September 29, 2023

CSU staff inspires scholarship winner

Education can change a life and CSU has done that with the latest winner of the online university’s Learning Partner Scholarship, Tammy Mattina.

Tammy Mattina - Winner of Columbia Southern University's Learning Partner Scholarship

Tammy Mattina

Mattina, a recent CSU graduate, decided to further her education and enter the essay contest for the scholarship after taking online classes with the university.

“When I first started at Columbia Southern University in 2010, my goal was to complete my bachelor’s degree so that I could start the climb up the promotional later. Being a female in the law enforcement profession, I knew that an education would give me an advantage over the traditional selection for positions of rank,” explained Mattina.

“As I made my way through the classes, I began to change my goal plans. The teachers and interaction with my fellow students made me realize that teaching is what I want to do. I have been a police instructor at the state level for many years teaching local law enforcement, but I want to make a bigger impact with my education. I want to teach at a college level helping adults reach their goals just like my teachers at Columbia Southern helped me,” added Mattina, who serves with the Knoxville (Tenn.) Police Department.

The scholarship is awarded to employees/members of companies or organizations that partner with CSU and it covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program. Mattina will use the scholarship toward a master’s degree in criminal justice.

She said faculty members at CSU have inspired her to expect more of herself and encourage others to want more as well.

After 25–plus years in law enforcement, the 48-year-old said, “I thought retirement would bring years of reflecting on a successful law enforcement career, but now, teaching future criminal justice students is my goal. I believe in education and I believe in the Columbia Southern way of getting it done. I want to complete my master’s degree in criminal justice so I can encourage success in a student’s life the way my teachers have encouraged me.”

To learn more about the Learning Partner Scholarship, please call 888-785-3006 or send an email to