About Past Scholars
2018-2019 Friedson Scholar
Shawn Umberger

Shawn Umberger is a veteran of the US Marine Corps with 5 years of service and two deployments. In the Marine Corps, he was part of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team. He is a junior majoring in Communication with a minor in START. After graduation, Shawn hopes to work for the Warrior Surf Foundation, a non-profit that helps veterans by teaching them how to surf


2017-2018 Friedson Scholar
Brian Pittaway ’17 Marine Corps
Brian Pittaway

Brian Pittaway is a 9 year veteran of the US Marine Corps having served 4 deployments. He hails from a long line of service members with a relative in every generation dating to the Civil War. He is currently a senior majoring in Finance.



2016-2017 Friedson Scholar
Jason Musick ’17 Marine Corps
Jason Musick

Jason Musick is an 8 year veteran of the US Marine Corps where he was deployed 3 times. Jason has served as Vice President of TerpVets and secretary for Terafins, the UMD scuba diving club. He is working on his degree in Mechanical Engineering and hopes to work in the Aviation field when he graduates this spring. Jason also volunteers at Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding Center which provides equine assisted activities and therapies for persons with physical, mental, emotional and developmental disabilities to enhance their quality of life.



2014-2015 & 2015-2016 Friedson Scholar
Tyler Austin ’17 Air Force

Tyler Austin

Tyler is pursuing a double Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Geospatial Information Systems. He already has Associates degrees in Construction Technology and Intelligence Studies, both from the Community College of the Air Force. A 7 year veteran of the Air Force, Tyler served two tours of duty (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom) and received the AF Commendation Medal and the AF Achievement Medal.

Tyler Austin

Tyler is very involved in TerpVets having just become one of the Vice Presidents of the organization where he has also been engaged with Team River Runner. He also serves as a PAVE (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education) mentor and most recently was a student leader for our new 3 day Veteran Adventure Orientation program. Tyler hopes one day to work towards advancing the field of geospatial sciences and lead research and development that will help to solve world problems.


2013-2014 Friedson Scholar
Jennifer Austin '14

Jennifer Austin

Jen is completing her Master’s degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and is currently interning at a Bird Conservancy. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Colorado State in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. She served for almost 6 years in the Coast Guard, stationed mainly in San Francisco. She was a Boatswain’s Mate on a cutter that traveled the Bering Sea and as a marine vessel inspector in the Bay area. She is also a trained EMT.

She hopes to finish her degree this May and wants to work as a wildlife conservationist, but is also currently exploring the possibility of joining the Peace Corps. With her benefits from the GI Bill expiring and making it very difficult to make ends meet, Jen expressed her deep appreciation to be awarded a Friedson Veterans Scholarship.


2012-2013 Friedson Scholar
Ben Groce '14

Ben Groce

Ben is a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran having served for 5 years in the highly selective Reconnaissance Marine unit. He was deployed three times to Iraq. He begins his post military career at the University of Maryland as he works on a degree in Journalism with the hope of becoming a Federal Agent working to eradicate human trafficking along the US-Mexican border.

This past summer, Ben had an internship with Dr. Brighton, our leading archaeology professor. They found evidence of an Irish migrant worker's settlement near Charlottesville, VA. An Arkansas native, Ben followed in his father’s footsteps, a Marine Corps officer in Vietnam , by enlisting and now hopes to put his knowledge and experience to work helping those less fortunate.


2011-2012 Friedson Scholar
Matthew Mullins-Hall '12
Matthew Mullins-Hall is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Matthew joined the Marine Corps when he was 18 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For his service in Iraq, working as a Civil Affairs NCO, Matthew was awarded the Navy Achievement Award.

Matthew believes strong leadership plays a critical role in every situation and that simple actions can make a difference in the world. His experience in Iraq helped him to understand that leadership sets the example for those around you and that it can motivate others to work harder towards a common goal. Matthew also shifted his career focus towards foreign policy because of his experience in Iraq. Matthew learned that U.S. foreign policy could have a dramatic impact not only on him but also an entire region and he wants to make a positive contribution in the policymaking process. He became interested in matters of national security and economics and how they played an important role in the way the United States conducts its foreign policy. To that end, he decided that he would return to graduate school and pursue a career in public policy focusing on those two subjects.

Matthew began to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy in 2009, while working full time at the University of Maryland School of Law of Law. With the support of the Friedsen Scholarship, Matthew is now able to focus entirely on his studies and will finish his master's program in the spring of 2012.


2010-2011 Friedson Scholar
Shawn Grove '13
Shawn Grove is currently pursuing a degree in Persian Studies and hopes to graduate in 2012. Shawn enlisted in the Army in 2004, after a brief stint as a social worker, and served for five years after feeling compelled to serve on a larger scale. Both of his grandfathers served in the Army as well. He was deployed to Iraq and received an Impact Award, along with several other commendation awards, for his work as a human intelligence specialist.

Shawn is passionate about University of Maryland. He believes the Persian Language program is the best in the country and is committed to ensuring his academic success and enhancing the lives of his fellow Terps vets on campus.

Shawn’s goal is to study Persian culture and language in a graduate program at the University of Maryland, and with his depth of experience, contribute to the effort of stabilizing Central and Southwest Asia. He is inspired by the men and women, both Iraqi and American, who “owned their mission” to create peace and wants to emulate their “selfless service.” He has that sense of having done important work in the military but also knowing that the next time he goes to Iraq and Afghanistan he wants to go as he puts it, “without a gun.”


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