Incoming MPA student Ryan Gross named 2017 Tillman Scholar
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | Kelly Rodoski
grew up hearing stories about his grandfathers’ military experiences during
World War II, leading tank units through the Battle of the Bulge and serving on
a Navy destroyer in the Pacific. Inspired by their service, he accepted a
commission in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer. After his deployment
with an infantry battalion in Baghdad, Gross transitioned from the Army to the Defense
Intelligence Agency (DIA), where he leads intelligence analysis.
incoming student in Syracuse University’s #1-ranked master of public administration
program (MPA) in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has been
named a 2017 Tillman Scholar in a cohort representing 61 U.S. service members,
veterans and military spouses across the nation. The newly named class, funded
by the Pat Tillman Foundation, will receive more than $1.1 million in
scholarships to pursue higher education degrees.
scholars are tackling challenges across national security, healthcare,
technology, civil rights and education. They believe their best years of
service to our country are still ahead of them, and they are working together
to strengthen communities at home and around the world,” Marie Tillman,
co-founder and president of the Pat Tillman Foundation said in a statement
released on June 8. “In Pat’s spirit of service, we are proud to unite and
empower them as our country’s next leaders.”
Gross says he
is honored to be selected as a Tillman Scholar and is eager to begin his
studies in Syracuse University’s renowned MPA program.
experiences in Baghdad, Washington, D.C., U.S. Central Command, and three
civilian deployments to Afghanistan, Gross witnessed how “one size fits all”
policies developed at the national level do not always translate effectively to
the tactical environment, requiring commanders on the ground to determine how
to tailor policies to fit their battlespace. He plans to use his MPA degree to
build upon the leadership and decision-making skills he gained through his
career and to hone his policy development expertise. His goal is to create flexible,
effective policy that will meet military commanders’ and soldiers’ operational
needs on the ground.
Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud identified four pillars to guide
the future growth of the University, one of which was ensuring the University
once again became the best institution for veterans and their families. J.
Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and
the executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, works
closely with Chancellor Syverud on that important effort. He says he is proud
of the University’s partnership with the Tillman Foundation and is pleased
Gross selected Syracuse University for his academic pursuits.
University is honored to have Ryan as part of our academic community and to
celebrate him as our first Tillman Scholar recipient,” says Haynie. “The
purpose and mission of the Tillman Foundation aligns well with Syracuse
University’s commitment to be the best place for veterans. The education Ryan
will receive and the skills he will develop during his time at the Maxwell
School will well equip him to inspire positive and impactful changes in
scholarship honors Pat Tillman. In 2002, Tillman, a starting safety for the
National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals, put his football career on hold
to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation
following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the U.S. Army’s 75th
Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The foundation invests in military veterans and
their spouses through scholarship and programmatic support, and is dedicated to
building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others.
2008, the Tillman Scholars program supports our nation’s active-duty service
members, veterans and military spouses by investing in their higher education.
The scholarship program covers direct study-related expenses, including tuition
and fees, books and living expenses, for scholars who are pursuing
undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degrees as a full-time student at a
public or private, U.S.-based accredited institution. The selection process for
the Tillman Scholars program is highly competitive.
Each year, the
foundation collaborates with 15 University Partners to identify and select
qualified applicants on their campuses for the Tillman Scholar screening
process. Syracuse University was named a University Partner in 2016, selected
for its innovative veteran services, strong culture of support for military
veterans and spouses and its rigorous academic programs.
Syracuse University is a private research
university of extraordinary academics, distinctive offerings and an undeniable
spirit. With a gorgeous campus in the heart of New York State, a global
footprint, and nearly 150 years of history, our University is made for those
who want a quintessential college experience. Proudly selective, we take a
chance on people who dream big. This is where you come to cheer, to grow and to
become the person you want to be. The scope of our University is a testament to
its strengths: a pioneering history dating to 1870; a choice of more than 200
majors and 100 minors; nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate
students; more than a quarter million alumni in 160 countries; and a student
population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. Syracuse University’s
proud commitment to veterans and their families is
unrivaled in higher education. From the leading role it played in the original
G.I. Bill, to launching the nationally recognized Institute for Veterans and Military Families, the University continues
to honor and expand upon this legacy.
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University
The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for
innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences,
public policy, public administration, and international relations. It is the #
1 ranked school in the nation for graduate
education in public affairs,
offering highly regarded professional degrees alongside advanced scholarly degrees in
the social sciences; and it is home also to undergraduate programs across the full spectrum of social sciences.
Maxwell scholars conduct wide-ranging research through nine
each focused on a topical area within public affairs, such as social and
economic policy, conflict and collaboration, public wellness, aging, energy and
environment, national security, regional studies, and more. For more
information, please visit: http://maxwell.syr.edu/.