Falk Student Laura Buys Named Syracuse University 2020 Tillman Scholar

Laura Buys military portrait
Laura Buys’ portrait from Basic Military Training (BMT) in 2012.

Laura Buys, graduate student in Falk College’s School of Social Work, was recently named the Syracuse University 2020 Tillman Scholar. Syracuse University was invited to become a Pat Tillman Foundation University Partner in 2017. The Tillman Scholar program unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. Syracuse University shares these ideals and is proud to support Tillman Scholars on our campus.

Laura enlisted in the Air Force in 2012 and became an Operations Intelligence Analyst. In 2014, she deployed to Qatar in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve. She later joined the prestigious Cobra Ball in Alaska and Japan while supporting international treaty verification. During her military career, Laura delivered over 600 intelligence briefings to Air Force leadership, aircrew, and government officials around the world. She also supported 160 CENTCOM combat missions, leading to more than 11,000 signals intelligence reports and 8 relief airdrops to displaced Yazidi civilians. As a result of her exemplary service, Laura was awarded a medal for Meritorious Service Achievement and recognized as Senior Airman Below the Zone.

After honorably separating in 2017, she fully immersed herself into a career in human services. Since then, Laura has graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. She later became her school’s Disability Services Liaison for Student Veterans and is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work Degree at Syracuse University’s Falk College. Laura has also been a powerful force in her community, working and volunteering with a wide array of populations, including veterans, homeless families, young adults with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, refugees, and the elderly. Her goal is to continue making a positive impact by dismantling forms of social injustice and helping others overcome trauma. Laura’s story is currently being featured in the National Veteran’s Museum and Memorial in Columbus, Ohio.

Read more about Laura