Earlier this month, J. Michael Haynie, Ph.D., vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and executive director of the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families, was appointed by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough to serve on…
Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Announces 2021 Scholarship Recipients
The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is proud to recognize eight outstanding scholars, as part of the University’s commitment to veterans and military-connected students. These awards are possible thanks to philanthropic commitment from generous donors. They provide distinguished military-connected students with meaningful financial assistance to pursue their educations at Syracuse University.
Bounome Chanphouang ’23
Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Undergraduate Student Veteran Scholarship
While he was on active duty, Chanphouang participated in the military visual journalism program in the Newhouse School. “It was my snippet of college, and I loved it,” he says. “The Newhouse School’s television, radio and film program truly helped me grow as a videographer and a storyteller.”
He applied his skills at American Forces Network (AFN) in Naples, Italy, and finished his active service at AFN Souda Bay in 2020. He returned to Syracuse University after an honorable discharge to pursue his degree and continues to serve in the Navy reserve. He appreciates the University’s many opportunities for veterans and how his overall experience has been safe and inclusive as well.
“I’m glad I came back to complete my studies as a more well-rounded adult,” he says. He believes the Navy instilled his strong leadership skills and gave him opportunities to continue his success at Syracuse University.
The OVMA Undergraduate Student Veteran Scholarship will help give him peace of mind and assist with financial commitments. After he graduates, Chanphouang plans to use his advanced videography and content creation skills to travel the world in search of interesting people with stories to tell.
Kamileh Rivera ’23
Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Military Family Member Scholarship
Coming to Syracuse University from Puerto Rico was a big mental and physical transition for Rivera. The daughter of a veteran, Rivera came alone to a new environment, which she says was scary enough, not to mention learning the ins and outs of college life.
“It was definitely a big moment for me, yet I knew Syracuse had this amazing support system that I could lean on at any time,” she says.
The donor-funded scholarship will help to relieve financial hardships for her and her family. Also, “it’s rewarding to know that someone believes in my education,” she says. “I feel honored to be chosen and will not take this opportunity for granted.”
Rivera plans to continue her education and pursue a master’s degree in public health and attend medical school to become a doctor. “Back home in Puerto Rico, we have a great medical professional deficit, and my goal after graduating from medical school is to go home and give back to the community that saw me grow up and develop into the woman I am today.”
Megan Neuman L’23
Gerald B. Faigle Jr. and Roberta M. Faigle Student Veteran Endowed Scholarship
As a military spouse, Neuman understands how military service comes with unique sacrifices. Her husband is a structural engineer, serves in the New York National Guard and recently deployed for months in support of COVID relief. She takes military-connected challenges in stride and focuses even more on her demanding coursework.
“Making the Dean’s List the first semester of the first year in law school was a major accomplishment for me,” she says. “That, coupled with receiving the top grade in a required first-year course, solidified all the hard work that semester…we made the best of it.”
Neuman describes the financial stress this award helps to alleviate as unquantifiable.
“This scholarship helps ease the burden of my husband’s irregular schedule, and he can go on orders knowing our financial situation at home is more secure,” she says. Neuman is looking forward to working with her father, who also graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law, to continue the family business.
Gracie Guilette ’24
Richardson Family Scholarship for Military Family Members and Dependents
Attending Syracuse University first as a remote student while weathering the pandemic and working a part-time job in her native Wisconsin was challenging for Guilette. She finished high school with a year of college credits, which enabled her to take a gap semester to work as a long-term preschool substitute teacher. She knows that her experience tested her drive, grit and academic strength, and it also made her a better student.
“Now that I am finally on campus as a sophomore, I am incredibly grateful to have been given the chance to come and study in such an amazing atmosphere,” she says. “I learn new things every day, challenge myself to work harder and am truly becoming the person I was born to be.”
Guilette is a dependent of an Army National Guard veteran. With a dual major in applied data analytics and finance, Guilette envisions a career in financial technology where she can give back to the communities that raised her and uplift those with less experience.
“This scholarship will drastically impact the course of my studying,” she says. “It will allow me to continue to pursue my education, take the financial hardships and pressure off, fully focus on my studies and truly embrace my role as a student at the university.”
Hakim Morris ’24
Lois A. and Patricia H. Mautino Veteran Endowed Scholarship
Morris served in the Army for just under four years before coming to Syracuse as a full-time student. He is proud to have successfully balanced his online college classes with an extremely demanding work environment while deployed overseas.
Transitioning to college life on campus has been a challenge, and support from the Student Veterans Organization and other resources have made Syracuse University a great fit for him.
Morris is interested in policy studies and hopes to continue his education in law school and practice corporate law. So far, he’s had a chance to explore his interests in media and writing through Citrus TV and Renegade Magazine. He works several jobs as well, and he sees this scholarship as an opportunity to further his education while having more time to study and pursue his academic goals.
With this award, “I am one step closer to achieving my ultimate goal of helping others and making an impact,” he says.
Jesus Adkins ’23
Flanik Family Scholarship for Student Veterans
Adkins credits his Syracuse University education with putting a world perspective on what he does in the military. Adkins served in the Navy on board the USS Tennessee as a machinist mate and serves on active duty as the quality assurance inspector for Trident Refit Facility Kings Bay in Georgia.
After he finishes his undergraduate studies, Adkins plans to apply to Officer Candidate School and continue his Navy service. “I feel that I’ve had so much help in my life, and now I want to give back to the absolute best of my ability,” he says.
This scholarship has eased the financial burden of higher education and bolstered Adkins’ confidence as a student. Along the way, Adkins’ proudest accomplishment has been his family. “Focusing on what matters most is the best anyone can ever hope to do,” he says. “For me, that focus is my family.”
Curtis Cline ’25
Wilder J. Leavitt and Mary P. Morningstar Scholarship for Military-Connected Students
While he was stationed at Fort Drum, New York, Cline experienced Syracuse University when his daughter came to Upstate University Golisano Children’s Hospital for a minor procedure, and he ventured onto campus. “The area, people, architecture and school pride won me over immediately,” he says. “At that moment I knew I would be a student here someday.”
With 11 years of active-duty Army experience as an Apache helicopter maintainer and three combat tours, Cline is drawn to staying within the rotary aircraft and defense contracting industry.
He’s also compelled to work in space exploration as part of an innovative team. Either way, he knows his major in aerospace engineering will enable him to pursue advanced degrees and prepare him for numerous exciting paths.
“Everyone I’ve encountered is motivated and gives their all,” he says. “In this short time, I have grown great respect for the university.”
“I took a leap of faith when I decided to become a full-time student,” he says. He credits the Wilder J. Leavitt and Mary P. Morningstar Scholarship for Military-Connected Students with helping him focus on his education, alleviate financial risk and stay on his path to success. “I can ensure I made the right decision,” he says.
Cayden Lombard ’24
Wilder J. Leavitt and Mary P. Morningstar Scholarship for Military-Connected Students
Lombard is a decorated second-year scholar, earning distinctions for academic achievement, fitness and spirit. As a member of Air Force ROTC, he plans to commission as an officer upon graduation, working in Air Force cybersecurity. He credits his military experience with helping him recognize that today’s sacrifices help him to prepare a better future.
“My time here has shaped me to believe that I am capable of doing incredible things if I put time and effort into them,” he says. “I have had an overall positive experience because of the friendships I’ve made and mentors I’ve med throughout both Army and Air Force ROTC.
Lombard appreciates the Wilder J. Leavitt and Mary P. Morningstar Scholarship for Military-Connected Students as an opportunity to lower his post-graduation debt and put him on path to one day give back to the community that supported him.
“It shows support for the military as a whole and encourages those who serve to never stop moving forward,” he says.