“Investing in education today is the substance of future wealth.”
-Deborah Birmingham, M.Ed., M.A.
-Deborah Birmingham, M.Ed., M.A.
2021 Math With EEEs Inc. Scholarship Application Now Available!
Scholarship Recipients Reflect on Fall 2020 Semester
"This semester was very challenging for everyone. Between trying to keep ourselves and others safe from the virus and juggling difficult online courses. With basically everything being virtual, there were many situations where I had to step outside of my comfort zone and adjust to a new way of doing things. Overall, I ended the semester feeling fairly happy with the outcome considering all of the changes that took place. Advice that I would give a freshman is always be open to change and even though it is more difficult online, try your best to reach out to new people and make friends in your classes because it will pay off in the end." -Denae Galloway
"Despite the hurdles that COVID-19 posed during this semester, I was still able to get involved and find success and opportunities for the future. I was able to serve on the executive board of the Human Resources Association, was the D&I Committee Chair for Delta Sigma Pi professional Fraternity, and returned to my role as a Resident Advisor. I was also accepted into the Master of Human Resource Management program at Ohio State and received a full-time offer from Microsoft as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. I encourage others to keep their heads up in these trying times and to remain focused on the present and future." -Joseph Henry
"This past semester really taught me the importance of making the best out of a bad situation. Despite having to deal with the stress of online classes, along with the world in chaos because of COVID, I realized that the only way for me to perform my best work was to persist, and think about how beneficial the end result would be once I finished. I also didn’t lose sight of my schoolwork and other responsibilities because I would always write things down in a planner, calendar, or schedule my days ahead of time. Going into your first semester of college or any semester with this type of mindset and attitude will keep you mentally stable, and help you to progress through the semester a lot smoother than others around you. It also helps to get a lot of rest whenever you can, and to prioritize your work accordingly with your rest." - Jordan Lawton
"This semester has been like no other. The atmosphere on my campus was definitely different because you didn’t see everyone walking around, socializing, or going in lecture halls. However, the university and student organizations got very creative with virtual events to keep students engaged. Majority of my classes were online, but that didn’t really bother me. Being a nursing major, there is a lot of material covered in each lecture, so online lectures allowed me to replay lectures and take better notes than I would have if classes were face-to-face. My advice for college bound freshmen would be to try to stay involved as possible. Even though this is not the college experience that you have imagined and worked so hard to receive all of these years, still try to make the best of it. Explore all opportunities that your school has to offer. It’s also important to begin networking as soon as possible, it will definitely benefit you in the long run." -LaMya Webster
"Considering I’m a Senior now, I can speak on my Fall semester pre and post COVID-19. Pre COVID-19, everything was obviously different. In person classes were a thing and traveling on a campus as big as U of I made the college experience much more exciting because not only was I able to see new faces on the way to class, teachers were able to put a face to a name, and class room environments were so welcoming , which made it easier to navigate through course objectives and much more. Post COVID-19, things changed drastically. In person classes were limited to under 10 people or just none at all. Courses became strictly online based and all in person activities were stopped as well, taking away the college experience for many new and incoming students. For me, I’m a person who learns best when I’m physically present in a class. When I see things face to face, I retain more so I struggled a lot this semester with being strictly online. Due to this, I could feel my motivation decreasing, which made it hard for me to focus. I had to sit down and find ways for me to make the best out of the situation, so I crated myself a schedule, similar to if my classes were in person and I stuck with it. That helped me out tremendously and I was able to stay motivated! My advice for college bound Freshmen during this pandemic is to never lose motivation. It may sound discouraging to have to attend college virtually and that you’re missing out on the “fun” stuff, but the end goal is your degree. Find ways to cope with the situation, whether that be including daily walks in your schedule. Maybe cooking is your thing. You can try to incorporate cooking into your schedule. Maybe you like sports or cardio. Try to find places that allow you to do those things with the necessary precautions. Do things that make you happy and you will find that virtual college isn’t all that bad, it’s what you make of it." -Vontrice Bobo
"When I returned to campus for the fall semester it was a bit challenging due to restrictions from COVID-19. We had to get tested every two days and if we missed a testing day we were denied access to our dorm and classes. I was happy that I was able to have a single room this semester so I didn't have to worry about someone's exposure to COVID-19. I was able to attend some of my classes in person and we did practice social distancing. My other classes were remote which was okay however I prefer to receive instruction in person. I found myself going to office hours more often and attending study groups. Extracurricular activities were cancelled which was unfortunate because that is how I relieved stress and took a break from my studies. I was able to attend Bible Study via zoom which was nice. I had to return home for thanksgiving and finish out the semester remotely due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. I was ok with that and happy to get some home cooked food. I am looking forward to returning to campus on January 17th and completing my second year at college. Although I have faced some challenges this semester I am thankful that me and my family are safe and I will continue to take the necessary precautions." - Justin Abram
"Transitioning from an undergraduate to a graduate education amidst a pandemic has truly been an experience like no other, however, I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to further my education prior to attending medical school. Shifting environments from Virginia to Pennsylvania, and adjusting from fully in-person classes to completely virtual classes was rough initially, but with time comes experience, and ultimately I was able to adapt to my new physical and learning environment after about a month in my program. One thing I must say about my experience this fall is that I genuinely enjoyed my curriculum, and actually looked forward to the information I was learning. As a biology undergraduate, there was a good amount of classes that were required because of the curriculum, but a lot of these science classes were broad in their topics, and not specifically catered to the medical and public health aspect of science(my main focus and passion). Aside from enjoying my learning experience, I was able to make some friends in my cohort as well and although I’ve only went out twice because of COVID restrictions, my favorite memory this semester had to be exploring the city of Pittsburgh bike riding with a few of my peers. I am ecstatic to say that I finished the semester with a 4.0, and cannot wait to see what I achieve this spring semester. The First piece of advice I ALWAYS give incoming freshmen regardless of their major, school, etc is to remember why you are at that institution/University, TO GET YOUR EDUCATION. This first piece is essential, and without following this, you are hindering your future whether you are aware or not. My next piece of advice is do or try something that’s outside your comfort zone. One thing about College is that it’s nothing but open doors and opportunities, HOWEVER, sometimes you might have to step outside your comfort zone to fully engage in the resources and opportunities offered. For example, in High school I NEVER thought or was interested in anything along the lines of student council or student government. During my sophomore year of college, one of my friends suggested I get involved with student government, and I respectfully told her I wasn’t interested. We negotiated, and I said I would at least try it, and fast forward two years later, I was the student government president for my entire University. “Don’t knock it til you try it.” My next piece of advice is “Go to your teacher’s office hours”. I place this in quotations because I cannot count the amount of times upperclassmen and my mentors have told me this, and I disregarded it. Imagine you are borderline between two letter grades, the relationships you form with your professors can easily be the difference between them curving that 88 to a 90. Lastly, enjoy and embrace EVERY memory and EVERY moment you experience in college because you will NEVER get those 4 years back." -Joshua Hines
"My first semester of college was definitely not what I would have imagined a year ago. Although we’re in a pandemic, I still managed to partake in campus activities (the majority being virtual). A few things I accomplished this past semester was partaking in a Food Science Lab works study position, where I studied the quantification of mice. I also became the Treasurer of one of the Black Student Unions on campus, as well as the Public Relations Manager for my Hall Council. Being involved in these activities allowed me to feel more connected to campus, because aside from this(and studying and doing work of course) there wasn’t much to do. These activities were interesting and fun, and I was also able to learn a lot with doing them. If I could give some college bound students some advice I’d say that college is what you make it! To a certain extinct, you have the flexibility to truly make it what you want it, so use this to your advantage. If some things don’t go right, it’s okay to try again, and ask for help, this is something that is new for any one who’s just starting out, so try to make the best of it!" -Nia'Mya Madison
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