The SMA Leon Van Autreve Scholarship Fund honors the memory of SMA Leon Van Autreve, the fourth sergeant major of the Army, and provides educational support to Soldiers and family members who have dedicated themselves to service to the Nation by pursuing self-improvement.

The recipients of this year's scholarships exemplify SMA Van Autreve’s vision of an Army and Army Family of highly motivated and educated professionals, and were selected from large field of applicants. We would like to thank everyone who applied this year, and encourage all who follow SMA Van Autreve's legacy to apply in 2019.


Lisa Boden Felchle

Lt. Col. Lisa Boden Felchle

Army Reserve | Clinical Psychology

A $25,000 Van Autreve scholarship is awarded to Army Reserve Lt. Col. Lisa Boden Felchle of Woodbridge, Va., who is working on a doctorate in clinical psychology, which she started in 2017. “My long-term career goals include working as a clinical psychologist for either a military hospital or a Veteran Affairs hospital,” said Boden Felchle, a Wisconsin native whose husband is an active-duty soldier. “My combat experience, understanding of military culture and experience as a dependent will make me a successful psychologist for the military population.”

Connor Lewis

Army ROTC Cadet Connor Lewis

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill | Logistics

A $10,000 Van Autreve scholarship is awarded to Army ROTC Cadet Connor Lewis of Fayetteville, N.C., who is attending the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He wants to be a logistics officer. He is studying economics, but says, “Before an NCO reading this has a stroke, I do not intend to whip my degree around and act like I know everything. Rather, I want to use all of the skills I have developed learning economics in college to learn from my NCOs.”

Micaela Mersch

Micaela Mersch

Simpson College

A $5,000 Van Autreve scholarship is awarded to Micaela Mersch of Troy, Texas, a student at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. “She is a solid student with great potential,” writes one of her professors. “Michaela is exactly the type of student who should be encouraged, and a scholarship is a true vote of confidence in her future.”


Five Van Autreve scholarships of $2,000 each are awarded.

The recipients are:

Kai Esquerra
Student at the University of Houston
Sgt. 1st Class Yadriana Kavitz
14-year veteran assigned to Fort Belvoir, Va.
Sgt. 1st First Class Mike Nelson
Utah Army National Guard


Retired Sgt. Dustin Shryock
Iraq veteran attending New York University’s Stern School of Business
Makenzie Wolf
A military family member studying organismal and environmental biology at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va.