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ASU ROTC cadet receives memorial scholarship named for Marine

young woman in Army uniform
November 22, 2010

It was the desire to serve her country that attracted Arizona State University senior Miranda Beck to military service. Now in her fourth year as a cadet in the Army ROTC program, Beck is the inaugural recipient of the CWO II L. Brian Callan Perseverance Scholarship, named for a Phoenix native and ASU alumnus. 

“It’s the wanting to serve, and knowing the guy next to you is going to be the guy who takes care of you,” Beck said of her interest to serve in the military. 

Born in Germany, Beck was raised in Utah until the age of 14. Before entering her freshman year of high school, she and her family moved to Arizona where she attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe. 

Beck, whose father is retired from the Air Force and whose brother is currently serving with the Army in Iraq, said she’s always been interested in serving in the military and giving back to her country. “I knew I wanted to serve my country; I just didn’t know how I wanted to do it,” she said. As a freshman, it was this uncertainty that first prompted Beck to join the Army ROTC program. 

“Cadet Beck joined my class as an uncommitted, non-scholarship freshman, and then shot up like an arrow from there,” said R. James Barclay, a retired major and now assistant professor of military science in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “She continued to participate in our program while going to school and working full-time.” 

This past summer, Beck participated in a leadership development assessment course at Fort Lewis in Washington. During the five-week course, a sort of “boot camp,” Beck and fellow participants were placed in different leadership positions and evaluated based on their performance. Being virtually cut off from the outside world, Beck said she found it difficult to adjust to life at camp at first, but was able to leave with valuable leadership experience. 

This semester, Beck is performing her leadership duties as a Cadet/Company Commander, which according to Barclay, is a significant post within the ROTC program’s Battalion of Cadets. 

“We expect great things from Cadet Beck as she joins the ranks of commissioned officers early next year,” he said. 

Beck plans to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I like learning about people and what makes people tick. It’s fascinating,” she said. 

Beck is interested in using her degree for a career in the medical field, perhaps as a physician assistant. The CWO II L. Brian Callan Perseverance Scholarship provided Beck with the financial support to take additional courses required for that pursuit. 

Awarded over two semesters, the scholarship is open to students in the ASU ROTC programs. Eligibility for the scholarships is granted to either a fourth year student receiving the funds while at the academic level of a senior, or a qualifying Window Rock High School graduate who is an incoming freshman enrolled in the university’s ROTC program. This year, the scholarship was awarded to an ASU student in the Army ROTC program. In the future, the scholarship will be awarded to a student in the new Naval ROTC program at ASU, which includes the Marines. 

The memorial scholarship was established by one of Brian’s four brothers, Sean. 

“Sean Callan fulfilled a family promise when he so generously established this scholarship in his brother Brian’s name,” said Jill DeMichele, senior development officer and director of scholarship development for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Brian Callan, who was born in Phoenix, graduated from Window Rock High School in 1976. He was student council president, a tri-captain of the football team, and awarded the title “Most School Spirit” by his peers. Callan was also recognized in Who’s Who Among American High School Students in 1976, a prestigious national award that celebrates the outstanding scholastic and community achievements of students. 

“The Callan family has a long history of exemplary military service and connections to ASU,” said DeMichele. Brian was a chief warrant officer in the Marines. Earning a degree in political science, Brian graduated from ASU in 1985. His father, Laurence Callan, is also an ASU alumnus, and graduated with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. 

While at ASU, Brian served as a cadet in the ROTC program, and then went on to serve 15 years in the Marines before being honorably discharged in 1997. 

“This scholarship is a tribute to the Callan family as well as much-needed financial support for our current ASU students,” said DeMichele. 

For more information about the scholarship or to make a gift to the endowment, contact DeMichele at or 480-965-2617.

Written by Jessica Stone (

Carol Hughes,
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences