S&T graduate student earns Pat Tillman Scholarship

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On July 11, 2022

Elizabeth Tarbox, a graduate student in environmental engineering at Missouri S&T from Springfield, Missouri, has been named a Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar in recognition of her military service and work on humanitarian missions to provide disaster relief.

Tillman Scholars are U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses chosen based on their service, leadership and potential. Of more than 2,000 applicants, only 60 are named each year. Tillman Scholars are awarded academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development opportunities and a diverse, global community of high-performing mentors and peers.

Elizabeth Tarbox. Photo from the Pat Tillman Foundation website.

Tarbox currently serves as a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Leonard Wood.

“My family really enjoys watching football, and I was aware of the Tillman foundation and his story and sacrifice for a long time,” says Tarbox. “I started looking into the scholarship and organization more as I applied for S&T. I never believed I would have a chance at being selected for such a competitive scholarship; however, I have always lived with the mentality to go for the long shot.”

Tarbox is a published research author and contributor to peer-reviewed journals within the scientific community and is an inventor of patented low-power ultrasound technology. During her Engineer Captains Career Course, she graduated on the commandant’s list and was the Society of American Military Engineers award winner.

“I think working full time and taking graduate courses demands knowledge on realistically managing time,” says Tarbox. “Often people will either underprepare their schedule or, as I did in the past, will overbook themselves. Half of the struggle is learning ‘what works’ for your own rhythm. Overall, like anything challenging, it requires discipline.”

Tarbox says that her desire to serve her country began after hearing stories of her grandfather’s service as an amphibious sapper (combat engineer) during WWII. During her undergraduate studies, she simultaneously studied engineering, participated in ROTC, volunteered as an EMT and worked as a researcher.

“I hope to apply my biomedical engineering training in combination with environmental engineering and geospatial sciences to tackle humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and human trafficking problems,” says Tarbox. “From clean water to satellites in space, engineers shape the world and pave the future. As an engineer, I hope to solve challenges and create a better tomorrow.”

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,200 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. S&T also is home to the Kummer Institute, made possible by a $300 million gift from Fred and June Kummer. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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