Current HillVets Fellows
Erica Catterall is a Commander in the Navy Reserve and a 2003 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. As a Surface Warfare Officer, she has completed various positions, ranging from command and control for multinational exercises, international cooperative engagement programs, and continuity of operations planning. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, she served on the COVID Coordination Cell to track the impact of the virus across the Navy and advise Navy leadership on policy execution. Erica has served in leadership positions throughout her time in the Navy, managing high-performing teams of 15-300 personnel. As a civilian, Erica has worked for over ten years as a teacher where she educated High School students in Mathematics and gained a strong understanding of the impact of various education policies and approaches to the administration on students. Due to multiple moves for her spouse’s military obligations, Erica was exposed to a wide array of policies and dynamics. When not teaching in schools, Erica provided a home school education to her two daughters. Erica was raised in San Diego, California, and obtained a B.S. in Mathematics from the U. S. Naval Academy. She continued her education by earning an M.A. in Education from the University of Phoenix and is currently completing a second M.A. at the University of San Francisco while studying Public Leadership. Possessing a passion for education and national defense policy matters, Erica has boldly decided to pursue her interest in Capitol Hill, believing that her unique personal experience as a veteran, educator, mother, and military spouse can lead to better-informed policymaking at the federal level.
Austin Audo is the Gold Star surviving son of late Army Maj. David L. Audo who lost his life while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. With the assistance of several non-profit organizations, namely Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Gary Sinise Foundation, Austin was able to convert the grief of his loss into an intense passion for supporting military Veterans, active-duty personnel, and Gold Star surviving families through volunteer service and mentorship. Austin was raised in Oakwood, Illinois, and obtained a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in December 2022, with additional support from Freedom Alliance, Fallen Patriot, and The Folded Flag Foundation. During his enrollment at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Austin discovered his interest in Capitol Hill through numerous internships learning valuable advocacy and research skills on behalf of the military veteran population and veteran service organizations to pay back and pay forward all the support he received throughout his journey. Returning to Washington D.C. as a HillVets Fellow, Austin intends to pursue his dream of serving those who have served by representing the policy interests of military veterans, active-duty personnel, and gold star surviving families on Capitol Hill.
Working in the Office of
Senator Raphael Warnock
Travis Nielsen is a major in the Army Reserve with 17 years of experience combined in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. Though a logistics officer by trade, he has completed a breadth of assignments, including platoon leadership and company command, battalion and brigade logistics and training, strategic planning, and security cooperation. He deployed to Kosovo for KFOR22 in support of Operation Joint Guardian, Jordan in support of Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shied, and Romania for the Office of Defense Cooperation under European Command and US Embassy missions. Travis was raised in Reno, Nevada, where he received a B.A. in History and Spanish at the University of Nevada-Reno. He also received an M.A. in History from the University of Arizona and an M.A. in International Relations from Webster University. He has been an adjunct history professor for ten years. Travis’s interest in Capitol Hill stems from his passion for public service, team- and consensus- building, and leadership. He strongly believes in using his energy and skills towards the greater good, developing others, and making long-term, positive impact.
Working on Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Jensen Cheong is a former active-duty Air Force Captain with over seven years of experience leading complex and competent teams. He is a Mission Commander certified Air Battle Manager with hundreds of flying hours on the E-3 AWACS and the Control and Reporting Center (CRC). He has deployed three times in support of national objectives in the Middle East and in response to the Ukrainian Crisis in Eastern Europe. Jensen is also an avid language enthusiast, and he has represented the Air Force globally in an official capacity due to his unique language abilities. Jensen is passionate about public service, policy, and national security. He is committed to leadership and mentorship through effective team-building, individual empowerment, and commitment towards constant improvement. He is a leader in diversity training and an advocate for mental health awareness. Prior to his military career, Jensen was involved in community engagement, social activism, and event planning. As a result, Jensen excels in bringing different stakeholders together to develop efficient and successful teams. Jensen is originally from New York City. He completed his undergraduate education in urban and regional studies at Cornell University. He was commissioned into the Air Force from ROTC at Cornell. He subsequently completed his graduate education in global affairs at the University of Oklahoma. He is a proud volunteer for veterans seeking assistance in the college admissions process.
Working in the Office of Representative Ken Calvert
Jonathon C. Pierce is from Riverside California; he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 2008 as a Meteorologist. In 2018, he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. Immediately following Logistics Officer School, Jonathon would serve as a Platoon Commander with Combat Logistics Battalion 3, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, for a year. In 2021, Jonathon was mobilized to active duty to support COVID-19 mitigation operations at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. During this time, Jonathon became the Protocol Officer for the Depot. This assignment exposed him to many Veteran Organizations in San Diego that advocated on behalf of the veteran community. Through his experience and interaction with these Veteran Organizations, Jonathon decided he wanted to pursue public policy. Jonathon’s goal is to support those serving in uniform on active duty and in the reserves. Jonathon has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California Baptist University; he plans on pursuing his master’s degree in Public Policy.
Working in the Office of
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Doson is a retired Army Medical Sergeant and a Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. Born abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam, to a U.S. Army Physician, and whose grandfather served during the first World War, Doson comes from a proud line of military service to our country. Upon returning to the United States, his family settled in the western Great Plains of rural North Dakota, where before graduating high school, he would enlist in the Army National Guard as a Combat Medic. Doson excelled in Basic Training and AIT, where he served as a platoon leader and would go on to receive awards for superior performance in marksmanship, physical training, combatives, and Soldier of the Quarter competitions. Upon graduating medic school in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Doson was assigned to the 814th Area Support Medical Company (ASMC) in Bismarck, North Dakota. It was with these soldiers that he would deploy to Bagram Airfield at the beginning of 2014. The ASMC was tasked with the evacuation and intervening medical care of all casualties sustained within Regional Command East, Afghanistan. Doson and his team, operating 24-hour shifts out of Craig Joint Theater Hospital, responded by ground ambulance to administer life-saving interventions to NATO, ISAF, civilian, and enemy combatant casualties alike, delivering them from point-of-injury to definitive care. After deployment, Doson was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, where he took charge of the unit’s medical section and assumed responsibility for the management, training, safety, welfare, professional development, and combat readiness of up to fifteen soldier-medics. In addition, he acted to ensure the health and force readiness of the unit, battalion, and state by providing Combat Lifesaver trainings and administering annual flu vaccinations. In the fall of 2018, Doson retired from the Army National Guard having earned two post-secondary degrees, including an A.S. in Health Science, and a B.S. in Pre-Medical Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. Doson began his Juris Doctor in the fall of 2019 on a full academic scholarship and has since passed the USPTO Patent Registration Examination for Patent Attorneys and Patent Agents, completed a Judicial Externship at the United States Court of Federal Claims, and helped to establish a medical technology startup accelerator. Looking ahead, Doson recently got married, and he intends to continue serving our country by representing the policy interests of his fellow veterans and countrymen as a HillVets House Fellow in the United States Congress.