Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Announces 2023 Dottle Scholars for the Spring Semester

The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) is pleased to announce the recipients of The Dottle Family ROTC Cadet Scholarship for 2023. The scholars were selected through a competitive process assessing the applicant’s academic standing, physical aptitude, citizenship and potential success as a leader in the U.S. Army or U.S. Air Force. The scholarship is awarded each year and is given specifically to future leaders who participate in one of Syracuse University’s ROTC programs.

Paul Dottle, who served as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves during the mid-80’s, established the scholarship while serving as the chair for the OVMA’s advisory board. While Dottle was growing up, his father served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. The experience of growing up in the military culture, and having served himself, left Dottle with a desire to give back to a community he held so much respect for.

The scholarship allows the ROTC detachments to recognize deserving cadets within their programs, and many of the university’s graduates have gone on to become part of the university’s list of notable veteran alumni for their accomplishments after graduating from Syracuse University. The scholarship is meant for those who have not already received a full ROTC scholarship and is designed to offset the cost of finishing their degree.

For 2023, the recipients of the Dottle Family ROTC Cadet Scholarship are:

Hunter Burns ’25 – Air Force ROTC

Burns is pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He says one of his more memorable experiences at Syracuse University was being a member of the Color Guard for the Syracuse University vs Duke University men’s basketball game in 2022.

“I decided to join Air Force ROTC because I wanted to serve in the military, that’s something I am passionate about. I also wanted to go to college and get a degree, so this was the decision that made the most sense for me. After graduation, I plan on entering active duty as an officer in the Air Force.”

James Hrdy ’26 – Air Force ROTC

Hrdy is studying bioengineering at the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He plans on commissioning as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and would like to pursue available options to attend medical school after graduation.

“I will never forget when Syracuse hosted the 2022 Battle of New York. Detachments from across New York stayed for two nights in the JMA Wireless Dome while participating in a wide range of activities. I got to meet other people with different aspirations from different schools, and I was able to explore the Dome at night.”

Benjamin Johnson ’24 – Air Force ROTC

Johnson, who grew up with a father in the U.S. Coast Guard, is studying computer engineering at the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He says the wanted to come to Syracuse University because of the school’s reputation for academic excellence, and its unwavering support for military-connected students.

“My overall experience at Syracuse University has been nothing short of amazing. The University has provided me with numerous opportunities to learn and grow, both academically and personally. After Syracuse, I plan to pursue a career in the United States Space Force as a developmental engineer.”

Aizhan Moore ’26 – Air Force ROTC

Moore is enrolled at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, where she studies bioengineering. Her father, a Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, inspired Aizhan to serve in the military, which is why she’s in ROTC today.

“My most memorable experience as a cadet so far has been the Battle of New York. It was a really cool experience, and I had a great time meeting new people. I hope that joining the Air Force might also be a way for me to travel and learn more about the United States, as well as other countries around the world.”

Charles Tang ’24 – Air Force ROTC

Tang, a political science student at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, says he wants to attend law school after graduation, with the intention of ultimately becoming a judge advocate officer in the U.S. Air Force.

“Participating in the AFROTC program has shaped me into a developing leader by continually introducing new challenges. The program has drastically impacted the trajectory of my life goals, where I never imagined the possibility of serving in the military prior to college.”

Joshua Tapia ’24 – Army ROTC

Tapia, a junior with the College of Arts and Sciences, studies biology and grew up in nearby Baldwinsville, New York. Tapia also works as a martial arts instructor, teaching Kenpo, and has an internship focused on marketing, resource management, accountability, personnel scheduling and task delegation.

“After graduating I plan to commission as an officer and pursue my career moving forward, I hope to get a job in Air Defense Artillery. I’m incredibly grateful for this scholarship, as it has allowed me to continue to support myself and my family whilst focusing on my education and classwork.”

Emily Weaver ’24 – Air Force ROTC

Weaver is a Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and the Deputy Group Commander for Syracuse University’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 535, making her the second cadet in command. She is dual majoring in earth science and forensic science with the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I’m extremely grateful that I was selected for the Dottle scholarship. It’s a testament to the fact that the University and its alumni, especially Mr. Dottle, truly care about the military connected students. Coming to Syracuse, it’s not the cheapest, it’s a nice university to go to and that obviously comes with the cost. The fact that he’s willing to provide monetary support for all my endeavors, whether it’s academic, military, or even something like pursuing my private pilot’s license. It means a lot to know they really value, and are investing, in my future as an officer in the military.”

Suleiman Salim ’25 – Army ROTC

Salim is an economics student at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His intent is to attend law school at Syracuse University, and one of his most memorable experiences as an ROTC cade was completing his first 12-mile conditioning hike with a ruck sack.

“I joined ROTC for the opportunity to better myself and push myself past both my mental and physical limits.”

For more information on scholarships and academic opportunities provided through the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, please visit OVMA website.