Elisabeth Nylander is a senior at Florida International University. She is majoring in Criminal Justice and participating in the Honors College. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to go to graduate school and pursue a career in the investigative side of law enforcement, whether that be investigation or forensics. Outside of class, she is an active student leader, holding the position of Chief of Staff at FIU Student Government Association, where she serves as a voice for students.
Elisabeth’s father, Captain Nathan Nylander, served in the Air Force. He was killed in action in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 27, 2011. Nathan was one of nine Service members killed during a "Green on Blue'' attack. The eight other Service members were attacked in a Command Center adjacent to the conference room Nathan was in. He immediately evacuated the room and returned to assist those attacked. He encountered the gunman and severely wounded him (who later died from his injuries); however, after multiple encounters his weapon jammed and he was ultimately executed by the gunman.
Elisabeth was nine at the time of her father’s death. She went on to graduate high school as an honor student, with a GPA over 4.0 while taking college courses and volunteering with military non-profits.
Her mother, Miriam, states “While in the Air Force, Nathan obtained his bachelor's degree and was accepted into Officer Training School. The change was huge for our lives. The accomplishment has shown our children the importance of getting their education young and how their quality of life and future is so dependent on that. Elisabeth is so much like her father. Smart, driven, determined and disciplined.”
NGS would also like to thank the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund in helping Elisabeth to reach her dreams.