Veteran Spotlight

David Outlaw, U.S. Navy


David Outlaw is from Natchitoches, Louisiana and is a senior at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. David, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, served as a logistics specialist on a nuclear-powered submarine in Hawaii and went on to manage a supply detachment in Italy.  

After hanging up his uniform and transitioning to Cornell, David joined Starwood Hotels and Resorts for multiple internship and externship experiences in operations, including the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, The Westin New York at Times Square, The St. Regis San Francisco and The St. Regis New York. He currently serves as the co-founder and President of the Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association.

Lisa Hart, U.S. Army


Lisa Hart is from Granada Hills, California and is a recent 2016 graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. Lisa, a veteran of the U.S. Army, served as a preventive dentistry specialist during Operation Iraqi Freedom from November 2009 to February 2011. When not overseas, Lisa assisted in creating a physical training regimen and deployment training protocol to ensure all soldiers in her Company were fit and trained for combat.
Lisa’s transition from soldier life to full-time student included working part-time off campus at a coffee shop and spearheading Cornell’s Pre-Dental Society. Lisa chose to major in Nutritional Sciences as her experiences in the military revealed the importance of nutrition and preventive health care. Her experiences at Cornell have been rewarding, as she was able to continue her education towards her ultimate goal of becoming a dentist in the U.S. Army. She will be working towards a year-long Master’s program in Physiology starting this fall before applying to dental school in June of 2017.

Seamus Murphy, U.S. Army


Seamus Murphy is from Binghamton, New York and is spending one final semester, the fall of 2016, at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He will use this time to finish his degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development with a minor in Business. Seamus joined the U.S. Army in 2005 after completing Infantry OSUT training at Fort Benning, GA. He was then assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, Savannah, GA, and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Ramadi, Iraq for 15 months in 2007 and Baghdad, Iraq in 2010 for 12 months. During this time, he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. After completing six years of service, Seamus exited the military in 2012 to pursue a college degree. 
As the Founding President of the Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association, Seamus has worked diligently to bring about change for Cornell’s veteran population. He would like to see a physical space dedicated to veterans on campus and the creation of a staff member to act as a liaison between the university, the Veterans Affairs administration, and potential employers, before he graduates. Seamus is currently spending this summer abroad, working to help empower smallholder farmers in western Kenya.


Luke Opyd, U.S. Navy


Luke is from Coal City, Illinois.  In 2008, he enlisted in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician (AE). He served overseas in Japan at HSM-51 from 2011-2014 where he completed 12 sea deployments, then served on-shore in San Diego at HSC-3 from 2014-2016, where he completed his military career as a Petty Officer 2nd Class. He is the recipient of multiple awards and decorations to include the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for his participation in Operation Tomodachi. During his time in the Navy, he graduated summa cum laude from Post University with an A.S. in Accounting. 
Luke is currently studying for his B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He serves as head of External Affairs for the Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association and is a member of the Ivy League Veterans Council.  He is also an undergraduate ambassador for Service to School.  Despite his accomplishments, Luke is most proud when witnessing fellow Veterans accomplish their goals against all odds, and plans on continuing to assist Veterans in the future.  Following graduation, Luke plans on going to law school.