UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center awards scholarships to seven students

The University of West Florida Military and Veterans Resource Center awarded scholarships to seven students who are military veterans or dependents of active or retired military at the center’s annual scholarship luncheon held on Wednesday, July 29.

The Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson Scholarship Endowment, Buzz and Larue Ambersley Memorial Scholarship and the Navy Federal Credit Union Scholarship made these awards possible.

Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson created an endowment in 2001 to provide scholarships for military veterans and veteran dependents to pursue their education at UWF. The Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson Scholarship assists veterans and qualified sons and daughters of veterans who demonstrate leadership capability and commitment to service. Through this scholarship, funds are provided annually to student scholars enrolled in the College of Business.

The Buzz and Larue Ambersley Scholarship was established with the UWF Foundation Inc. to provide assistance to a dependent child or spouse of a veteran, deceased or active duty, non-commissioned officer who is a resident of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa or Walton counties.

The Navy Federal Credit Union Scholarship was also established to provide assistance to military veterans and dependents attending UWF.

Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Michael Ferguson Scholarship Endowment recipients:
Rylee Hart
Zachariah Pritchard
Dustin Retherford
Alexandria Rodenbaugh

Buzz and Larue Ambersley Scholarship recipient:
Tyler Milkeris-Zellar

Navy Federal Credit Union Scholarship recipients:
Gloria Malpica
Jillian Brown

Jillian Brown, one of two recipients of the Navy Federal Credit Union Scholarship, will begin her time at UWF this fall and enroll in the Master of Social Work program. She served four years in the Army, including a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. After finishing her time in the Army in March, she applied to UWF to pursue a career in social work.

“I was thrilled to be awarded the scholarship,” said Brown. “With my military contract I still have to pay for a portion of my classes. It will be relief when I finish the program because I’ll be able to focus more on the jobs I’ll be doing instead of trying to find something else to pay for student loans. I’m hoping to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the Vet Center here in Pensacola, and this will allow me to help the people I’m trying to help and not have the burden of trying to find another job.”

Tyler Milkeris-Zellar, the recipient of the Buzz and Larue Ambersley Scholarship, began her time at UWF during the summer semester and is an undergraduate student majoring in physics. She is interested in astrophysics and is a member of the Escambia Amateur Astronomers Association. Her mother, Lori Milkeris, spent four years of active duty and two years in the reserves for the Air Force. She was an F-16 crew chief and served a tour of duty Saudi Arabia.

“I was so excited when I found out,” said Milkeris-Zellar. “I worked really hard to get here. This has given me a big boost. I want to excel in physics, and I think I will enjoy it. This will give me more time to explore and concentrate on my studies. I feel very fortunate and grateful.”

The MVRC is committed to serving the educational and training needs of prospective and currently enrolled service members, veterans, their dependents, their survivors and others eligible to receive educational benefits under the various Department of Veteran Affairs programs. For more information about the MVRC, visit


About the University of West Florida: Founded in 1963, the University of West Florida is a vibrant, distinctive institution of higher learning with undergraduate, graduate and targeted research programs. With multiple locations in Northwest Florida, the University serves a student population of more than 12,000. Dedicated to helping students realize their full potential, UWF favors small class sizes with quality teacher-scholars who deliver personalized, innovative, hands-on learning and leadership opportunities.