This story originally appeared on the OSU MAE department web site.
U.S. Army veteran and mechanical engineering PhD candidate Greg Freisinger has been named a 2014 Tillman Military Scholar. He is one of just 60 selected from over 7,500 applicants for the prestigious award. Freisinger, who earned a Bronze Star for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, is the university’s first Tillman Military Scholar. Freisinger’s graduate research focus has been concentrated on biomechanics. His advisor is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics Ajit Chaudhari, who has a courtesy appointment in The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
In naming Freisinger to the new class of scholars, the foundation noted, “Greg’s love of engineering led to a career as an Army Sapper and service in Thailand and Iraq, but the future of his work lies in the human body.” The newly selected class of scholars will receive $1.4 million in scholarships to pursue their higher education and continue their service.
Freisinger learned he had won the scholarship when Ohio State Interim President Joseph A. Alutto surprised him with the good news. Alutto said, “I agree, wholeheartedly, with the Pat Tillman Foundation that you have the potential to truly change the world. Your dedication to improving the lives of our country’s wounded service members is admirable. We are so proud to claim you as a member of the Ohio State family, and we thank you for your service.”
The Pat Tillman Foundation named Ohio State a University Partner earlier this year. As part of the Tillman Military Scholars program, Ohio State is part of an elite network of institutions providing innovative support services to the nation’s veterans and their families. In 2008, the Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program to invest in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships, building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others.
The foundation was created to honor Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who left his playing career to enlist in the U.S. Army after 9/11. Tillman served as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, before being killed in active service in 2004.
A native of Maywood, N.J., Freisinger is a veteran at the rank of captain. He was a member of the Army ROTC program at Georgia Tech as an undergraduate and joined the Army after earning his B.S. in mechanical engineering. During his four years of active duty, he completed U.S. Army Ranger School and was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
Interim President Joseph Alutto (right) congratulates ME PhD candidate Greg Freisinger on his Tillman Scholar award.
After leaving active duty, he came to Ohio State in 2010 to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering. Now entering his fifth year of doctoral studies, Freisinger researches intra-operative knee laxity and outcomes following total knee replacement through a joint project with the Department of Orthopaedics and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The knee laxity project is funded by a R01 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
After graduation, he hopes to work with military amputees in the biomechanics lab at the Brooke Army or Walter Reed Medical Centers, following his passion to advocate for wounded service members and initiate research programs that will advance the current state of rehabilitation and improve their lives.
Ohio State’s commitment to military and veteran students continues to receive national recognition. Military Times magazine calls Ohio State one of the most veteran-friendly universities in the country, and G.I. Jobsmagazine has named Ohio State one of the country’s top “Military Friendly Schools” for five consecutive years.
More than 2,200 military and veteran students, and their family members, are enrolled at Ohio State. Ohio State’s Office of Military and Veterans Services assists students with educational and academic resources. The office provides military and veteran orientations, focused academic counseling, tailored support services and the education of faculty and staff on military student issues. The Tillman Scholarship Program at Ohio State is a joint effort between the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services and the Undergraduate Fellowship Office, which assists students in applying for the award and manages the processing of applications.