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Zamantha Renee’ Brown learned her way around Columbus State, getting her second year paid for and an inside line on scholarships at Ohio State University. Not bad for being the first one in her family to go to college.
Brown graduated March 18 with her Associate of Science, a general-purpose degree that represents the first two years of a bachelor’s degree. She plans to study biomedical engineering this fall at Ohio State.
“It’s definitely a personal accomplishment,” Brown says. “Even though my parents didn’t go to college, they always encouraged it.”
Brown says she was always interested in science, taking a pre-nursing curriculum at the Fairfield Career Center. She planned to study nursing at a four-year private school, but was turned away by the cost. Private colleges cost around $25,000 a year, compared with around $3,000 at Columbus State.
She started at Columbus State in Autumn 2008, covering part of the tuition by working in the Admissions office. She learned to navigate the college, earning a book scholarship and making sure all her credits will transfer to Ohio State.
Her second year at Columbus State was covered by the Future Scientists of Ohio, a scholarship program aimed at students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition to the scholarship, the program offered mentoring and special lessons. Ohio State has its own Future Scientists program, and Brown has already applied for a scholarship there.
She plans to study biomedical engineering, the science of implants such as pacemakers, artificial hearts and prosthetics. She was inspired by a love of pathology (the study of disease) – and her grandfather’s pacemaker.
“(Biomedical engineering) keeps people alive longer,” Brown says. “If it wasn’t for advanced medicine, they wouldn’t be here.”
To students entering Columbus State, Brown’s advice is to take advantage of the resources available. Many scholarships go unclaimed, and it’s tricky to plan your courses without an advisor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.