Nursing Major Wins National Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Scholarship

Posted on April 18, 2012

A Naval ROTC (NROTC) and School of Nursing student is one of only four in the country to be honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Scholarship.

Tara Dowling, who was selected from 200 nominees nationwide as the Navy recipient, received the award at a surprise presentation at her 7 a.m. Monday midshipmen’s meeting at Carnegie Mellon University on April 16.

Tara and Erin, her identical twin, are both NROTC members and Duquesne nursing students. “I can’t talk about Tara without talking about Erin,” said Nursing Dean Eileen Zungolo, who was on hand for the recognition and has taught both women. “They are the children you always wanted to have. They are excellent students, involved in campus ministry, and were inducted into the honorary nursing society and the interdisciplinary honor society.”

Dowling also received the NROTC All Around Performance Award, the Academic Excellence and Physical Fitness awards, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Scholarship. She also serves as a Eucharistic minister with Spiritan Campus Ministry at Duquesne.

She and Erin plan to join the U.S. Navy Nursing Corps after graduating from Duquesne in May.

Their parents, Ret. Navy Captain Kevin and Patricia Dowling, also attended the award ceremony. The honor was presented by Retired Navy Lt. Mike Thornton, a former Navy SEAL who received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, for his life-saving actions in Vietnam.

The CMU NROTC unit includes members from Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities, as well as the University of Pittsburgh.

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