Four Rutgers University–Camden student veterans have been named the inaugural recipients of the Jeremy Kane Scholarship: Carla Cooper, Mark Bodrog, Nam Dy, and Henderson Tyrrell. Each recipient has received an award in the amount of $750.
“Being a veteran myself, I am extremely proud that the university as a whole came together in a little more than four years to raise more than $78,000 for the Jeremy Kane Scholarship,” says Fred Davis, director of the Office of Veterans Affairs at Rutgers–Camden. “I believe that the four recipients reflect Jeremy’s commitment to serving his country and attaining a higher degree.”
The scholarship is funded through the annual Jeremy Kane 5K Memorial Run. Every year, hundreds gather in Cherry Hill to participate in the benefit, held in honor of Kane’s ultimate sacrifice. The 22-year-old Cherry Hill resident was a lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps and a criminal justice major at Rutgers University–Camden when he was killed by a suicide bomb attack while on patrol in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan in January 2010.
For more details about the scholarship and application process, contact Davis at (856) 225-2791 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carla Cooper recently graduated with honors from Rutgers–Camden with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a minor in security intelligence and counterterrorism. The Delran resident was a member of the Air Force Reserves from 1988 to 2000, serving as a medical evacuation technician during operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.
Currently a sergeant in the New Jersey Air National Guard, Cooper serves as a chaplain assistant, aiding chaplains with services, visitations, and administrative duties. Among her most memorable experiences, she was activated in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. She and a chaplain visited troops that were helping with the cleanup and patrolling.
A native of Philadelphia, Cooper attended nearby Penn Center Academy. She studied nursing at Hahnemann University, and pursued medical and chaplain-assistant degrees at the Community College of the Air Force. She began her Rutgers–Camden education in 1995 before leaving school to welcome the birth of her second child. “Life got busy” and, after a 16-year hiatus, she continued her studies, attending courses at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The initiative provides high-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, supported by University College at Rutgers–Camden.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the connections that I made with other veterans on campus there,” recalls Cooper, who was awarded the scholarship prior to graduation. “We have so much in common and some have become friends.”
She now plans to use her scholarship to help pay for books and other necessities. “It was a blessing to have those costs covered,” she says.
Mark Bodrog is a graduate student in the criminal justice program at Rutgers–Camden. A longtime resident of Mount Laurel, the Camden resident also earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Rutgers–Camden in 2007.
Bodrog served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He held the billets of platoon commander, weapons platoon commander, assistant operations officer, executive officer, and company commander.
He served two combat deployments to the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom 10.1 and 11.2. He chronicled the critical role that his unit played in his gripping memoir, Second Platoon: Call Sign Hades: A Memoir of the Marines of the Combined Action Company, published by iUniverse.
Bodrog currently serves as vice president of the student veterans group at Rutgers–Camden and was recently elected as a University Senator representing the Graduate School–Camden for the 2014-2015 academic year. “I have had the honor and privilege of working for and interacting with many outstanding fellow veterans, students, and faculty on campus,” he says. “I hope to continue to serve them all in these two capacities.”
Bodrog participated in the Jeremy Kane Memorial Run for the first time this year, acknowledging the experience to be a great privilege to honor the memory and sacrifices of Jeremy Kane. “As a former United States Marine Corps infantry officer, I believe that the value of troop welfare not only applies to Marines and servicemen and women who are still alive, “ says Bodrog, “but to servicemen and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice and could not be with us today.”
Bodrog acknowledges that the scholarship will help him pursue his academic and career goals. “It is a real honor and privilege to be considered for and win this award,” he says.
Nam Dy is a management major at Rutgers–Camden with a concentration in entrepreneurship. The Camden resident has served as a specialist/E4 in the United States Army since July 2011, responsible for logistics and food inspection at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
While pursuing his education at Rutgers–Camden, Dy acknowledges that he has truly come to understand the value of his education and the opportunities that he’s been afforded. He has been active in the student veterans group and been elected to several student-leader positions, most recently as a University Senator representing the School of Business–Camden for the 2014-2015 academic year.
On June 8, Dy participated in the Jeremy Kane Memorial Run for the first time. He notes that the experience gave him the opportunity to challenge himself while honoring the memory of Jeremy Kane. He says that earning the Jeremy Kane Scholarship reaffirms the value of his military service. He hopes to use the award to help offset his academic expenses so that he can focus on securing an internship or entry-level position with a successful business.
A native of Phnom Pen, Cambodia, Dy has been fascinated with all aspects of business since the field sparked his interest during a financial literacy course in high school. He later attended Camden County Technical School in Gloucester Township, and studied business administration at Camden County College and accounting at Albertus Magnus College.
Upon graduating from Rutgers–Camden, he plans to pursue his master of business administration with a concentration in strategic management. His ultimate goal is to serve as the CEO of a successful company in the transportation industry. “I want to be a great leader,” he says,” and do much more than a typical manager.”
Henderson Tyrrell is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Rutgers–Camden. A native of Willingboro, the Riverton resident also earned an associate’s degree in science from Burlington County College in 1995.
Henderson served from 1982 to 1985 as an infantryman and military police officer in the United States Army, attaining the rank of specialist/E4.
After completing basic training at Fort McClellan in Alabama, Tyrrell served with many units and companies, including NATO Combined Military Police at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, Germany, the headquarters for Central Army Group Europe and U.S. Army Europe. He was responsible for installation security and protecting high-ranking U.S. and European officers. “We learned to salute anyone with brass on their shoulders,” recalls Tyrrell, who also served at McGregor Range at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Tyrrell enrolled at Rutgers–Camden in spring 2013, taking advantage of his benefits afforded under the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. Upon graduating, he may pursue a master’s degree in psychology. His ultimate goal is to one day work for the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs, assisting veterans who are returning to civilian life, including those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “It’s a way that I can give back to the military that gave so much to me,” says Tyrrell, adding, “It was a great time in my life. I think that everyone should join the military for a few years, especially when you’re young and don’t know what to do with your life.”
Tyrrell says that he especially enjoyed the camaraderie of walking in the Jeremy Kane Memorial Run this year – the first time that he has participated in the benefit. He says that earning the scholarship went a long way in helping him to offset his monthly living expenses.