Emerald Ralston in uniform in the field.

PsyD Student Wins Pat Tillman Scholarship

Emerald Ralston, a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the New England campus, has been named a Pat Tillman scholar, supporting her commitment to studying trauma and de-stigmatizing mental health in the military.

“To be chosen as a scholar in Pat Tillman’s name is an incredible honor, and it points to the service Ralston hopes to offer to veterans and others in the future,” says Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Professor and Director of Practica in Antioch New England’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

In honor of the legacy and service embodied by Pat Tillman, the Pat Tillman Foundation awards academic scholarships to members of the military service who are leaders committed to a life of service both inside and outside the military.

Emerald Ralston

When deployed in Afghanistan as a Public Affairs specialist in the Air Force, Ralston received the devastating news that an IED explosion had paralyzed her brother. This experience deeply affected and inspired Ralston to explore and understand the effects of trauma and how to mitigate them in the aftermath of traumatic events. Ralston continued pursuing her interest in mental health at Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education, where she received a degree in psychology. 

Ralston’s dedication to helping others is evident in her work alongside veterans, where she focuses on the role of mindful practices in fostering post-traumatic growth. During her time as a speechwriter for the commander of Air Combat Command, she frequently incorporated themes aimed at raising awareness around mental health.

Picture of Emerald Ralston in uniform.

“Service is the cornerstone of our society,” says Ralston in a statement on the Pat Tillman Foundation’s website. “As a therapist, I hope to serve those who serve us by providing and de-stigmatizing mental health in the military.”

Through her ongoing commitment to serving others, Ralston is pursuing her PsyD at Antioch University, where she plans to conduct research to further the understanding of trauma and the benefits of mindfulness-based practices for promoting post-traumatic growth. 

Pat Tillman

Read more about Ralston here, Pat Tillman here, and the Pat Tillman Foundation here.