October 3, 2023

Scholarship winner eager to learn

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