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Keegan Fitzpatrick always knew he wanted to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. The Future Scientists of Ohio program at Columbus State helped him make the connections he needed to get involved in a prestigious research project at Ohio State University.
He first got interested in multistep synthesis during a lab assignment at Columbus State. His professor introduced him to his new mentor and boss at Ohio State, where he's working on a research project in that field.
"The labs are about the same size at both schools," Keegan says, "and Columbus State taught me the techniques I need for my current job."
Keegan got involved in Columbus State's STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) club and tutored fellow students. He thrived under the personalized instruction he received in Columbus State's small classes, which gave him the confidence to ask questions of his Ohio State professors.
Keegan loves his chosen field so much that he hopes to become a professor himself, maybe even at Columbus State.
"If it weren't for Columbus State, I wouldn't be where I am today, so I'd like to be someone who influences students to be as passionate about the subject as I am."
The Future Scientist program provided him a full-ride scholarship to Columbus State and helped him get a healthy scholarship to Ohio State. With student loan debt always a concern, that's a big leg up. The Future Scientist program is currently closed to new students, although current students are encourage to apply.
In addition to the Future Scientist program, students who plan to go to Ohio State should check out the Preferred Pathway®. The Preferred Pathway® allows students to get a "pre-major" for their program at Ohio State, ensuring they only take the classes they need. Some scholarships are available.
Keegan and other STEM students spoke to Real Community in 2012. See that video here: