Cadets honored for academics


Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

Congratulations to ROTC cadets Nathan Brand and Kaitlyn Lippert, who were honored with full scholarships on Sept. 8 to continue their education at Mercyhurst University.

The merit-based scholarships will offer full coverage of college tuition, as well as an allowance for textbooks, school supplies and required equipment.

“I am honored to have been awarded this scholarship,” said Lippert. “It has shown me what I am capable of and what I will be able to achieve in my future.”

Lippert, a freshman intelligence studies major, first applied for the National 4-Year Scholarship in her senior year of high school. Inspired by her grandfathers who served in the army during World War II and the Korean War, she felt it was her calling in life to serve the nation.

She continued through the process, interviewing with a Lieutenant Colonel at a local university, earning her way onto an Order of Merit List, and contracting at the end of August.

Similarly, Brand, a sophomore Intelligence Studies major, also applied in his senior year of high school when he first became interested in ROTC.

“I was looking for a way to join the military and still get the unique degree I want,” Brand said

Once the decision was made to apply and join ROTC, Brand underwent a process that examined his grades, extracurricular activities, physical fitness and sports performance. He was notified of his award at the end of his senior year, prior to joining the Mercyhurst Company.

With this scholarship, the two cadets will be able to focus on their futures, including military service.

After graduation, Lippert plans to commission with the Army and pursue a career in the intelligence or cyber security fields. Brand has an interest in active duty and, after four or five years of service, plans to switch to federal law enforcement as a special agent.

Both cadets see the benefits of ROTC to extend far beyond a future without college debt.

“I am honored that I will be able to pursue my life’s goal and that I will be able to work with so many other individuals who share similar pursuits in life,” said Brand. “ROTC has taught me a lot about myself and helped develop many important skills. I’ve found that I am significantly more confident with my public speaking and that my organizational skills have improved.”

Lippert shared similar sentiments of gratitude.

“It has already provided me with the opportunity to lead my peers and be a part of a unique group of students,” Lippert said.