University Community

OHIO senior earns Air Force Health Professions Scholarship

Deborah Swegan, an Air Force ROTC cadet and senior at Ohio University, was recently awarded a competitive scholarship to pay for medical school. The Air Force’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) awards scholarships to only 25 ROTC cadets each year nationwide.

This is the second year in a row that an OHIO Air Force cadet has been selected for the competitive scholarship. The 2021 scholarship recipient, Second Lieutenant Skylar Boggs, is now a first-year student in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Air Force Health Professions Scholarship covers full tuition and fees at the accredited U.S. medical school of the recipient’s choice. Recipients also earn an annual salary of $33,000 which includes a signing bonus for students who agree to a four-year commitment to the United States Air Force.

A first-generation student from Niles, Ohio, majoring in Biological Sciences Pre-med with a minor in Aerospace Studies, Swegan is the Vice Commander for OHIO’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 650 and is responsible for ensuring the quality of training is at the highest standard. She says she loves working with and training younger cadets to help prepare them to be leaders in the United States Air Force and Space Force.

Swegan also serves as a research assistant in Ohio University’s Edison Biotechnology Institute where she works in the Kopchick Laboratory and reports directly to Research Associate Dr. Reetobrata Basu, studying the effects of combining a growth hormone antagonist drug with different chemotherapies to help reduce chemotherapy resistance in multiple cancers. Her position is funded by AMVETS (American Veterans), via their support of the Kopchick Laboratory.

As Swegan prepares to graduate in the spring, she has applied to several medical schools in and around Ohio and will be able to utilize the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship at any medical school.

“Air Force ROTC gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a physician,” Swegan said. “It also gave me the tools to be a great leader to my future Airmen."

For more information about Air Force ROTC at Ohio University, visit or email

November 4, 2022
Kate Anderson