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USF student veteran awarded prestigious national scholarship, honor

The Tillman Scholars Program supports active duty men service members, veterans and military spouses by investing in education professional development.
Credit: University of South Florida
2022 Tilman Scholarship recipient, Rio Tate.

TAMPA, Fla. — A University of South Florida student is among 60 U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses to earn the 2022 Tillman Scholarship through the Pat Tillman Foundation, the university announced in a news release. 

U.S. Air Force veteran Rio Tate is the only student from a Florida public university in this year's award class, according to the release. 

The Tillman Scholars Program, which was founded in 2008, supports active duty service members, veterans and military spouses by investing in education and professional development.

“I’m just filled with gratitude and happiness with being named a 2022 Tillman Scholar,” said Tate, a first-generation college student. “I’ve always had the Tillman Foundation in mind because I really think that they prioritize service, which is something I’m extremely passionate about in addition to research.”

Tate's goal is to earn his doctoral degree and to continue his research in cognitive research. He is currently in USF's aging studies program. In a statement to USF, Tate said after graduation he plans to be a part of an organization that seeks to reduce the prevalence of dementia, which will bridge health disparities.

“The university is so grateful to the Tillman Foundation for supporting the academic goals of hardworking, driven and passionate student veterans, like Rio, so they can obtain an education that allows them to make additional contributions to our nation,” said Wayne Taylor, director of the USF Office of Veteran Success.

Per the release, the Pat Tillman Foundation has invested more than $24 million in scholarships and named more than 800 Tillman Scholars at nearly 150 academic institutions nationwide, who are selected based on their service, leadership and potential.

Twenty-one USF students have received the award since the first class of Tillman Scholars in 2009, according to school officials.

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