About Past Scholars
2018-2019 Tillman Scholar
Joe Filla

Joseph Filla enlisted in the Army Reserves while in high school before transitioning to active duty and three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe worked as an Afghan Intelligence Company mentor while deployed. He completed the Farsi language course at the Defense Language Institute before coming to the University of Maryland to complete a degree in Computer Science. Joe hopes to improve the lives of future soldiers by ensuring that policy is accurately supported by analytical products.

2017-2018 Tillman Scholar
Landon Wilson

Landon Wilson
In his quest to contribute to something bigger than himself, Landon joined the U.S. Navy in 2011. Serving as a Cryptologist, Landon was able to build a true sense of leadership and pride in the uniform he wore and the service he represented. Supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, supervising a team of joint international civilians and service members. Ultimately, Landon was discharged from the United States military for being transgender.

Taking this experience with him, and knowing there were thousands of transgender service members also serving in silence, Landon entered into LGBTQ+ advocacy in 2013, becoming a Board Member for SPARTA, an organization which works to implement policy change and inclusion for transgender and gender non-conforming service members. In 2015, Landon began pursuing his formal education with the goal to teach English to high school students.

For well over a decade, Landon has worked closely with youth who have otherwise been underrepresented in American society, whether it be because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, economic status, or ability. His ultimate passion in life is teaching and learning from youth, in and out of classrooms. He is currently a co-chair for GLSEN Northern Virginia where he works to ensure safe and affirming classrooms for LGBTQ+ students in grades K-12. Currently enrolled at the University of Maryland, Landon hopes to affirm, validate, and empower his future students, showing them that a truly authentic life is possible.

2016-2017 Tillman Scholars
Jovy Batong ’17 Navy

Jovy Batong is a veteran of the Air Force where she served for 6 years. Currently working on her Bioengineering degree, Jovy hopes to work in the field of prosthetics when she graduates. A Vice President of TerpVets and an active participant in Team River Runner, Jovy is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the secretary of her local community association.

Brian Bertges

Learning from his Marine Corps veteran father to always take care of others, Brian made the single best decision of his life and enlisted in the United States Army, providing him with discipline and motivation to not only accomplish his goals but serve his community. During his time in the service, Brian pushed himself while advocating for others through his leadership and mentorship to fellow soldiers. Learning from his father and through the military that alone we can make a difference, but as a community we can move mountains, Brian’s service started with an oath but continues for a lifetime.

Holding jobs in public service for over 10 years, including public education and the veterans’ space, have inspired Brian to pursue his Master’s Degree in Public Management with plans to make change as a nationally elected official. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, Brian joined Teach for America and witnessed firsthand the achievement gap between the low-income and high-income students, inspiring his interest in social justice and policy reform. With his degree Brian plans to look for ways to collaborate between private and public entities, and eventually making a difference in an elected position.

2015-2016 Tillman Scholar
Jovy Batong ’17 Navy

2014-2015 Tillman Scholar
Jovy Batong ’17 Navy

2013-2014 Tillman Scholars
Shawn Letourneau '13
Alex Nielson '13
Josefien T. O'Regan '14

2012-2013 Tillman Scholars
Josefien T. O’Regan
Anna P. Lopiccolo
Alex L. Nielson

2011-2012 Tillman Scholars
Shelly D. Burgoyne
Roel Mora
Josefien T. O’Regan
Louis A. Thorne

2010-2011 Tillman Scholars
Kenneth Ferrera
Paul Flynn
Juhyun Kevin Kim
Josefien T. O'Regan

2009-2010 Tillman Scholars
Dan Hardisty
Anton Hoffman
James Dillard
Dennis E. Robinson
David M. Boucher
Lavisha J. McClarin
Richard Patricio Garcia
The University of Maryland
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