Students Awarded Armed Forces Scholarship

UC Berkeley ROTC Students Receive Scholarships To Medical School to Later Serve as Navy Doctors

Photo: ROTC seniors Tyler Steed and Vanna Rocchi  received the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship, which will help pay their tuition to medical school. After medical school they will serve as navy doctors.
Evan Walbridge/Photo
ROTC seniors Tyler Steed and Vanna Rocchi received the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship, which will help pay their tuition to medical school. After medical school they will serve as navy doctors.

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UC Berkeley senior Vanna Rocchi has performed what most girls have yet to do on their summer breaks-maneuver a Navy ship in a man overboard drill. A member of UC Berkeley's Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, Rocchi will serve in the armed forces after she graduates-as a doctor.

Rocchi and her fellow midshipman, senior Tyler Steed, are receiving an opportunity that only 10 other students in the nation will share this year. With the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship, they will get a full ride to medical school to prepare to serve as doctors in the navy.

The two learned in December that they had been selected for the scholarship, which is worth $60,000 to $100,000 a year, according to training corps Lieutenant Daehyun Gillespie.

Factors such as MCAT scores, grades and extracurriculars were taken into account in selecting the recipients, he said.

The scholarship is awarded annually to students planning to attend medical school. In order to receive the scholarship, students must agree to serve as navy doctors for the same number of years that they spend in medical school.

If deployed overseas, the two midshipmen might encounter a variety of situations, from minor injuries to combat-related wounds, Gillespie said.

Steed, who hopes to be deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he would like to work on board navy hospital ships that perform relief efforts after major disasters.

"When you're talking about a battlefield, you're talking about limited resources, and people working together to take the mass casualties of an emergency situation." Steed said. "I'm drawn to it because it's so hypervariable."

Rocchi, the granddaughter of a retired Naval captain, said she wants to travel to Africa or other developing areas to pursue disaster relief missions. There, she would like to focus on orthopedic surgery, which she said is necessary in the military field.

At the moment, Rocchi is focused on balancing her time between women's crew team and studying for integrative biology. She said she is like any other Berkeley student, fretting her way through midterm season.

Steed, who plays trumpet for Cal Band and spends most of his time in a lab researching Alzheimer's disease for his honors thesis, said he has no time to spare to play Fallout 3 on his new Xbox 360.

The two are looking forward to their future endeavors, but said they are sad to leave their years at UC Berkeley behind them.

"I asked every medical school for my interview, 'I get up every day and feel fortunate to be at my school. Is that how you feel here?'" Steed said. "For the most part, I've gotten a 'yes' answer on that, and it makes me feel good that other places could be as good."

Tags: ROTC

Contact Melani Sutedja at [email protected]

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