Celebrating Our Veteran Scholars
Colin Augustson, Class of 2024
Born and raised in rural Illinois, Colin enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Anti-Tank Missile Gunner in 2016. Colin was assigned to First Battalion, Third Marine Regiment aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii where he completed three deployments to the Indo-Pacific area of operations that included Okinawa, mainland Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines as a corporal. During these deployments he trained, supervised, and assisted joint service components and partner nation forces. Colin is a graduate of the Advanced Infantry Marine Course – a combat leadership school designed to train infantry squad leaders.
Colin’s greatest ambition in attending UChicago is in surrounding himself with leaders and thinkers…he believes that the students and faculty members at the University embody the spirit of human achievement and innovation!
Ian Tierney, Class of 2024
Growing up outside Buffalo, New York, Ian enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps out of high school where he served as a hydraulic/pneumatic mechanic. His service has had him stationed in Hawaii and California in a number of supervisory roles before being selected to attend the Non-Destructive Inspection School and serving as a technician in that role. Ian’s work with the MALS-11 resulted in his being awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and a transfer to serve as the Airframes Division Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
Ian’s commitment to service has seen him start a philanthropic group for service members, develop a program to eliminate drunk driving on base, and train as an aerial observer on the CH-53E. He is excited to take this same commitment to service with him to UChicago – impacting the community while pursuing academic success!
Aaron Warner, Class of 2024
Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman (medic) where he served on active duty for two years on Fort Belvoir, Virginia earning certifications, maintaining medical equipment, and helping patients. Aaron’s reason for joining the military was grounded in his deeply held belief in service. This is a belief he would like to keep with him moving forward.
Aaron is most excited to study History at UChicago. He is looking forward to engaging with faculty in research!
Arturo Gutierrez de Velasco, Class of 2024
Immigrating from Mexico at a young age, Arturo enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his country one year after being naturalized as a U.S. citizen. During his service as an intelligence analyst, Arturo participated in security operations in Korea – training foreign soldiers and monitoring the activity of the North Korean missile program.p>
Arturo is excited to study biology with a pre-med track in the College, hoping to continue his service to others as a medical doctor. He is looking forward to diving into research life at UChicago and is eager to engage with public health policy discussions.
Breanna Maestas, Class of 2024
Breanna was raised in Denver, Colorado and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after graduating in 2011 where she served as an operations intelligence apprentice and mission intelligence coordinator. Breanna’s service saw her assigned to A.F. Special Operations Command with two deployments to Afghanistan in support of special operations intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance collection. After completing active duty service, Breanna supported U.S. Army operations as a contractor along with her current role in the A.F. Reserves supporting U.S. Space Command.
Breanna is excited to bring her experiences to UChicago as she pursues a career that blends the leadership skills the military cultivated with the intellectual rigor and diverse perspectives the University embodies.
Daniel Lopez, Class of 2024
Daniel enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps out of high school, serving as an aircrew freight and maintenance supervisor that coordinated the logistics behind loading the KC-130 aircraft, ensuring safe and expeditious transport operations. Daniel’s service took him to Okinawa, Japan along with humanitarian missions in multiple countries in the Pacific. During these missions, Daniel discovered a passion for providing relief for countries devastated by natural disasters.
Daniel is excited to further explore these passions at UChicago! He looks forward to building networks along with gaining academic and industry experience. Daniel sees the College as a place where he and his peers can continually improve themselves, and by extension improve our nation.
Robert Zamora, Class of 2024
Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2014 to serve as an intelligence analyst. Originally from Plainfield, Illinois, Robert was working full- time and attending community college when he realized he was not making the impact he desired and sought the opportunity to serve his country. Robert trained in Georgia to jump out of planes, becoming an airborne paratrooper. This led to his being stationed in North Carolina with the 3rd Special Forces Group where he deployed twice to Chad and once to Nigeria. While on deployment Robert trained and worked with local military forces, host government officials, and allied governments. During his time at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria he worked with agencies including the CIA, FBI, NGA, and NSA that ultimately led to his being chosen to brief the Deputy Director of National Intelligence.
Robert continues to crave opportunities for growth (mentally, emotionally, and professionally). He is looking forward to using his experiences at UChicago to continue his service and support the greater Chicago community.
Truman Custer, Class of 2024
Truman enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2015. Beginning his service on the patrol boat Sailfish in the New York Harbor, he was tasked with search and rescue operations, port and waterway coastal security, and maritime law enforcement. Truman continued his service with the Coast Guard Cryptologic Unit in San Antonio, Texas followed by missions in five countries and accumulating over 70,000 miles at sea. While in the western Pacific he assisted the United Nations in sanctions enforcement against North Korea along with conducting joint exercises with foreign coast guards.
Truman is excited to join the community that values critical thinking and lifelong learning at UChicago. His is inspired to test himself and quotes Franklin D. Roosevelt – “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”!
Seth Cohen, Class of 2024
Seth enlisted as a U.S. Marine in 2016 where he served in the 2nd Tank Battalion as a communications specialist and radio operator achieving the rank of sergeant. During his time on active duty, Seth oversaw the accountability of valuable communications equipment, developed training exercises throughout his unit, and oversaw the care of Marines under his leadership.
Seth is excited to study mathematics and immerse himself in the academic rigor that UChicago is known for!
Jason Marshall, Class of 2024
Jason served in the U.S. Army for six years as an unmanned aerial vehicle operator flying an aircraft called the Gray Eagle on over two- hundred missions that provided air-support for reconnaissance, combat, and rescue operations. Jason earned the position of aircraft mission coordinator with the responsibility of managing up to four simultaneous flight missions within combat and training environments.
Jason is most excited about engaging in scholarship at UChicago – delving into physics research while challenging himself and his peers to be both better students and better people!
Ivy Yahner, Class of 2024
Originally from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania Ivy enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2013 to serve as a cryptologic linguist. She attended the Defense Language Institute where she studied Chinese Mandarin and studied abroad in Taiwan. She was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina as part of the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade and deployed to Kandahar Afghanistan where she was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Ivy’s love for language and an academic challenge has her excited to begin course work at UChicago studying Russian and East European Studies.
Tyler Jackson, Class of 2024
Born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia, Tyler enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a jet engine mechanic in 2011. Tyler later transitioned to work as a Marine Security Guard with Security Augmentation Units at various diplomatic missions abroad to include Sudan, Kenya, Pakistan, Germany, and Norway. It was during these diplomatic assignments where he developed an interest in global studies.
Tyler credits UChicago’s welcoming and engaging community as part of its appeal to veterans like himself. He is excited to begin challenging coursework and immerse himself in research and professional opportunities!
Kevin Schmid, Class of 2024
Kevin grew up in Cary, North Carolina and comes from a family that has generationally been dedicated to service – great uncles in WWII, both grandfathers service in the Korean War, brothers currently in service, and a father who dedicates his life to service as a NYC Fireman. Kevin himself enlisted at 17 and spent 5 years serving with the U.S. Special Operations Command deploying to Central Asia and East Africa. During his service Kevin worked with multiple U.S. Special Forces detachments and SEAL teams crediting their leadership in influencing him to set his sights on a UChicago education.
Kevin is excited to experience all that UChicago has to offer, fully immersing himself in professional development opportunities and academics.
Nicholas Golin, Class of 2024
Nicholas is a native of the Chicago area, where after graduating from Stevenson H.S. and attending the University of Missouri for a year, he decided that he needed to fulfill his life-long goal of serving as a Marine. Nicholas enlisted as a Marine infantryman and spent his career in 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines stationed in North Carolina. During his service, Nicholas embarked on two separate Marine Expeditionary Unit deployments, spending a total of 13 months at sea and completing training exercises with foreign militaries.
Nicholas was known in his platoon as the “unofficial financial advisor,” always offering help to his fellow Marines with everything from balancing their budget, setting up their retirement plans, or helping them engage with additional resources and finance professionals. His passion for helping others with their finances further catalyzes his interests at UChicago where he will study economics!
Eric Snyder, Class of 2024
Eric grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago before joining the U.S. Army as a medic. During his seven years of service, Eric was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the Special Operations Medical Detachment where he trained with the Office of Strategic Warfare in their Regional Support Medic Course. Eric deployed to Syria and Iraq in addition to two diplomatic missions in Honduras where he helped with their medical infrastructure.
Eric travelled to Rishikesh, India to earn Yoga certification as well as further obtaining his Warriors-at-ease certification in order to support his non-profit work for veterans, first responders, and trauma survivors. Eric is excited to bring his passions to UChicago and study with some of the greatest minds in academics!
Conrad Farinola, Class of 2024
Growing up in Los Angeles and Seattle, Conrad enlisted in the U.S. Army just shy of his 19th birthday to serve as an intelligence analyst and infantryman. It was after enlisting that he began to realize what he was truly capable of, seeking out highly stressful situations and standing out amongst his peers. Conrad quickly earned the opportunity to showcase his leadership potential and was billeted as a team manager, unit armorer, and Company Intelligence Support Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. His service included briefing his division commander on intelligence reports along with assessment of regional enemy threats and positions.
Conrad is excited to begin his studies at UChicago – a place he says is beyond “pre-Army Conrad’s” wildest dreams. He looks forward to the intellectually enriching environment, being constantly challenged, and building relationships with his peers and faculty.