Meet Our 2022-2023 Interns

Hyunjoon (Joon) Choi

Corporal, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, July 2022-October 2022

Corporal Hyunjoon (Joon) Choi has served on active duty in the US Army since 2018. He is as a Behavioral Health Specialist attached to 1st Medical Brigade in Fort Hood, Texas. He also volunteers as a Research Assistant at The STRONG STAR (South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience), an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research consortium focused on the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions in military personnel and veterans. 

CPL Choi was born in South Korea, immigrated to the U.S. in 2001, and grew up in Long Beach, California. Before he decided to pursue a career in medicine, he studied Christian education at West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California. He graduated with his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Religious Education in 2011.

CPL Choi earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences from Chapman University in 2017, and is pursuing a career in medicine. He is currently pursuing is MD degree as a first-year medical student at University of Michigan.

Geony Yoo

Sergeant, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, July 2022-October 2022

Sergeant Geony Yoo is a Behavioral Health Technician in the United States Army. Sergeant Yoo graduated from Basic Combat Training from Fort Sill, OK in December, 2018 and graduated from his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for the MOS 68X Behavioral Health Technician in May, 2019.

Sergeant Yoo has been stationed in Fort Hood, TX with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team (3ABCT) of the 1st Cavalry Division. During his time with his unit, Sergeant Yoo deployed to South Korea for a 9-month rotation - serving soldiers from both his organic unit and 2nd Infantry Division, the main U.S. Army force stationed in South Korea. After he returned to Fort Hood in 2020, Sergeant Yoo continued to serve soldiers with behavioral health problems at an outpatient behavioral health clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. After his promotion to a Non-Commissioned Officer in March, 2021, Sergeant Yoo has been working as the Behavioral Health Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of 3ABCT, tasked with managing the behavioral health care of 4300+ soldiers in his unit.

Originally from South Korea, Sergeant Yoo moved to the United States, at age 12, to Lynchburg, VA. He completed middle and high school in Lynchburg, VA, before heading to Dallas, TX, where he enlisted into the US Army.  

Sergeant Yoo has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Dallas, and is currently pursuing a career in medicine. Geony is currently employed as a full-time employee with the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Jacob Morris

First Lieutenant, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, August 2022-February 2023

Jacob Morris is a 1LT and serves as an Infantry Officer the United States Army. He earned his BA in International Studies with emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa from his hometown Bradley University in 2019. He was offered the opportunity to study a semester abroad in Morocco in the Fall of 2018. During his time at Bradley he was a Cadet in the Army ROTC program and upon graduating commissioned.

First Lieutenant Morris was born in Peoria Illinois, moved several times as a child but returned to Peoria to finish his high school and College education.

Jacob has been serving as an Infantry Officer for two and a hald years. His time started at Fort Benning GA, where he attended both Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course (IBOLC) and Airborne School. He then was stationed at JRTC & Fort Polk where he was both an Assistant Staff Officer and a Rifle Platoon Leader with the 1-509th Airborne Infantry Regiment or better known as “Geronimo”. His unit was the OPFOR for the Joint Readiness Training Center. 1LT Morris then PCS back to Ft. Benning where he serves as a Platoon Leader at the Infantry Schools One Station Unit Training (OSUT) on Sandhill. Where he works directly with Drill Sergeants to mentor and train Initial entry 11B soldiers.

In addition to being accepted into the OMAC Skillbridge Program, First Lieutenant Morris has hopes to participate in University of Chicago's Graduate Student At-Large (GSAL) program and the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) with concentration in cinema and media studies. With hopes to further pursue the Cinema and Media Studies PhD.

Alison Hoyt

Lieutenant Commander, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, August 2022-December 2022

Lieutenant Commander Alison Hoyt has served in the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps for nearly 20 years.  Working with operational commands ashore and afloat, she has served in seven countries on four continents, including three deployments. With a specialty in National Security Law, she has broad experience in international law, domestic policy, and military plans and strategy.  

In addition to her military service, Lieutenant Commander Hoyt is an avid animal lover, volunteering in shelters wherever she’s stationed, and is a small private business owner. 

She has a Bachelor’s degree (BA) in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from University of California at Santa Cruz, a Juris Doctor (JD) with a certificate in Environmental Law from Tulane Law School, and a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law from University of San Diego. 

Chelsen Kincade-Jackson

Technical Sergeant (TSgt), US Air Force, Skillbridge Intern, August 2022-February 2023

TSgt Chelsen Kincade-Jackson served ten years active duty in the U.S. Air Force. He graduated from High School in 2012, after which he joined the Air Force with Travis AFB, CA being his first duty station. During his time there, he amassed a range of management, financial, and customer service skills. He spent over a year and a half of his career deployed in places like, Abu-Dhabi, Afghanistan, and did a two year short tour in South Korea. He was directly involved in the first short-range strike mission of the F-22 in combat operations in Afghanistan. 

Chelsen has been coined twice by the current Chief of Staff of the Air Force for recognition of meritorious service during a visit to Osan AFB, ROK and for his selection for the General’s sponsored leadership course at Hickam AFB, HI. He has also received the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. 

Chelsen conducted his internship with the University of Chicago central procurement department and has accepted a full-time role with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a MBA from the University of Arizona. Chelsen and is currently exploring PhD programs in Chicago.

Eric Prosser

Major, US Air Force, Skillbridge Intern, August 2022-February 2023

Major Eric B. Prosser is an officer and pilot in the United States Air Force. He has served in numerous assignments, all over the world, leading people and teams to solve complex security problems on behalf of the United States government. Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wright State University and a Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies from American Military University.

A 2011 graduate of Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (JSUPT), Eric has gone on to fly in numerous manned and unmanned aircraft over his career. Eric is an experienced instructor and evaluator and has accumulated over 2500 flight hours, including over 1000 combat hours leading and planning missions over the skies of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

In addition to his successes as a pilot, Eric has been an accomplished leader and staff officer. He has an extensive background in strategy, logistics, air transport infrastructure and fielding new technology. Some highlights of Eric’s career are the fielding of new remote operation capabilities in support of US interests on the Korean peninsula, and the development and implementation of advanced international relations training for US delegates to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Eric has enjoyed using his passion, experience and education in foreign culture to extensively travel the world. He currently lives in Heinsberg, Germany and is in the process of relocating with his wife and son to begin a new life, post military, in Chicago, Illinois.

Eric is currently pursuing an Executive MBA program at Chicago Booth, began a new role with Morgan Stanley, and helpted to establish a 501(C)3 organization to support veteans in the Chicagoland area, the Chicago Brigade.

Raven Edgeworth-Smith

Petty Officer Second Class, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, October 2022-April 2023

Petty Officer Raven Edgeworth-Smith has served in the United States Navy for over 12 years since graduating high school in Chicago, IL. She earned many logistical, supply and management occupational skills. Her first tour was Misawa Japan where she supported the US Navy's 7th fleet in ordering, managing, and allocating supplies and materials. 

Raven was part of the inaugural crew who commissioned the First In Class Aircraft Carrier, the USS Gerald R Ford. Her tasks included testing for operational readiness, including readiness of the ship's nuclear reactor and capabilities.

In addition to her work in supply and logistics, Raven served several years as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, ensuring information, resources, and ongoing non-clinical support for victims of sexual assault.

She has a Bachelors Degree in Healthcare Administration from Saint Leo University, and is currently pursing her Graduate degree in Supply Chain Management from Liberty University. Raven has began a full-time procurement role within the office of the Chief Judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County

Robert Callahan

Captain, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, October 2022-December 2022

Captain Callahan is a Medical Service Corps officer in the US Army. He most recently commanded the Chicago Medical Recruiting Company. In that role, he led a team to raise awareness of the Army Medical Department and recruit healthcare professionals across the Midwest. In particular, his team partnered with OMAC on our Camouflage Career Fair and 2022 Black History Month Celebration. Previously, he served as an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer in Central America, the United States, and Afghanistan. 

He will be interning with the Institute of Politics, supporting the IOP's work to host more events of interest to the veteran and military-affiliated community. 

He has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University, a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a graduate certificate from the Uniformed Services University. He is currently enrolled in the University's Committee on International Relations, and he is also an International House Graduate Fellow. 

Antwine Williams-Smith

Colonel, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, January 2023-June 2023

COL Antwine Williams-Smith has served over twenty-five years in the U.S. Army as a career Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Officer. She started her career as an enlisted Soldier in the Quartermaster Corps and was later commissioned as an officer in the Military Intelligence (MI) Corps. She graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in December 1993 with a B.A. in History and earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance from DePaul University in May 2000.  She graduated from the Air War College in May 2019 with a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies.

She is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where she served as the Brigade Intelligence Officer for the 32nd Transportation Group in theater from March 2003 to March 2004. She has also served with the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 100th Division (Training), the U.S. Army Cadet Command (ROTC), the Military Intelligence Readiness Command (MIRC), the 416th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) and with the Inspector General, Department of the Army. Her duty positions include: Assistant S2 Division Artillery (DIVARTY), MI Platoon Leader, MI Battalion Logistics Officer, Company Commander, Battalion Operations Officer, Battalion Executive Officer, Brigade Intelligence Officer, Deputy G2, Inspector General and Army Reserve Intelligence Support Center (ARISC) Commander. COL Williams-Smith currently serves as the Command Inspector General at the 63d Readiness Division in Mountain View, CA.  Her decorations include Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Parachutist Badge, and Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

COL Williams-Smith has been married for 25 years and has one son.

Chandler Lawrence

Senior Airmen, US Air Force, Skillbridge Intern, January 2023-June 2023

Senior Airmen Chandler Lawrence was raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduation from high school in 2019, he enlisted into the U.S Air Force, seeking a career in the field of cyber defense operations.

Chandler is currently assigned to the 55th Cyberspace Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base Nebraska. He has a deployments to both the United Arab Emirates in 2020, and Saudi Arabia from 2021-2022 in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, Operation Spartan Shield, and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Chandler has completed an associates degree in Information Systems and Technology from the Community College of the Air Force, and a bachelors in Cybersecurity at Bellevue University. He has applied to the University of Chicago masters of computer science. 

He is a member of the Intel Scholars Program, which awarded him an Intel STEM scholarship to further pursue his educational goals and further the advancement and increase of minority students in STEM fields. Chandler is the first OMAC Skillbridge Intern assigned to conduct his internship with FermiLab's VALOR Program in January 2023. Chandler has began his role as a Cybersecurity Engineer with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Collette Foster

Captain, US Air Force, Skillbridge Intern, January 2023-June 2023

Captain Collette Foster has served as an Acquisition Officer in the Air Force for the past five and a half years. During her first assignment she worked on the “Next Air Force One” presidential aircraft at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio where she helped manage cost, schedule, and performance parameters. In her second assignment Captain Foster has managed the Alaska Radar System program which involves early warning detection of aircraft entering the United States territory. She is currently working on a program that keeps emergency divert airfields and refueling bases in the Pacific Ocean up and running. 

Collette enjoys spending time with her dog and fiancé exploring her current home in Anchorage, Alaska. She is also passionate about volunteering with Native Alaskan organizations and learning how the community can better support tribes. She enjoys coaching volleyball and still plays recreationally. 

Captain Foster is originally from El Paso, Texas. After high school she attended the United States Air Force Academy where she was recruited to play volleyball and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. A few years later, she went back to school and earned a Master of Science in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida. She gained research experience with the University of Chicago Trauma Center in preparation and has been began her first year as a medical school student at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. 

Gerardo Espinal Franco

1stLT, US Marine Corps, Skillbridge Intern, January 2023-July 2023

First Lieutenant (1stLt) Gerardo Espinal Franco was born in Cali, Colombia. He immigrated to Houston, Texas with his mother in 2000.

He completed his bachelor’s degree in public relations and philosophy from the University of Houston in 2014 and went on to earn a master’s in humanities from the University of Chicago in 2015.  He worked as a high school teacher at YES Prep Southeast in Houston for two years, where he taught World Geography, World History, and Rhetoric.

After becoming a U.S. citizen in 2016, 1stLt Espinal applied to Officer Candidate School in 2017 and commissioned in the Marines in 2018.  He served in the Unites States Marine Corps as a Manpower Officer from 2018 to 2022.  In his first duty station in Okinawa, Japan, his work centered on crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic and the reactivation and restructuring of logistical units.  After three years abroad, he was assigned to Marine Corps Installations Command East in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Here, he served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer overseeing managerial processes for 6 installations.

Through SkillBridge, 1stLt Espinal interned as the Research Operations Manager for the Stone Center for Research on Wealth Inequality and Mobility at the Harris School of Public Policy. After completion of his internship, Gerri began a full-time role as the Associate Director for the Stone Center for Research on Wealth Inequality and Mobility.

Dra. Lee Yanessa Orta Garcia

Petty Officer Third Class, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, February 2023-July 2023

Petty Officer Lee Yanessa Orta García has served in the United States Navy for over 4 years. Before joining the Navy, she earned her B.A. in Secondary Education- Social Science at the University of Puerto Rico and completed her MA and PhD in History, specializing in the History of America, at the Interamerican University in Puerto Rico.

After teaching education for 13 years, she enlisted in the Navy as a Quarter Master, specializing in navigation. She served onboard USS Port Royal CG-73 at Pearl Harbor, HI from January 2019 to November 2020, where she supported the ship in its undocking milestone and the ship’s light off assessment. She served onboard USS Preble DDG-88 from March 2020 to June 2020 for it’s 4th Fleet Deployment, where she earned her qualifications and supported the ship’s counter drug operations. She transferred to Assault Craft Unit 1, Coronado, CA in November 2020 and is now assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF). She supports her command organizing and plotting charts used for training exercises and operations in California, Guam and Albania.

Petty Officer Orta Garcia is married and is a mother to a beautiful 1-year-old boy.

Kennon (Kenny) Speciale

Staff Sergeant, US Marine Corps, Skillbridge Intern, January 2023-July 2023

Staff Sergeant Kennon Speciale served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps since 2013. He is a Fire Fighter, Fire Instructor, and Drill Instructor. He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, DoD Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Staff Sergeant Speciale was also involved with local JROTC programs, Toys for Tots, and the Bull Dog non-profit.

SSgt Speciale was born in Woodstock, IL, and grew up in McHenry, IL. Before he decided to pursue a career in Public Health, he pursued higher education in Fire Science, worked as an Instructor of Technology and Military Science, and Occupational Safety. He graduated with his Associate degree in Fire Science and Instructor of Technology and Military Sciences from the Community College of the Air Force in 2018 and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety from Waldorf University in 2023.

SSgt Speciale conducted his internship with the Stone Center for Research on Wealth Inequality and Mobility and is now pursuing a Master of Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy, and working as an admissions fellow within the Harris admissions department.  

Dr. Alyssa Joiner

Captain, US Air Force, Skillbridge Intern, March 2023-August 2023

Captain Alyssa Joiner commissioned into the United States Air Force in 2019. She completed a one-year psychology residency program at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), San Antonio, TX. Post-residency, she served as a supervised psychologist in the Mental Health Clinic at Minot AFB, ND. Capt Joiner has provided psychotherapy services to active duty members and conducted a variety of psychological assessments for military specific evaluations and specialty careers. Capt Joiner served as the Mental Health Element Chief for eight months, which she managed a 25 member team and supervised five mental health technicians. She also served as the alternate Family Advocacy Officer for three months, managing over 100 cases related to child neglect and adult maltreatment. In addition, she served as the Volunteer Chair in the African American Heritage Council for one year.

Alyssa was born in Chicago, IL and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (2013) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which she earned a Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance (2016) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology (2020).

Alyssa has a passion for research in the areas of burnout, racial/ethnic health and mental health disparities, religion and spirituality, and prevention/intervention services. As an OMAC Skillbridge intern, Alyssa hopes to contribute to research at the University of Chicago Trauma Center and the Biological Science's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Joiner is currently conducting research with UChicago Medicine's Trauma Center and OMAC, and has accepted an offer to join the medical center as a full-time researcher in 2024. 

Miguel Gutierrez

Corporal, US Marine Corps, Skillbridge Intern, April 2023-September 2023

Corporal Miguel Anastacio Gutierrez served in the United States Marine Corps from 2019-2023. He was a 3531 Motor Transportation Operator, 0917 Martial Art Instructor, and 0933 Marksmanship Coach. He was attached to the 1st Marine Logistics Regiment in Combat logistics Battalion 7 in Twentynine Palms (MCAGCC). During his time, he was also assigned to an 8-month rotation in Australia. He earned a great deal of leadership and problem solving skills in a short span of 4 years.

Miguel is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business and eventually plans to transfer to University of Chicago to pursue his MBA. He conducted his internship at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), collaborating with occupational groups EDIA (Equality Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility) and ISD (Infrastructure Services Division). Since starting skillsbridge, he has helped to start an upcoming internship program at Fermilab, He led interns through a 6-week course, combining aspects of STEM and the military. With ISD he worked alongside area facility managers as an apprentice. There he would coordinate with contractors, union trades, and scientist to manage maintenance and inspection in all 365 buildings in site.

Miguel accepted a full-time position at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as an Area Facilities Manager. He Is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in business administration and hopes to create an organization that assists youth from underserved backgrounds gain access to recreational activities that enrich their lives. 

James McGrath

Captain, US Marine Corps, Skillbridge Intern, April 2023-July 2023

Jim McGrath is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In the Marine Corps, he specialized as a Ground Intelligence Officer. In his first role, Jim served with 1st Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton, California. He was later selected to serve as the Scout Sniper Platoon Commander with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment.

In 2020, Jim deployed as a Scout Sniper Platoon Commander with a Marine Expeditionary Unit, which supported contingency operations in East Asia and assisted in the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Somalia. Upon returning from this deployment, Jim was selected to join Marine Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as an intelligence officer. He later deployed to East Africa to counter violent extremist organizations in the region. In this role, Jim served as a military liaison to the U.S. State Department and to regional partners.

Jim icompleted his internship with the University of Chicago Facilities Services department, where he focused on the University’s efforts to improve campus sustainability and energy efficiency. He is pursuing his MBA at Harvard Business School as a first-year student. 

"I have been extremely impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the OMAC staff, in terms of both SkillBridge administration and their efforts to aid veterans writ large in the transition process. For servicemembers pursuing civilian higher education or employment in a competitive field, participating in a SkillBridge at the University of Chicago is an extremely useful endeavor. The University’s SkillBridge program has a great reputation on campus, which allows it to expand year over year. Multiple departments eagerly volunteer to host SkillBridge interns because they know the quality of individual that they will receive. Likewise, many of these departments offer opportunities to interview for open positions, or professional mentorship for those with other career aspirations outside of the University. The OMAC team’s integration with the network of veterans is astonishing. Between organizing social events, disseminating information on job opportunities and VA programs, and taking a personal interest in the transition of each servicemember, the OMAC team truly invests in the entire military community at the University of Chicago. I appreciate the opportunity to have completed a SkillBridge at the University and am forever grateful for the efforts of all members of OMAC and the University that continue to support this worthwhile program." (James McGrath)

Karla Guerrero Villareal

Airmen, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, April 2023-October 2023

Airmen Karla Guerrero Villareal has served in the United States Navy for over  two years since graduating high school in Waycross, GA. She has earned a great deal of leadership, problem-solving skills, and teamwork while conducting flight operatons aboard the USS America in Sasebo Japan. 

Born in Mexico, Karla immigrated to the United States in 2016, and spent four years in a small town in Georgia with her mother and siblings. It was during her high school years where she learned of her passion for veterinary medicine. Working part-time at a local animal clinic, she developed numerous skills that aides in her current role in the Navy, and her goal of becoming a veterinarian. Karla is actively pursuing her bachelors in biology, and plans to apply to veterinary school in 2024.

Matthew Dieudonne

Captain, US Marine Corps, Skillbridge Intern, April 2023-July 2023

Captain Matthew Dieudonne commissioned in the United States Marine Corps in 2016 and has served for as an Intelligence Officer for seven years in multiple capacities. He has completed three deployments in leadership positions and has extensive experience leading teams and problem solving in dynamic environments.

His first overseas tour was in participating of NATO exercise Trident Juncture in Norway. During this exercise he synthetized threat reporting while advising senior commanders on force protection mitigations for ground forces. His next deployment was as the Intelligence station lead for the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response Africa (SPMAGTF-CRAF) in Sigonella, Italy. During this tour, Captain Dieudonne was responsible for coordinating and planning intelligence procedures in support of contingency operations on the continent of Africa. He was then selected to lead a security cooperation mission in Libreville, Gabon, where he instructed a cohort of Gabonese Park Rangers on Intelligence planning and methodologies. His final deployment was as the Intelligence Officer for Battalion Landing Team 26 which was a part of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). In this role he supported all Intelligence Operations and threat reporting related to the more than 1600 ground forces, while managing a team of 25 professionals across three disaggregate naval vessels.

Matthew enjoys spending time with his family and searching for his next travel adventure. He is passionate about community service and works to support local community organizations at every opportunity. He enjoys coaching youth track and field as well as mentoring high school and college students. 

Matthew completed his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, while minoring in Leadership Studies at Morehouse College in 2016. In addition to being accepted into the OMAC Skillbridge Program, Matthew was accepted into the University of Chicago's Graduate Student At-Large (GSAL) program, and hopes to join the full-time  MBA program at the Chicago Booth School of Business. 

James Jason

Captain, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, February 2023-August 2023

CPT James Jason is an armor officer in the United States Army. He has served for nearly five years, and is currently stationed in Fort Stewart, GA. Captain Jason serves with Headquarters, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division and rotated with them to Korea from 2020-2021 and to Germany as the NATO Immediate Response Force to the Russian Invasion. CPT Jason performed a variety of duties including Tank Platoon Leader, Battalion Logistics Officer, Distribution Platoon Leader and Budget Analyst.

CPT Jason completed his master’s degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, in June of 2018. He is a Chicago native and looks forward to the opportunity to be back in his hometown where he plans to pursue new opportunities in business operations.

Jonathan Becker

Captain, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, April 2023-August 2023

Captain Jonathan Becker is an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. He grew up in Darien, Illinois and earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019. At the University of Illinois, he took on many leadership positions in ROTC including Ranger Team Captain and Army ROTC Battalion Commander. He was also a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Jonathan has served on Active Duty as an Infantry Officer since June of 2019. He started as the University of Illinois recruiting officer before moving to Fort Benning GA for Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course (IBOLC) and Airborne School. Jonathan was then assigned to 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Polk, Louisiana. There, he took control of a light infantry rifle platoon. Subsequently, he was selected to be the Platoon Leader for the Battalion’s Heavy Mortar platoon and deployed with them to Kuwait in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel/Allies Refuge to conduct security and humanitarian operations in support of the Afghanistan retrograde.

Captain Becker is excited to help other transitioning veterans in achieving their goals and aspirations by working with OMAC through the Skillbridge program. He has began taking classes through the UChicago Graduate Student at Large program and has hopes to attend UChicago’s Booth Business school full time in Fall of 2024.

Riken Patel

Lieutenant, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, April 2023-September 2023

Riken Patel is a Lieutenant and serves as a Supply Officer in the United States Navy. Riken commissioned through Officer Candidate School (OCS) and graduated in September 2018. Following OCS, he then went on to graduate from the Naval Supply Corps School in March 2019.

Riken’s first tour was on board the USS SEAWOLF (SSN 21). Here he was designated the Supply Department head and lead over 12 sailors through two overseas deployments. Through the two deployments and numerous missions, he was able to maintain at sea operations with zero lost mission days by optimizing an $8M budget. At the same time, he was able to manage $31M in inventory that included weapons, parts, food, and support for short notice repairs at sea. Following his tour on the USS SEAWOLF (SSN 21), Riken was given orders to become the Air Logistics Division Officer for Commander Task Force 53 in Manama, Bahrain. He currently supervises and manages over 65 Bahraini civilian employees and 20 Navy sailors to support various joint task force operations, both land and sea, within the Middle East.

Originally from Urbana, IL, Riken graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Educational Studies. In addition to being accepted into the OMAC Skillbridge Program, Riken is currently pursuing his MBA as a full-time student at the Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Martez MurielGriffin

Chief Warrant Officer Two, US Army, Skillbridge Intern, May 2023-August 2023

Martez Murielgriffin is a Chief Warrant Officer Two and has served as a soldier over 16years. Enlisting as a Private in 2007, Martez is a military advocate; he is a firstgeneration graduate due to active duty tuition assistance. He was selected for the Army Warrant Officer College in 2019, earning his commission.

Martez is assigned to a theater intelligence command, supporting European crisis resolution. He is a veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Serving with joint ground forces and interagency organizations, his experience spans from tactical to strategic level operations.

Martez’ career ambition is to provide healthcare (hospitals/clinics) for underserved communities. Matriculating to National Louis University’s PsyD program, he intends to continue education for cardiothoracic surgery after graduation. He is married with children, each desiring to pursue medical amelioration.

Aleasha Duggins

Staff Sergeant, US Air Force, Skillbridge Intern, May 2023-September 2023

Staff Sergeant Aleasha R. Duggins served five years as an active-duty non-commissioned officer in the United States Air Force. Staff Sergeant Duggins is originally from West Haven, Connecticut. She enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2017, she went on to graduate from the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in 2018.

She started her career at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland as a Bioenvironmental Engineering Technician. During her time there, she served as the Occupational Health Element co-lead, the Special Surveillance program manager, and the Radiation Safety program manager providing occupational health and safety assessments for 120 work centers and more than 7000 personnel.  She also served as a member of the only Flight Line Protocol Office in the United States for two administrations supporting more than 43,000 distinguished visitors annually including the President, Foreign Dignitaries, the Vice President, the First Lady, Congressmen, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, presidential cabinet members, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and high-ranking military officials.

Staff Sergeant Duggins is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics at Southern New Hampshire University. She graduated from the University of Maryland Global Campus with an Associate of Arts in Mathematics as well as the Community College of the Air Force with an Associate of Applied Science in Bioenvironmental Engineering Technology. Her goal is to get a Masters in Applied Physics and eventually a Ph.D. in Medical Physics to conduct proton therapy and other radiation treatment research. Aleasha has accepted a full-tme position at Harvard University's Brookehaven National Laboratory as a health physicist. 

Paul Nenoff

Hospital Corpsman Third Class Petty Officer, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, June 2023-December 2023

Petty Officer Paul Nenoff has served in the United States Navy for over five years after joining straight from high school in 2017. He then graduated the Navy’s’ Hospital Corpsman Basic Skills course and Field Medical Training in 2018. Since then he has spent the last four years working at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command - Great Lakes in North Chicago. His time was spent working in direct patient care, health care administration/logistics, process improvement, and data collection. Throughout that time Petty Officer Paul Nenoff also gained valuable experience from other programs he was involved with such as infection control, safety representative, patient satisfaction representative, training officer, and supply officer. 

Paul is currently pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Health Care Management at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. His goal is to transfer to the University of Chicago in pursuit of a graduate degree in Public Health and Business Administration. During his internship Paul hopes to utilize his experience in the medical field to assist with research and treatment at UChicago Medicine.

He grew up in Plainfield, Illinois which is also where he currently lives with his wife and two dogs. He enjoys spending time with his family and is a volunteer coach for Plainfield’s high school rugby club in his free time. He is excited to begin his transition from military service and for the connections he hopes to make at the University of Chicago. 

Brian Bello

Hospital Corpsman Second Class Petty Officer, US Navy, Skillbridge Intern, June 2023-December 2023

Petty Officer Bello has served in the United States Navy for over 7 Years since graduating high school in 2015. He was raised in Rockford, Illinois and has always had an interest and passion for medicine.

Brian’s first duty station was Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego where he provided medical coverage, administered vaccines, performed blood draws and was in charge of medical documentation for Marine Corps recruits. He then served aboard the forward deployed destroyer USS Ross DDG-71 out of Rota, Spain. He provided healthcare and medical readiness for over 300 sailors aboard the ship in support of ballistic missile defense in the Mediterranean and Black sea. He is currently at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command - Great Lakes in North Chicago. During his time there he was the clinic administrator of general surgery clinic and worked at Cook County Trauma Center.  He is currently in charge of Primary Care, ensuring the care and readiness for Navy recruits.

Brian completed his associate’s degree at Central Texas College and is currently completing his B.S in Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also an EMT and is pursuing his Paramedic certification to broaden his scope of practice. His ultimate goal is to become a Physician Assistant.

Brian hopes to gain knowledge and learn from the brilliant minds at UChicago Medicine's Trauma Center.