Skip to main content

Veterans

Supporting any veteran who has served our nation proudly, and encouraging them to pursue the full extent of their dreams of higher education

Veterans at UChicago

Veteran Profiles

Jahquan Registe photo
Jahquan Registe
United States Marine Corps
Biological Sciences Major

Jahquan was born and raised in Portland, Maine. He enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps in 2014 to work in Ground Electronics Transmission Systems. Jahquan was assigned to the 1st Maintenance Battalion which is responsible for repairing all equipment ranging from vehicles to satellites west of the Mississippi River. During his active duty service, Jahquan fixed radios and other electronic equipment valued in excess of $25M.

Veronica Watt photo
Veronica Watt
United States Air Force
Biology Major

Veronica is from Whiting, Indiana and joined the U.S. Air Force in 2016 to serve as a Surgical Technologist. While on active duty, Veronica was stationed at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Her work included assisting in the operating rooms and serving on the front lines of COVID-19 care.

Simon Joseph photo
Simon Joseph
United States Marine Corps
Psychology Major

Growing up in Tomah, Wisconsin, Simon enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Radio Operator. During his four years of service, Simon was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA and deployed with a special purpose group. The group was tasked with securing the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and responding to missile strikes. While deployed, Simon facilitated a bilateral exercise with Saudi Arabian Marines that strengthened diplomatic relations.

Dallas Wolf photo
Dallas Wolf
United States Air Force
Economics Major

Dallas was born and raised in Kansas City and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a Munitions Systems Specialist after graduating high school. During his eight years in the military, Dallas completed overseas tours in Korea, Guam, and Italy as a radio dispatcher, honor guard, and security manager. Dallas was awarded the John Levitow Award for being the top graduate from Airman Leadership School.

James Slattery photo
James Slattery
United States Marine Corps
Computer Science Major

James is from Wisconsin and grew up in various locations across the United States and Germany. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves out of high school to serve as a Food Service Specialist. Since completing training in 2018, James has worked with the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 23, and Combat Logistics Battalion 453 where he was awarded a meritorious mast and certificate of commendation for his work developing a full-stack software Solution, NoLibo, for Marine Detachment Fort Lee.

Brett Lynch photo
Brett Lynch
United States Marine Corps
Economics Major

Brett was raised in Sarasota, Florida and enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps as a Ground Electronics Radio Technician. While stationed at Camp Lejune Brett served as a Onslow Beach lifeguard where saved four people from drowning. This experience inspired him to become a Marine Corps water survival instructor and earn the distinction of honor graduate at the challenging school. Brett conducted complex training for hundreds of Marines in various water survival courses.

Benjamin Wu photo
Benjamin Wu
United States Marine Corps
Chemistry Major

Benjamin was born in Shanghai, China and spent most of his adolescence in Japan, Germany, and the United States before joining the U.S. Marine Corps as a MV-22 Tiltroter Crew Chief in 2016. During his five years of military service, he witnessed the capabilities of modern emergency medicine while performing a number of aerial emergency medical evacuations and humanitarian relief missions around the world.

Ryan Baumgart photo
Ryan Baumgart
United States Air Force
Creative Writing Major

Ryan is originally from Phenix City, Alabama where he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a Public Affairs Specialist. He was stationed with the 1st Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina. While with the unit, Ryan documented many military exercises and humanitarian efforts along with an overseas deployment.

Mike Nichols photo
Mike Nichols
United States Navy
Economics Major

Originally from Virginia, Mike spent half his childhood in Italy and Germany before returning to his home state. In 2013 he enlisted in the Navy as a Nuclear Electronics Technician and volunteered for submarine duty. After completing two years of initial training he served as an instructor at the Nuclear Power Training Unit in South Carolina. He has been a member of four different submarine crews and most recently served aboard the PCU Massachusetts.

William Cato Photo
William Cato
United States Army
Psychology Major

Originally from Indiana, Will joined the U.S. Army in 2005 and was selected for assignment to the Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment as one of two counterintelligence personnel. His assignment was marked by extensive overseas travel and operations in support of the Joint Special Operations community (Special Forces, Rangers, SEALs, and Pararescue). Throughout his career, Will earned top honors in multiple schools that included the Army’s CI Agent, SOAR(A)’s Green Platoon, and Senior Leader Courses.

Charlie Pivar Photo
Charlie Pivar
United States Marine Corps
Political Science Major

Charlie grew up in Highland Park, Illinois before moving to Florida where he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Infantry Assault Marine in 2017. He was stationed with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Charlie served as the assault section leader and was responsible for the employment of rockets and demolitions throughout his unit. Charlie also served as an instructor of water survival and was a fast-rope master.

Christopher Boren Photo
Christopher Boren
United States Navy
Molecular Engineering Major

Originally from Hawaii, Chris enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2016 and served aboard the flagship of the Virginia-class nuclear submarine fleet – the USS Virginia. While there, he developed his underwater navigation skills as a Quartermaster along with his inertial navigation systems knowledge needed to maintain the Virginia’s war fighting capabilities at sea.

Samuel Salazar Photo
Samuel Salazar
United States Navy
Economics Major

Samuel grew up in South Florida and enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating high school in 2015. Samuel completed training at the Navy Dive School and served with the SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team in Little Creek, Virginia where he deployed four times conducting clandestine diving operations onboard U.S. Navy submarines.

Zane Ashby Photo
Zane Ashby
United States Marine Corps
Biological Sciences Major

Originally from south central Pennsylvania, Zane served eight years as an Infantry Rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC where he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines and 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. Earning the rank of Sergeant, he served as an Infantry Squad Leader, Scout Sniper Team Navigation, and a Current Operations NCO for Marine Special Operations Command-East. 

Robert McAllister Photo
Robert McAllister
United States Marine Corps
Creative Writing Major

Robert was raised in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Aircrewman and after subsequent training was later assigned the specific designation of Crew Chief for the V-22 Osprey. Upon completion of his training, Robert was assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron One where he crewed Ospreys to support presidential lifts across the U.S. 

Natnael Getahun Photo
Natnael Getahun
United States Army
Philosophy Major

Natnael was born in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, but spent most of his life in Dallas, Texas, before moving to Pennsylvania. After a year of studying computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Natnael decided to take a break from college and joined the U.S. Army as an Infantryman. During his three years of service, Natnael went on two rotations to Poland and deployed to Kuwait.

Shane James Photo
Shane James
United States Army
Biological Sciences Major

Originally from Louisiana, Shane moved to Panama with his family as a child before returning to live in North Carolina. Shane enlisted in the U.S. Army out of high school where he served for eleven years as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant, ultimately earning the rank of Sergeant First Class. Shane deployed to Afghanistan, Colombia, and Honduras while stationed at 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). 

Quinn Dziwura Photo
Quinn Dziwura
United States Army
Public Policy Major

Quinn grew up outside Atlanta where he enlisted in the U.S. Army out of high school. He completed Basic Training, Airborne School, and the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program before being assigned to the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. While assigned to his unit, Quinn deployed to Afghanistan twice in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel and graduated the military’s premier leadership course – the U.S. Army Ranger School in 2018.

Cayden Bruce Photo
Cayden Bruce
United States Air Force
Computer Science Major

Cayden grew up in Sparta, Wisconsin, where he joined the U.S. Air Force out of high school. He served two years at Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall in England as a Cyber Security Technician where he took lead in modernizing the United Kingdom’s Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile systems. He was then stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, where he secured and managed the Air Force Special Operations Command’s network.

Abigail Whalen Photo
Abigail Whalen
United States Marine Corps
Psychology Major

Abigail was born and raised in Massillon, Ohio. She enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps in 2014 where she served in Air Support Operations. Abigail spent most of her enlistment in Cherry Point, North Carolina, at Marine Air Support Squadron 1. Outside of the regular duties of her MOS, she led and organized multiple squadron and base-wide events for hundreds of Marines and their families. 

Nicolas Rinn Photo
Nicolas Rinn
United States Air Force
Computer Science Major

Nicolas grew up in Verona, Italy, where he first read about the University of Chicago. In 2017, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to work as a Telecommunications Technician. During his three and a half years of active duty, Nicolas repaired first responder radios and later joined the aeromedical evacuation teams. 

Luke Yelenick Photo
Luke Yelenick
United States Army
History Major

Luke was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where after high school he joined the U.S. Army. Luke served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, deploying four times to Afghanistan and working within inter-agency teams. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and served as a team leader in a communications company. 

Nikko Wheeler Photo
Nikko Wheeler
United States Navy
Physics Major

Raised in Iowa, Nikko spent a year on the Iowa State University football team before enlisting in the Navy in 2015. After completing Naval Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician School, he served as an EOD Technician in both an operational and intelligence capacity. 

A Holistic Approach to Supporting Veterans

UChicago takes a holistic approach to Veterans Services with a “one-stop-shop model” that provides admission support and access – a customized application process, dedicated career counseling and programming, academic advising, social programming, tailored financial aid, unique housing, and student support services. UChicago’s Veteran Scholars cohort includes representation from all 5 branches of the U.S. Military with occupations ranging from Infantry and Special Forces to logistics and linguistics.

UChicago Veterans Scholars
"UChicago emulates the commitment to excellence that I felt while serving in the Special Operations Community."—Matthew Stark, Army Veteran, UChicago Veteran Scholar, Class of 2023

Transition Program

The transition from military service to the campus environment can be a difficult one. UChicago has created a pre-orientation program offering academic preparation designed to maximize individual potential. The program also connects our Veteran Scholars to VA services, offers an introduction to career programming coupled with professional development opportunities, and builds relationships between students.

  • Providing an academic focus rooted in calculus and methods/ writing curriculum that offers the UChicago level of rigor without the impact of permanent grades.
  • Connecting students with VA Support; professionals in healthcare enrollment, claims processes, and benefits ahead of classes beginning.
  • Building relationships among scholars (through social opportunities and various workshops)
What I really like about UChicago’s academic environment is that inquiry doesn’t stop at 'I’ve given you this problem, solve it my way.' It actually opens the field up to 'Here’s a number of ways you can tackle it, I want to see what your creativity and your intellectual rigor produces.
-
Alex Kilbourne
Army Veteran, UChicago Veteran Scholar, Class of 2023
UChicago Veteran Scholars
"The students and alumni are known throughout the world for their academic achievement and accomplishments in many different fields of study." —Colin Augustson, Marine Corps Veteran, UChicago Veteran Scholar, Class of 2024

Dedicated Academic Advisor

The path to graduation can be overwhelming at times. Decisions regarding class selection, declaring majors/minors – and associating career and graduate school paths with those decisions are common. UChicago includes academic advising for our Veteran Scholars designed to draw from individual backgrounds and interests, while offering an intersection of services that provides a one-stop-shop to support their success.

  • Support/identify your academic goals
  • Faculty outreach
  • Dedicated no cost tutoring
UChicago fosters a culture of inclusion and engagement, no matter your background. Since before I even arrived on campus I felt welcomed, supported, and empowered as a student.
-
Kaedy Puckett
Navy Veteran, UChicago Veteran Scholar, Class of 2023

Programs and Support

Being a Veteran Scholar at UChicago means access to a dedicated one-stop-shop of services and programming that enables the student veteran throughout their College experience.

  • Social Programming to strengthen relationships among student veterans as well as with the campus community
  • Career Programming providing customized events, workshops, and engagements for student veterans and employers
  • Academic Advising tailored to the individual student veteran's academic goals and desired career outcome while providing access to tutoring and support
  • Professional Development opportunities including a speaker series and opportunities for engagement
  • Supporting Financial Needs to include support with tuition and fees, cost of living, healthcare and identifying gaps with VA education benefits to provide seamless support
"The Veteran Scholars program brings together veterans from different backgrounds, branches, and job occupations and instantly provides us a network of people who believe veterans can succeed at elite institutions such as the University of Chicago."—Jason Guba, Marine Corps Veteran, UChicago Veteran Scholar, Class of 2023

Army ROTC is a registered student organization offered on campus at the University of Chicago. Students participate in physical training, classes, and leadership labs on campus.  The training a student receives in Army ROTC provides leadership development, military skills and career training. In addition to joining a growing community, there are opportunities for scholarships which include tuition and a stipend. Upon completion of the program, an Army ROTC graduate is commissioned as an officer in the Army. 

More information is available at UChicago Army ROTC

"I love UChicago ROTC because when I can start my day surrounded by a group of people who care about me and build me both physically and mentally, my college experience is inevitably phenomenal."—Cadet Jonathan Merrill '23
image of ROTC oath
A recent graduate being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army

UChicago is committed to supporting our Veteran Scholars. The College participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. In addition to VA benefits, UChicago’s generous need-based financial aid program may supplement your benefits toward overall cost of attendance.

We are also happy to waive your application fee.

"The University of Chicago Veteran Scholars program is one of the top Ivy/ Ivy plus programs for veterans. From financial aid and on-campus resources to personalized academic and career advising for veterans, UChicago has proven that it not only wants high-performing veterans on campus, but that it is well-prepared to fully support them. I am beyond grateful to be a student and veteran at UChicago."—Kaedy Puckett, Navy Veteran, UChicago Veteran Scholar, Class of 2023