Warrior-Scholar Project Announces

Inaugural Cohort of Diana Davis Spencer Scholars

The program offers veterans expanded support throughout their graduate school education and beyond

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — National nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) is excited to welcome 16 military veterans to its inaugural cohort of Diana Davis Spencer Scholars. Thanks to an investment by the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the program provides support and mentorship opportunities to WSP alumni as they continue on their higher education journeys throughout graduate and professional schools, including law and medical schools in addition to masters and Ph.D. programs. 

Earning a bachelor’s degree and gaining acceptance into graduate school is an exciting new chapter for military veterans, but it can also be an overwhelming process to navigate. Diana Davis Spencer Scholars receive expanded support as they embark on this new endeavor, including a step-by-step roadmap to graduate school admission and success. Additionally, scholars work with designated mentors to receive one-on-one support based on their unique needs and establish a set of goals and academic pathways. Scholars also have access to mentoring sessions; receive guidance when applying for funding, fellowships, and internships; and have career shadowing opportunities. 

“The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation has been a transformative WSP supporter for many years. We are deeply grateful for this most recent investment, which allows us to stand up bespoke graduate school supports for talented student veterans. We need many more enlisted veterans in top graduate school programs in all disciplines throughout the country. This inaugural cohort is just the beginning,” said Ryan Pavel, CEO of WSP. 

The Inaugural Diana Davis Spencer Scholars Are: 

  • Conor Abbamonte, Navy, Columbia University alum 
  • Gerson Anton-Juarez, Army, Syracuse University alum
  • Derek Auguste, Army, University of Miami alum
  • Jonathan Banasihan, Navy, American University alum
  • Marcus Bartolome, Marine Corps, senior at Columbia University
  • Angelo Digirolamo, Navy, senior at Columbia University 
  • Lisa Elijah, Air Force, University of Oklahoma alum
  • Harry Foster, Marine Corps, junior at Columbia University 
  • Manny Johnson, Marine Corps, Liberty University alum 
  • DeLia Kennedy, Navy, senior at Hampton University 
  • Oren Morgan, Army, junior at University of California-Los Angeles
  • Andrew Nguyen, Army, senior at Yale University 
  • Daniel Reyes, Navy, senior at Vassar College
  • Moira Ryan, Army, senior at Rivier College
  • Tracy Santos, Marine Corps, junior at University of Rhode Island 
  • Patrick Trujillo, Marine Corps, San Diego State University alum

Read their full bios here

WSP launched its first program at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Since then, the program has expanded to 21 of America’s top schools and has helped more than 1,700 veterans through academic boot camps and workshops. The introductory academic experience has a lasting impact: 90% of WSP alumni have already completed or are on track to complete their undergraduate degrees, an increase of 18% over the national veteran average. 

About Warrior-Scholar Project

Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) empowers enlisted veterans and service members to excel at four-year universities. Through intensive and immersive one- to two-week academic boot camps, participants gain skills required for success and support for the cultural shift from the military to higher education at top-tier schools. Throughout WSP’s free resident education programs, students are traditionally housed on campus, and engage in challenging discussions with accomplished professors, receiving tailored instruction on key skills like analytical reading and college-level writing. Warrior-Scholar Project is a national nonprofit with programs at public and private colleges and universities across the country. For more information, visit www.warrior-scholar.org.

About the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation 

The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation espouses the values upon which our nation was founded: freedom and individual responsibility. The mission of the foundation is to promote national security, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, free enterprise, and to enhance quality of life by supporting the arts, education, global understanding, health advancements, and preservation of the environment.