Other Graduate Ambassadors

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Amy Bowen – Amy, as part of a military family, was raised in Germany, Korea, and the United States. She attended nursing school at Pacific Lutheran University and commissioned in the United States Army as an Army Nurse with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Her first assignment was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. During her first deployment to Iraq, she found inspiration in the Provincial Reconstruction Teams who were building medical capacity in the city of Tikrit, and made a career switch to become a Civil Affairs Officer.  On her next deployment, she managed development projects in Afghanistan and worked with the United Nations Assistance Mission Afghanistan (UNAMA) Civil Affairs officer to assist with women’s rights initiatives in Baghlan Province. She is interested in civil-military cooperation in areas of instability and is a current student at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. She is working towards her Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) with a concentration in National Security and Global Policy. In her free time she enjoys running, outdoor activities, and traveling.

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Nerea M. Cal – Nerea graduated with honors from West Point in 2006 with a B.S. in Comparative Politics. She was commissioned as an Aviation officer and attended flight school, receiving her rating as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. She has served in a variety of leadership and staff positions and deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. While stationed in South Korea, she also designed and implemented the Iron Brigade’s Women’s Mentorship Program, a mentorship program designed to encourage positive social and professional relationships among female Soldiers in the Brigade. Most recently, she commanded an Air Assault Blackhawk Company in the 82d Airborne Division and was awarded the MacArthur Leadership Award. Currently, Nerea is a Master’s student at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs focusing her studies in International Relations, Security, and Development. After completing her studies, she will be assigned as an International Relations instructor in West Point’s Social Sciences Department.


Howard Carter – Howard is a retired Master Chief Petty Officer (SOCM) who served 22 years conducting military operations in over 30 nations. Tours of duty included time in South American, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He will be attending the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College in Fall 2014.

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Jonathan Curley – Jonathan is a first-generation college graduate who comes from a low-income environment in Southern California. After high school, he attended the University of California Los Angeles for his undergraduate degree studying Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. After college, he enlisted in the USAF as a Pararescueman. He completed 5 years of active duty service in the USAF and 1 year in the Reserve. During this time, he completed a single deployment to Afghanistan with further deployments prevented by minor training injuries such as broken bones. After separating from active duty, Jonathan taught high school biology, chemistry, and physics for one year in San Antonio while applying to medical school. He began medical school in 2012 with graduation pending in 2016. Jonathan is now applying for a medical residency in the field of anesthesia with the long-term goal of continuing to serve veterans in the VA system.

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Richard Desmond – Richard graduated from Florida State University in 2007 with a B.S. Business Administration and Human Resources. He received his commission as an aircraft maintenance officer and has had operational maintenance assignments at Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, GA working in the A-10C Thunderbolt II and HH-60G Pave hawk Aircraft Maintenance Units. In 2010 Des deployed to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan with the HH-60G “Pedro Maintenance” Combat Rescue Squadron performing Medical Evacuations for the Southern Helmand Province. Afterwards he served as a recruiting officer in San Antonio, Texas where he ran training, marketing, and Officer recruiting programs for 125 thousand square miles in southern Texas and west Louisiana. He is currently attending George Washington University as graduate student pursuing a M.A. in Human Resources Development.

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Albert Elumn – Albert is an Air Force veteran and actively drilling Army Guardsman. In the Air Force, Albert served as an aerospace control and warning systems operator in support of OIF, ONE, and the SOUTHCOM counterdrug mission. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Neurobiology, he matriculated into the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine’s class of 2018 and also accepted a commission in the Army National Guard as a medical student officer (00E67).


Robert Ferry, Jr. – Robert is a dedicated child advocate and native Texan. Robert attained his S.B. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale College in 1989. He graduated from medical school and completed residency training in pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). After fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Robert served full-time on the faculties of UCLA, then UTHSCSA (tenured in 2005), and most recently The University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis, where he attained the rank of full professor during 2010 (tenured 2009). Board-certified in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology, and disaster medicine, he is a prolific innovator whose research focuses primarily on diabetes.

Robert deployed twice to Iraq as an Army field and brigade surgeon and conducted training missions in Italy and Chile. He also deployed thrice to Iraq as volunteer faculty with the US Department of State, providing professional development to Iraqi physicians. After a recent command tour, Colonel Ferry is now the State Army Surgeon for the Texas Army National Guard.

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Jared French – Jared graduated from Norwich University with a B.S. in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis in 2014. Jared is a Special Forces combat veteran with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon and recently exited the US Army in the summer of 2013. Jared is a graduate student at American University School of International Service in Washington DC. He is extremely committed to aiding transitioning combat veterans as well as helping fellow veterans discover and accomplish their dreams in academia.

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Sarah Gerstein – Sarah graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2007 with a B.S. in Comparative Politics. She commissioned as a military intelligence officer and reported to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where she served as a platoon leader, executive officer, assistant operations officer, and battalion intelligence officer.  While assigned to Fort Bragg, Sarah deployed once to Iraq in 2008 and once to Afghanistan in 2010-2011. She recently completed company command in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division. She is entering graduate school at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Following graduation, she will serve as an International Relations instructor in West Point’s Department of Social Sciences.

Scott Hamilton – Scott recently retired with over 26 years of active Army service as an Engineering Officer.  During his Army career he served in a  variety of troop leadership and teaching assignments at Ft Bragg, NC, Germany, Korea, West Point, and Afghanistan.  He spent over 9 years on the faculty in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point.  He graduated with a BS from the US Military Academy a MS in Civil Engineering, a MS in Engineering Management, and a PhD in civil engineering from Stanford University (a Yellow Ribbon school).  While in the Military he graduated from Airborne, Jumpmaster, and Ranger schools and is a mater parachutist.  Currently, he is Professor and Chair of Engineering at Quinnipiac University (also a Yellow Ribbon school) where he has started a brand new engineering program from scratch.


Dave Jackson – Dave served in the Air Force for 9 years as a navigator and combat systems officer on the RC-135 RIVET JOINT and was stationed at Offutt AFB in Nebraska. He deployed 7 times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and reconnaissance operations in the Horn of Africa. He separated in September 2014 as a Captain. Dave attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied Environmental Biology and Biochemistry. Following his time in the Air Force he attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and earned a Master of Science in Project Management. Dave is currently working on his Project Management Professional certificate and will begin working on A+/S+/CompTIA IT certifications in December to position and market myself as an IT Project Manager in the Colorado Springs/Denver area.

Jonny Kim

Jonny Kim – Jonny is a 2016 M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School. Jonny found his calling in medicine during his service as a Navy SEAL Medic in the Iraq War. Following his service, Jonny attended the University of San Diego and graduated with a B.A. in mathematics. A proud Tillman Military Scholar, Jonny understands the impact military veterans can have as future leaders in healthcare, and is committed to helping veterans reach that potential. He is intimately familiar with the medical school application process and is passionate in helping veterans transition to a fulfilling career in medicine.


David Lee – David commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of Michigan and graduated with degrees in Political Science and History. As a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, he was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines where he served as a platoon commander, the assistant operations officer, and the operations officer. David is currently serving with 3rd ANGLICO as a firepower controller and will be pursuing his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his MPP at Harvard Kennedy School.

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Charlie Lewis – Charlie is a 2004 graduate from the United States Military Academy. Commissioned in the Field Artillery, he served from Fire Support Officer to Company Commander with 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, including 26 months deployed to Bayji and Mahmudiya, Iraq. From 2012 to 2015, MAJ Lewis taught American Politics and Public Policy in the Department of Social Sciences at USMA, serving as Department Executive Officer his last year. In May 2015, he became a Cyber Operations Officer. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (1 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC), Ranger Tab and Combat Action, Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, and Combat Diver badges. Charlie holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University. He is currently the Chief of the Cyber Leader College at Fort Gordon and is married to the former Marie Cicerelle, also a 2004 USMA graduate.


Meaghan Mobbs – Meaghan graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2008 with a B.S. in Comparative Politics.  She commissioned as a quartermaster officer and reported to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina where she served as an aerial delivery officer and became a platoon leader.  After successful completion of Jumpmaster school and the Joint Airdrop Inspector course she was selected to command an aerial delivery detachment and led the unit in Afghanistan. Currently a second year graduate student, Meaghan will graduate with her M.A. in Forensic Psychology from George Washington University this summer.  In the Fall Meaghan will begin her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Meaghan is a Tillman Military Scholar, a two-time Noble Argus scholarship recipient, and a National Military Family Association scholarship recipient.  

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Kyle Morse – Kyle graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He commissioned as an Infantry Lieutenant after participating in Army ROTC. Kyle was stationed in Vilseck, Germany and served as a Stryker Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and as the Squadron Logistics Officer. Following five years of service and deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, he completed the postbaccalaureate premedical program at Columbia University and is currently enrolled at Weill Cornell Medical College.

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Kevin M.A. Nguyen – Kevin graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2009 with a B.S. in Comparative Politics and Mandarin Chinese.  He commissioned into the military intelligence branch and served in 1st Brigade “Iron Horse,” 1st Cavalry Division as a platoon leader, targeting officer, HUMINT/CI team chief, and brigade AS2.  After a successful tour is Iraq and Kuwait, along with training missions in Germany and Poland, Kevin decided to explore more effective ways of training and development using educational technologies and design. He recently completed the IGNITE entrepreneurship certificate program out of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and is finishing up his M.A. in Learning, Design, and Technology at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Kevin is keen on helping transitioning service members focus on meaningful career exploration and viable transitions into the civilian world. 

Stoney Portis

Stoney Portis graduated from West Point in 2004 with a BS in International Relations. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Stoney and his Reconnaissance Troop are featured in Jake Tapper’s New York Times Best Seller, The Outpost, which tells the story of Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan, Afghanistan. Stoney is currently a graduate student at Dartmouth College, and after completing Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, he will return to teach in West Point’s Department of English and Philosophy. At West Point, Stoney captained the Army Powerlifting Team, and at Dartmouth, he plays rugby with the Tuck School of Business. A co-founder of the Dartmouth Graduate Veterans Association, Stoney is dedicated to helping veterans pursue paths in higher education.


Chris Renninger – Chris graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2008 with a B.S. in Chemistry. Following graduation from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2012, he returned to active duty and is currently a fourth year resident in orthopaedic surgery at Naval Medical Center—San Diego. His specific clinical interests include musculoskeletal oncology and orthopaedic trauma and he has research experience in clinical research, basic science and health policy.


Lisa Rich – Lisa is pursuing her master’s in Nurse Midwifery and Women’s Health at Yale School of Nursing. She is a mother of four and wife to a recently retired enlisted Marine. Lisa is a proud Tillman Military Scholar and she believes veterans and military families are uniquely poised to make a difference in the world. Following graduation she hopes to open a freestanding birth center serving at-risk populations and participate in international birth work.


Kenny Sholes – Kenny grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Following graduation from West Point with a B.S. in Economics, he served as an officer in the United States Army and deployed to Iraq twice. Having completed his military commitment, his interests in transnational terrorism led him to a job in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). In his most recent positions, he served as the NCTC Director’s daily intelligence briefer and has worked within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to help pilot the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. Kenny is currently working towards his Masters in Public Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Outside of professional pursuits, Kenny enjoys time spent with his wife and young son, as well as running ultramarathons and playing tennis. 

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Elizabeth Verardo – Liz graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2007 with a B.S. in Political Science. She received her commission as a Second Lieutenant in the aviation branch, and attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, qualifying as an AH-64D Apache Pilot. Liz deployed twice to Afghanistan: in 2009 with 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade as a Platoon Leader, and again in 2013 as a Company Commander with the 101st Airborne Division. Following graduation from Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, she will continue to serve the Army as an American Politics, Policy, and Strategy instructor in West Point’s Department of Social Sciences.


Jared Wymer – Jared grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and joined the United States Marine Corps in 2006. He spent three years as a logistician and five years within the intelligence community, transitioning from the military in August of 2014. Throughout eight years on active duty, Jared completed his BA in Psychology and an MBA. Jared is pursuing his PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Seattle Pacific University as a member of the class of 2018.