Education and experience are vital for career advancement. Veteran fire officer and recent Learning Partner Scholarship winner Nikola Zamiska of Richfield, Ohio, understands this.
“As a young and eager firefighter, I was mentored from the beginning by several commanding officers that inspired me to earn my associate degree in emergency services,” said the 31-year-old. “They stated that this profession was rapidly expanding as a result of the 9-11 terrorist attacks and increased reliance on firefighters during natural disasters.”
He was told he would be left behind without a formal education, as firefighting would focus more on the broad scope of emergency management. “It was at that time that I knew I had to seek an advanced degree,” he explained.
In 2013, he enrolled in CSU seeking a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in emergency services management. “My goal of earning a master’s degree in public administration from CSU would provide me the additional skills needed to succeed in my ultimate career goal of becoming a fire chief.”
To aid his quest, Zamiska entered the essay contest for a CSU Learning Partner Scholarship and won. The scholarship is awarded to employees/members of companies or organizations that partner with CSU and covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program. Zamiska is a member of the Cuyahoga County Fire Chiefs Association, a CSU learning partner in Ohio.
“The Learning Partner Scholarship is a generous opportunity to fulfill my dream of earning my master’s degree, without a continued financial burden on my family and myself,” he said. “My wife and I recently had our first baby and this motivates me more than ever to work towards a brighter future, so I can provide educational opportunities in the future for our child.”
Zamiska, a fourth-generation firefighter, is a busy man as he works for Valley Fire District, serves as the regional hazardous materials team director for 19 communities in Northeastern Ohio and teaches for Bryant & Stratton University in Akron, Ohio as a fire academy instructor. And he loves it.
“My passion for education and advancement in my profession motivates me each day to learn as much as I possibly can to be a respected leader and public servant who believes in integrity.”
To learn more about the Learning Partner Scholarship, please call 888-785-3006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.