Ryan serves a Senior Program Director and helped launch the Warrior-Scholar Project on the University of Michigan campus. Ryan is currently pursuing his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, which he expects to complete in 2017. He earned his BA in International Studies from the University of Michigan and his AA in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute. Prior to law school, Ryan spent two years teaching English and debate at an inner-city high school in Detroit as part of Teach For America. Ryan also served five years active duty as an Arabic translator in the Marine Corps, which included two deployments to Al-Anbar province in Iraq. In 2016, Ryan will teach a legal reasoning class at Virginia Military Institute and will work as a summer associate in a Chicago law firm.


Lauren Pyland is the Operations Coordinator in the Syracuse University Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, responsible for assisting the Executive Director in daily operations, mission and financial operations. In this role, Pyland also provides planning and execution of events, oversight and coordination of veteran and military related offices across campus.

Originally from Northern New York, Pyland first came to Syracuse to complete her undergraduate degree at Syracuse University.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. While at Syracuse University, Pyland participated in the Army ROTC program and commissioned from the program upon graduation in 2012. Pyland currently serves as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves.


Zach Johnson was born in Mableton, GA, and enlisted in the Marines in 2008. Upon completing basic training at Parris Island, SC, he returned to Georgia for a brief time as a recruiter's assistant. He continued training at Camp Geiger's School of Infantry in Jacksonville, NC, where he received extensive training as a Mortarman. He was assigned to Weapons Co, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC, with whom he deployed twice to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Between deployments, he was selected and trained as an IED Detecting Dog handler (IDD), which remained his title until he was honorably discharged in 2012.


Zach began his academic career at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC, where he studied Pre-Business Management, Accounting and Finance. While a full-time student, he was screened and hired as an intern at the Drug Enforcement Agency's Wilmington Resident Office. He was accepted into the University of North Carolina through their student transfer excellency program (C-Step), where he continues his studies as a Management & Society major and plans to graduate in May 2017. 


Jarrod Romine is the Campus Program Coordinator for Texas A&M University, as well as being a WSP alumnus from UNC ‘15 and having worked with the program at OU STEM in 2016.

Jarrod is pursuing a joint B.A./M.A. in International Politics and Diplomacy and International Affairs, as well as working with the Veterans Resource & Support Center on campus, and is a committee member with the Student Conference On National Affairs.

Prior to college Jarrod served over eight years in the United States Marine Corps, deploying four times during that period, including in Special Operations with 1st and 2nd Raider Battalions.


Nathan Needham is a senior at Amherst College. He spent six years as a Spanish Portuguese Translator for Air Force Special Operations. He went on three tours to SOUTHCOM supporting multiple special operations forces. Nathan currently is involved in the Amherst College Military Association and after completing Stanford GSB's Summer Institute of Genera Management is working at developing entrepreneurship opportunities for Amherst College students. Nathan plans to complete an MBA after his expected graduation from Amherst College in December 2017.


Lowry Pressly is a PhD candidate at Harvard University, where he teaches and writes on political theory, literature, and philosophy. He holds a BA from the University of Georgia, and a JD from Yale University School of Law. Lowry has been affiliated with the Warrior-Scholar Project since its inception in 2012.