Two Syracuse University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets have achieved prestigious honors; Cadet Bethany Murphy has been awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship and Cadet Battalion Commander Ashlynn Borce has been accepted into the prestigious Army-Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy.

Bethany Murphy

Bethany Murphy

Murphy ’20, a first-generation environmental engineering major from Massachusetts, is one of just 120 annual recipients of the NOAA Hollings scholarship. Named for Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings of South Carolina, the award provides up to $9,500 per year for two years of full-time study for students majoring in fields of study related to NOAA’s mission to understand and conserve climate, weather, oceans, ecosystems and coasts. Designed to increase understanding and stewardship for the oceans and atmosphere, the award includes paid summer internship placements at an NOAA or partner facility, and offers recipients the opportunity to attend and present at conferences, including the Science & Education

Ashlynn Borce

Ashlynn Borce


“I am excited and honored to be afforded an opportunity to pursue my passions of responsible resource management and water quality so early in my career with NOAA” says Murphy. “I admire the organization’s mission to ‘enrich life through science’ and hope to combine my environmental engineering training with my understanding of military operations and organizational structures to approach the issue of reducing the military’s environmental footprint.”

In addition to being a student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and a member of Syracuse Army ROTC, Murphy volunteers at Syracuse’s Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) and is involved with Engineers without Borders (EWB) and Global Student Embassy (GSE). She will travel to Guatemala this year as part of a GSE research team working to provide clean drinking water to a community in a remote part of the Central American country.

Murphy worked with the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) to secure the NOAA scholarship. CFSA offers candidates advising and assistance with application and interview preparation for nationally competitive scholarships.

Borce ’18, a senior health and exercise science major from Honolulu in the School of Education, has been accepted into the prestigious Army-Baylor University doctoral program in physical therapy (DPT).

Ranked in the top 10 of over 200 physical therapy programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, the Baylor DPT program prepares highly qualified students such as Borce to serve as both active-duty officers and as military physical therapists.

Borce, who will begin the program in fall 2019 while serving as a second lieutenant, will study at the historic Fort Sam Houston, home of military medicine, in San Antonio, Texas. The DPT program is part of the Army Medical Department Center and School, as well as the Health Readiness Center of Excellence.  The army will fund Borce’s doctoral study in addition to her salary as a second lieutenant.

“I am thrilled to continue my study and my commitment to our nation’s military as a candidate of the Army-Baylor DPT program” says Borce. “I am inspired by the program’s mission to produce active duty PTs who also strive to be leaders in the worldwide military health system and am honored to serve my country as both a solider and physical therapist.”

An active member of Syracuse Army ROTC, Borce is a member of the Command Team and previously traveled to Mongolia for the Army ROTC’s Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program mission, helping teach the Mongolian military English.

These achievements mark three occasions of female student ROTC success in as many weeks, as Cadet Executive Officer Jacqueline Page was named a University Scholar, Syracuse University’s highest undergraduate honor, earlier this month.