Jillian Krysa, a senior from Havelock High School in Havelock, N.C., and Kyle Skinner, a senior at North Scott Senior High in Eldridge, Iowa, won the $500 high school awards. Three $500 college-level scholarships were awarded: Ella Levicki, a freshman at the University of South Carolina; Aubrie Penfield a freshman at Oklahoma State University; and Alannah Skinner, a freshman at Iowa State University. The winner of the $3,500 Park University scholarship is Aubrey Sullivan, a senior at Leavenworth Senior High School, Leavenworth, Kansas.
The Foundation’s annual scholarship program is open to immediate family and grandchildren of Life Members of the Foundation’s Alumni Association. Two high school awards and two college awards are presented each year, however there was a tie at the college level and three were awarded this year. The Foundation began accepting applications on Jan. 2 and the application period ended on March 1. Foundation President/CEO Rod Cox contacted the winning students on April 9 to let them know they had won.
“We’re proud of all of the applicants this year and had a tough time selecting the winners,” said Cox. “The competition was so tight that we had a tie in the college category, so we simply made the decision to award a third college scholarship.
Cox said this was the second year of the program the Foundation began in 2020 as part of its mission to maintain connections with Command and General Staff College alumni and support military families.
“Maintaining contact with CGSC alumni is part of our main mission,” Cox said, “but this program also offers a tangible benefit for our military families. We started the program in 2020, but I can tell you it really took off this year with many more applications submitted. Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to their parents and grandparents for being life members of our alumni association.
Cox also said that the new Park University scholarship also worked out well.
“This was the first time Park partnered with us in this program and we, along with the Park University leadership, are excited for the winner,” Cox said.
Jillian Krysa is currently a high school senior at Havelock High School in Havelock, N.C. She will graduate in May 2021 and plans to attend North Carolina State University and study engineering. She said she likes the beautiful campus at NC State as well as the incredible engineering program. She spends her free time running or playing soccer and her favorite class is environmental science. Her alumni sponsor is her grandfather, retired Lt. Col. John Krysa, a 1987 CGSOC and 1988 SAMS graduate. Krysa says her grandfather has always supported her and her goals in everything she does. Krysa plans on using her scholarship towards tuition at NC State.
Kyle Skinner attends North Scott Senior High School in Eldridge, Iowa, and will graduate with the class of 2021. He plans to attend Iowa State University to major in Cybersecurity Engineering. He said he chose this field because it is rapidly expanding and mixes his love of engineering and technology, along with elements of defense. He said he chose Iowa State because of the campus environment, and the fact that his sister goes there and his dad is an alumnus. Outside of engineering, Skinner says he loves music, spending time singing in choir and playing guitar and drums. He is also an avid sports fan, and spends his free time being active or watching the Chicago Cubs and the Green Bay Packers. Skinner’s alumni sponsor is his father, Kerry Skinner, a 2012 alumnus of the CGSC/CGSC Foundation National Security Roundtable Series. He plans to use this scholarship to help pay for books and other necessities.
Ella Levicki is a freshman at the University of South Carolina majoring in marine science with a minor in French with an expected graduation date in 2024. She graduated from Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Md., in 2020. She said she chose the University of South Carolina because of its marine science program as well as the opportunities associated with living somewhere new. Levicki said she is very passionate about marine science and cares about the health and prosperity of the world’s oceans. She loves the outdoors, playing tennis, cooking and working. She holds down two jobs while attending college – at the university outdoor recreation department and at a local dog shelter. Back in her hometown she is a tennis instructor as well as an assistant manager at a local sandwich shop. Levicki’s alumni sponsor is her grandfather, retired Col. John Marcy, a 1974 CGSC graduate, who she says continues to show his bravery, kindness and compassion to her family and everyone around him. She plans to use the scholarship for tuition costs.
Aubrie Penfield is a freshman at Oklahoma State University planning to graduate with an undergrad degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2024, and then pursue a master’s to become a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist. She is a 2020 graduate of Lansing High School, Lansing, Kansas. She said she has been enjoying her time OSU because of the campus and the people, even given the COVID situation. She said she looks forward to pursuing speech pathology as a way to make a positive impact on her future patients’ lives. She has also been active and taking on leadership roles in her sorority. Penfield’s alumni sponsor is her father, retired Col. Gregory Penfield, a CGSOC graduate and current professor in CGSC’s Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations. She plans to use the scholarship to help pay a portion of out-of-state tuition costs.
Alannah Skinner is currently a sophomore at Iowa State University, which she chose because of the various research and science based opportunities offered. She will graduate in May 2022, and is currently studying biology with a focus in education. She is a 2019 graduate of North Scott High School in Eldridge, Iowa. Skinner hopes to teach at the high school level and currently teaches supplemental instruction to Iowa State science students. Skinner’s alumni sponsor is her father Kerry Skinner, a 2012 alumnus of the CGSC/CGSC Foundation National Security Roundtable Series. She plans on using her scholarship to help cover the costs of her final year of school and then her master’s program, which she will pursue in 2022.
Park University Winner
Aubrey Sullivan is a high school senior at Leavenworth Senior High School. She will graduate in May and plans to attend Park University to pursue a degree in business and digital marketing. She said she enjoys the kind and welcoming community and positive atmosphere Park University embodies. Her goal is to achieve her MBA and open her own businesses related to fashion. Sullivan said she also enjoys learning about psychology in economics and looks forward to studying marketing. Sullivan’s alumni sponsor is her grandfather, retired Capt. Jeffrey M. Howards, a 1990 CGSC graduate, whom she credits with instilling the importance of taking chances as a way to grow. She plans on using the money from the scholarship towards her tuition.
CGSC Foundation President/CEO Rox Cox said details about the Foundation’s 2022 scholarship program would be announced in fall 2021. Meanwhile, he said that the Foundation welcomes donors who wish to support the scholarship program.
“The Foundation has many friends who may not be life members of our alumni association or have family members attending college, but want to assist and show their appreciation for military families,” Cox said. “This scholarship program provides them the perfect opportunity to help,” Cox said.
Interested persons can support the scholarship program by visiting www.cgscfoundation.org/donate.