jul 2, 2014

Two USF Nursing students named Tillman scholars

Two USF Nursing students named Tillman scholars

Two University of South Florida College of Nursing students were recently named 2014 Tillman Military Scholars. Nursing graduate students, LaChiana Hamilton and David Welker, were two out of three USF students and among 59 U.S. service veterans and military spouses who were named Tillman Scholars.

“All of us at USF College of Nursing are proud of our students’ achievement,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of USF College of Nursing. “This is a great recognition for the university and especially for the College.”

Pat Tillman Foundation, founded in 2004, provides educational scholarships to military veterans and their spouses– a highly competitive and prestigious award. Hamilton and Welker received the coveted scholarship in recognition of their service, leadership and academic excellence. They will use the funds towards their higher education and to continue their service in the healthcare field.

Hamilton, who is a 10-year U.S. Army veteran, is currently working on her master’s degree in nursing. She received a two-year award starting with $13,000, which is renewable for a total of $26,000. This money will allow her to focus on school full time, she told USF News.

“This opportunity gives me a chance to be plugged into a group of mission-focused professionals that share my same zeal for goal-oriented service,” Hamilton added. “I am honored to share in the fellowship and camaraderie shared by previous classes of Pat Tillman Scholars.”

Welker, an Air Force veteran, is working on his master’s degree in nursing. His scholarship covers one-and-a-half years at $15,000 and is renewable for a total of $22,500. His goal is to provide care to underserved communities as a nurse anesthetist.

“While receiving the grateful smiles, hugs and handshakes of the locals while delivering rudimentary health care in a remote village in Columbia, South America I had a crystallizing moment realizing how incredibly rewarding it is to be a part of a team providing life changing care to others,” Welker told USF News. “I believe we are called to be men and women with and for others and military service made me realize that my passion lies in helping those less fortunate through providing anesthesia care.”

Hamilton and Welker will represent the USF College of Nursing at multiple conferences and events locally and nationally. This year’s scholars were chosen from over 7,500 interested applicants, and they will represent 39 Universities and colleges nationwide. To see the entire list of the 2014 Tillman Scholars visit the Pat Tillman Foundation.

For more on this story visit USF News here.